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Kennedy Ndamba to give undergraduate commencement student speech

May 09, 2014
Honors Sports Medicine and Public and Professional Writing major Kennedy Ndamba ’14 has been an influential writing tutor in the Merrimack College Writing Center and presented at the National Writing Center Conference in Tampa, Florida this fall.

Kennedy has been inspired by St. Augustine’s philosophy of “In the company of friends.” It was through this idea in 2012 that Kennedy developed his own personal training business because he too believes that a friend shouldn’t let a friend train alone. That’s why he came up with the idea of Buddy Fitness now known as Kekafit. Kennedy can be followed on multiple social medias by the name Kekafit where he aspires to educate, motivate, and inspire.

How has your 4 years of college been?

“I have been motivated by my struggles to never take failure as an option. During my four years of college I have had to work five different jobs to pay for my education and expenses. Among the many part-time and full-time jobs I have held over the four years, one has indeed made me a better and happier person. It has maximized my capabilities. I have served and continue to serve as a medication administrator for individuals with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. A job that has made me view life differently and to cherish the little that I have. This job has further reinforced my love for the medical field.”

Kennedy has been a Resident Advisor for 3 years, a writing tutor/fellow in the writing center for 3 years, a Personal Trainer in the fitness center for 1 year, a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa: National Leadership Honor Society, a member of the Merrimack varsity soccer team for his first two years of College, and a member of the honors program for four years.

How where you chosen to be the Student Commencement Speaker at graduation?

“Representing my class at graduation was an idea that was engrained in my mind in 2012 when my little brother graduated High School and I was chosen to speak on behalf of our family at a family gathering. After I gave the mini-speech a lot of people applauded and they asked me why I didn’t represent my class during my high school graduation. That was the moment I knew that I had one more chance to represent my class. When the Office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs sent out an email to the members of the Class of 2014 with a GPA of 3.25 or higher, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I quickly crafted the speech and showed it to my mentor Dom Barbieri who has been helping me with writing my memoir for the last two and half years; he was very pleased with my speech. This further reinforced my confidence to go through with proposing the speech after working hand in hand for over a month with the Writing Center to edit and polish the speech.  On April 19, 2014 I proposed my speech, which was reviewed by a committee of students, administrators and faculty members. Luckily I was in the top three finalists and we were asked to deliver our speeches in person before the committee. After the presentation the committee was pleased with the overall quality of my presentation.” 


Kennedy along with his sister Anna Ndamba were the recipient for the Lawrence General Hospital Scholarship and for the Joseph P. Daley Award: Awarded in recognition of outstanding character and unheralded service to the Merrimack Community. Kennedy was also the recipient for the Director’s Award: Given to a member of the Residence life staff for outstanding contributions to the department and impact on the residential student community.

Future Goals

Kennedy will be joining Husson University in Bangor, Maine where he will pursue his doctorate in Physical Therapy. Kennedy affirms, “My short-term goal is finish and publish my personal memoir this summer along with Dom Barbieri. My long-term goal is to establish a health clinic in my native country along with my sister who aspires to be a doctor and my cousin who is studying nursing to help the impoverished people of our nation”

Congratulations to Kennedy Ndamba who was recently selected to deliver his speech he entitled “Triumphs of an African Child,” which is title of his future memoir. Kennedy will be representing the Class of 2014 at Commencement on May 18, 2014. We wish Kennedy the best of luck in his future endeavors.


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    Kennedy Ndamba'14

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