Cameroonian student reflects on move to Madison

Vanessa Kana. (Photo by Meagan Doll)
Vanessa Kana. (Photo by Meagan Doll)

Meagan Doll profiles Vanessa Kana, a student at Madison East High School originally from Cameroon.

Vanessa moved to Madison, Wisconsin in sixth grade. She remembers seeing snow for the first time, and breaking down into tears when faced with an English test on her first day of middle school.

Looking back on her move nearly five years ago, Vanessa reflects on the struggles she faced as one of the only black students and non-native English speakers at her school. She challenges Madison natives to think carefully about how they interact with new community members, and to remember that “we are all humans.”

“Feeling lost in a ‘land of opportunity’: Cameroonian teen Vanessa Kana talks about growing up in Madison,” Cap Times, 7/27/2016