‘Success’ Leads Valencia East Campus SGA


Success Ekpenyong gets ready to lead on East Campus.

Isaiah Peters, Contributing Writer

Success isn’t just something everyone wishes to achieve. Success is also a student at Valencia College.

Success Ekpenyong is Valencia’s Nigerian born SGA East Campus President. Success shares his journey from Lagos, Nigeria to Orlando, Florida and how he became President of SGA.

Q: How would you describe your upbringing in Nigeria?

A: “I had the opportunity to grow in a very diverse state in Nigeria, which was Lagos. Nigeria’s population speaks several languages because there are a lot different tribes. A tribe is a group of people who share the same customs and language. In my state of Lagos there are at least five different predominant languages. Lagos is like the NYC of Africa. I grew up in a middle class area, but my parents were low income. My mother was a trader at a market. She sold produce. I went to an upper-class school. My parents highly valued education, so all their money went towards my education,” said Ekpenyong.

Q: How did attending an upper-class school while your family was of lower income effect your self-esteem?

A: “During my childhood, I wouldn’t allow myself to lose my self-esteem over the fact that we were lower class. The fact that my father sacrificed for me gave me confidence. He would take me to hospitals, banks, anywhere that showed professionals. My father worked at the ministry of petroleum. He was junior staff. That environment inspired him to invest in his children,” said Ekpenyong.

Q: What were the main principals you were taught during your childhood that you hold to this day?

“The biggest thing my father taught me was sacrifice for your family. I think I was influenced by everything primarily discipline and self-control,” stated Ekpenyong.

Q: Where did you get the inspiration to run for SGA President?

A: “It all originated from a need to have a positive impact wherever I am. The idea for running for president came while I was sitting in Building 5. I talked to the President of SGA during 2015, Natalie Morales, and I asked what she was doing with her gavel. And Natalie explained to me what it’s like to be an SGA President. I knew that if I had that position I would have the ability to effect people positively and she told me ‘you should give it a try’, and that stuck with me,” shared Ekpenyong.

Q: What are the duties of an SGA President?

A: “The SGA president is responsible for the student body. We represent the students with the school authority. I am responsible in representing each student. Making sure our students are growing and developing. The responsibility to connect with the community and build confidence. I communicate the interests of students to student authority,” stated Ekpenyong.

Q: What is your agenda for your administration?

“My goal is to increase integration, a vibrant student community great campus experience, and great inspiration. I look forward to students scaling the inspirations of students. There are very special students. They need more opportunity, there are some students who are middle grounded and we need to inspire them to look higher. Then we have the students who aren’t motivated at all and we can empower them. We are going to engage as many demographics as possible making sure everyone feels apart of this school, and the possibility to grow,” stated Ekpenyong.