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Illinois State student selected to attend Forbes summit

headshot of Chinyere

Chinyere "Chinny" Francis

Chinyere “Chinny” Francis, a graduate student in the School of Communication, was chosen by Forbes magazine to attend the “30 Under 30” Scholars’ Summit. Along with 1,000 other students from around the country, Francis will attend the summit to be held in Detroit, Michigan, during the weekend of October 27.

“I am extremely happy and excited to have been selected,” said Francis. “I never thought that something like this could happen to me.”

Francis hails from Nigeria, but she currently calls Bloomington-Normal home while she studies rhetoric and intercultural communication at Illinois State University. Professor Joseph Zompetti, who serves as her advisor, noted “Chinny is an amazing woman and student who completely deserves this opportunity. She is an excellent example of what we hope our students will become.”

In her application for the award, Francis had to submit a written statement that described how she signifies the principles of leadership and innovation that are the pillars of the “30 Under 30” program. Francis wrote that as a child from a small Nigerian town, she and other students had limited access to magazines and books, but she could read back-issues of Forbes magazine.

Forbes connected me to the rest of the world,” said Francis. “As terrific as that was, there were no people that looked like me, or who came from Nigeria, in the pages of the magazine.” Things have come full circle, she said. “Now I can be a visual representative and role model for young women of color or for other Nigerians who aspire to study in America or who want to be successful.”