Davy Axel Nze Akoue
On a bright sunny day on the Austin College campus, thousands of
hours of studying and hard work came to an end. As the cliché goes,
graduation brings about the start of a new life; especially for Davy
Axel Nze Akoue. The native of the African country of Gabon said good
bye to a place he says he will never forget.
"I get an education and an opportunity to better myself, but at the
same time my friend in America get to know about my culture and we
get to bridge the gap of stereotypes people have," says Akoue, known
After graduating high school, Axel received a scholarship from his
native land to study in the United States. After spending a month in
Chicago, trying to master the English language, he headed where a lot
students from Gabon go to study and continue their English studies:
Grayson County College.
"Grayson was still giving me a chance to work on my English and to
still take some basic classes so after spending 3 semesters at
Grayson, I transferred to Austin College."
The transition from a place he had grown to love, to new
surroundings, wasn't easy.
"You belong to where you grow up and you leave friends and family,
food, everything you have ever known and then you have to go to a new
place where you don't know anybody and you have to emotionally start
His mother, who speaks little English, was just as concerned.
"I was worried but I was joyful at the same time, worried because he
was an only child but at the same time happy because I know he was
going by himself to get a higher education," she says.
He fought through the challenges, earning a degree in international
studies and a minor in communication. Axel says he will now use those
skills at the United Nations. He plans to work with the `Nothing but
Nets' campaign to help combat malaria in African countries, with the
help of the NBA.
It's that opportunity to give back that makes him special, at least
to his mom.
"I am not surprised because I always knew he would do great things
with God's blessing," she says.
At the graduation ceremony, Axel and his senior classmates presented
the university with a check for $51,000. The funds will go to a
scholarship for international students.