Edna Thecla Akimana emigrated from Bujumbura, Burundi, in East Africa, to Portland, Maine, at the age of 19. She writes to advocate for other youth and helps reveal the perspective as a young adult female/immigrant living alone in the United States. Writing is the tool that helps Akimana raise awareness about the experience of youth and immigrants. She reflects on these themes on her blog, Imprint on My Heart.

Akimana is a champion for feminism, and female advancement and improvement. After her experience as an asylum seeker, she feels the obligation to advocate for other young people at school, work and in the community. So many immigrant children are being mistreated. As a young adult female, it is Akimana feels an obligation to bring to the table the issues surrounding young immigrant people, especially females, including discrimination, racism, rape, sex-trafficking and more. The wounds sustained by youth from facing all these issues will be healed if we stand up for each other, hand in hand. We are the future.

Akimana studies neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She plans on becoming a physician in addition to an international activist.


Be the Ambassador

by Edna Thecla Akimana

To all my young writers and leaders, do not stop your work. Hard work never killed anyone, and at the end, it is worthy. Use your voice, use your writing. You don’t have to be an expert but you can become one. Strive to succeed and make those around you aware that each voice matters. Be the Ambassador, everywhere.