Michayla Robles

University of York Postgraduate Award - Political Science

Michayla, a Caribbean-American woman with roots in Atlanta, Memphis, and the British Virgin Islands, graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2018 with a Bachelor's in Political Science with an International Affairs concentration and a minor in African Studies. During her junior year, she received the David L. Boren Scholarship to study Swahili and work at a local NGO in Arusha, Tanzania for 9 months. This experience gave her a greater understanding of both herself and the way that her blackness operates in different contexts all around the world, instilling a commitment to East Africans and the development policies that affect them. Since returning to the United States, Michayla has volunteered for refugee organizations that work with Swahili speaking communities and has continued to grow her Swahili proficiency as a two-time Critical Language Scholar. While at the University of York, Michayla will pursue research in the developmental field, especially as it pertains to Africans and those affected by the diaspora. She is driven by her desire to generate meaningful policy for African countries and is excited to further explore the critical importance of linguistic and cultural knowledge in her life and in sustainable international development work.