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Student Stories

Student Authors Book, Credits Discovery of Career Passion to Spelman

July 2018

Sunankhem KheperuSunankhem Kheperu, C’2019, believes that if not for Spelman College, she would not have realized her passion for working with young people.

During her junior year, the psychology major from Chicago completed and published her first children’s book, “How the Storm Began.” Illustrated by her sister, Mekhakhem Kheperu, C’2016, the children’s/activity book follows the efforts of Aanu, a young Nigerian girl, who sets out to find rain to save her ailing brother during a drought in her village.

Kheperu, who has worked as an interventionist intern at the Betty Shabazz School on the Southside of Chicago, said working on the book while juggling her academic responsibilities was challenging but a reminder “of why I’m attending Spelman,” she said.

“The experience was a reminder that I have to make sure the next generation has more opportunities than I, especially as a Black girl.”

Kheperu also credits the mentoring she has received from Spelman professors, including Dr. Andrea Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the education department, as integral to her development.

“Not only was Dr. Lewis’ class inspirational, but it was a great experience because the field experience hours in the pre-school classroom where she placed me have led me down the path I am on now.”