Name: Kyra Turner Zogbekor
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work and Social Research
Working for Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that focuses on child literacy and gender equality in education in Asia and Africa, Kyra Turner Zogbekor, Ph.D. ’13, is based in Tanzania where she is the organization’s Africa region manager for girls’ education. She advises the organization’s strategies throughout Africa and works with a team to develop worldwide program design, content, and professional learning materials that will help support teenage girls.
“When I applied to Bryn Mawr’s doctoral program in social work, I was very direct with what I wanted to do. I wanted to work with nonprofit organizations in Africa to build capacity to relieve educational inequality, so everything I set out to do, I’m doing with Room to Read.”
Kyra was uniquely prepared for this position. After earning a master’s degree in social work, she joined the Peace Corps and spent two years volunteering for a girls’ education and empowerment program in the West African nation of Togo. She is also the co-founder and former executive director of Pathways Togo, a nonprofit organization that advocates for girls’ education rights in the country.
As a doctoral student at Bryn Mawr, Kyra received several awards, including a Fulbright to Ghana, to study how adult education benefits women and their children.
“My full-circle moment happened during my Fulbright trip when I traveled from Ghana back to Togo to visit my old Peace Corps community. I saw one of the girls I had worked with more than 10 years ago, and she remembered me and told me what an impact I had on her. She was in middle school then, and here she was, a university scholar.”
Next up for Kyra is building on the work she’s doing now to facilitate multiple organizations working together to improve education for all children.
“Bryn Mawr allowed me to pursue what I was interested in from the very start. Through my Fulbright, independent study, and dissertation, I found an environment that was incredibly supportive and allowed me to focus on my own personal journey and accomplish exactly what I set out to do.”