By Jeff Miller
Special to The Texas Catholic
Ursuline Academy’s Eniola Egedigwe has plenty of drive, literally and figuratively.
The 18-year-old senior was typically out the door on school days at 6 a.m. to make the trek to Walnut Hill Drive from her family’s home in Forney in Kaufman County. “It’s usually an hour’s drive,” Egedigwe said. “Without traffic, maybe 30, 40 minutes.”
Once on campus, Egedigwe excelled in the classroom and stood out in other aspects of school life. She served as president of the student body as a senior after being class representative as a freshman and sophomore and student body vice-president in 2021-22. She earned the Top Student Award for Matt Lepley’s Science Class — anatomy and physiology (three classes worth) — and was chosen by her classmates as having the “Most Leadership” in the senior superlatives. Egedigwe was among 204 Ursuline seniors who graduated on May 21.
“Her faith drives everything she does,” said Lepley, dean of the senior class. “She is kind, joyful, fun, thoughtful, diligent and filled with gratitude.
“Eniola is nothing short of incredible. She is one of the most prepared students, day in and day out, that I have taught in my 17 years at Ursuline.”
Egedigwe’s parents emigrated from England. Her father, Dr. Eges Egedigwe, teaches neuroscience at Dallas College’s Eastfield campus. Her mother, Amae, is a pediatric nurse in Arlington. She has one sibling; younger brother Omah is a sophomore at Cistercian.
Eniola, not coincidentally, plans to major in neuroscience at Northwestern University beginning this September with the goal of attending med school to become a pediatrician.
“If I don’t do that, I’ll get a PhD. and teach like my dad,” she said.
Egedigwe attended elementary school at St. Pius X Catholic School in Dallas, where the family remains parishioners, with plans to attend high school at nearby Bishop Lynch.
“Like all of my friends,” she recalled.
That was before she participated in Ursuline’s then shadow program, during which she followed a student through a school day.
Her student guide said, “I see you here.” And Egedigwe agreed.
Work ethic was established early on at home.
“It’s been ingrained in me since I was little,” she said. “On weekends, before any play, do some work.”
Many of the duties of student body president came early in the school year dealt with helping first-time students acclimate, such as organizing the orientation session known as Frosh Fest and teaching them school lingo.
Egedigwe discovered on her visit to Northwestern’s campus just north of Chicago in mid-April that she wasn’t quite as ready for college there as she assumed.
“It was snowing,” she said, the shock still in her voice, “and I was not prepared for it. They said, ‘You need a better coat.’ That’s something I’ve got to add to my packing list.”