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Future international lawyer pursues vocation at Whitworth

Boitumelo stands in front of Oliver Hall and smiles.Meet Boitumelo Nkonde, '17, a political-science major from South Africa. Boitumelo, who goes by Boitu when he's with his friends, is studying political science and pre-law, and plans to become an international lawyer. He says Whitworth has been a great place to pursue this calling.

"I would like to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone when it comes to pursuing their goals," Nkonde says. "It is an excellent way to grow, as an individual and as a future professional."

Through his coursework at Whitworth and his interactions with fellow students and new friends on campus, Nkonde says he is learning to understand and appreciate people from different countries and cultures around the globe.

"While many countries may have somewhat similar political systems, the laws governing those countries can be, and often are, dramatically different from nation to nation," he says. "When you're trying to help people from different countries, it's very important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of those systems."

In addition to immersing himself in Whitworth's campus culture, Nkonde also competes on the Pirates track & field team.

"In my experience, Whitworth's track program is unique from other schools as it focuses intensely on solidarity among teammates," he says. "The coaches are really approachable and they are willing to listen to players' suggestions and feedback. It's a very cooperative environment, but the coaches' leadership is also very valuable to us as student athletes."

After graduating from Whitworth, Nkonde plans to attend law school and then to return to South Africa, to help improve the political and judicial systems in his home country.