Toyo Aboderin has far-flung interests and origins, from educating students about Africa, where her parents were born, to fighting the corrupted perceptions of beauty that affect women and men every day, to volunteering at an area pre-school and her church.
“This year I was able to start a club called Redefining Beauty,” said Aboderin, “which means the world to me and is truly needed on our campus. The club serves to gradually change societal perceptions of beauty beginning with Stockton College’s community. We help our members realize that true beauty is actually found on the inside rather than in the physical appearance of a person.
“We have had weekly meetings since the beginning of September and have collaborated with two other organizations for programs this semester: ‘Guy Code vs. Girl’, ‘The ‘Perfect’ Match’, and ‘Let’s Get Real.’ I hope to see Redefining Beauty only grow from here,” she said.
Aboderin, a sophomore majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations, is minoring in Africana Studies.” I would love to see Africana Studies become a major,” she said.
She’s the president of the African Student Organization, which serves to culturally, historically, economically, and politically educate members about Africa. She’s also a member of the Highest Praise Gospel Choir, the Unified Black Students Society and the NAACP chapter on campus.
Her parents are originally from Nigeria, and her mother is a Stockton alumna.
“I am so beyond thankful for my mom and my dad for being so supportive from day one,” she said. “Even when I decided to switch my major from Biology with a concentration in Physical Therapy to Communications, they stood right by my side.”
Aboderin serves as a resident assistant in Housing 2, working with freshmen. She is also the public relations officer of H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel.)
“As far as hobbies, I play the piano and guitar, sing in my church choir, and I also volunteer at Barbarito & Beyers Preschool in Mays Landing, NJ as well as at my church, where I serve as a 9th and 10th grade teacher and a nursery worker,” she said. For five years she spent her summers teaching kids ages 1- 16 years old Bible stories, verses and songs, and playing games with them.
“I look up to my preceptor, Associate Professor of Communications Donnetrice Allison, as one of my inspirations,” said Aboderin. “She encourages me to do nothing less than my best and is one of the few people I know who truly believes in me.” She is also a recipient of the Adelaide Hollander Scholarship from the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation.
“My dream is to one day be an inspirational speaker to help advocate for those affected by bullying,” Aboderin said, “and to also own a not-for-profit organization that helps society branch away from our corrupted definition of beauty.”