Scholar Stories: Empowered Mayanja Sees No Limits for Herself

Scholar Stories: Empowered Mayanja Sees No Limits for Herself

By Riann English

Continuing the series that began in 2016-17, each Wednesday will highlight a Michigan student-athlete and their academic pursuits. These are our Scholar-Athlete Stories, presented by Absopure.

Track star Theresa Mayanja does it all, not only on the track, but in life.

In her fifth year on the women’s track and field team, Mayanja continues to improve. She threw a career-best 12.80m (42-0) in the shot put at the Tiger Paw Invitational (Feb. 10-11), scored a career-best 3785.00 in the pentathlon at the PNC Lenny Lyles Invitational (Jan, 27-28) and cleared a career-best 1.63m (5-4.25) in the high jump for third place at the Wolverine Invitational (Jan. 7). The diversity being a multi-event athlete provides Mayanja is a recurring motif in her life.

To be a multi-event track and field athlete, you have to love adventure and versatility. Mayanja thrives off of having variety. Whether it’s during the pentathlon, switching sports from gymnastics to track, or using business as a gateway to law, Mayanja refuses to limit herself.

As Mayanja came into her undergraduate career, one of her main goals was focusing on tenets that are important to her life at large, not just her profession. First, she talks about the importance of literacy, specifically financial and legal. Understanding the importance of financial literacy inspired her major in business. In terms of law, Mayanja names three core reasons for her interest in pursuing law: her own well-being, expanding Black presence in the field and becoming an advocate for others.

“Growing up, I always wished there were more examples of Black lawyers set forth for me,” said Mayanja, “and so the fact that I’m now interested and can help expand the Black presence there and become an example for someone else is really big for me. Also with this profession, I can be an advocate for people who can’t help themselves.”

Last year, Mayanja had a stellar scholastic performance, but her academic journey looks different this year as her focus has shifted to attending graduate school. Having completed all the preliminary research, applications and standardized tests, the task of deciding which program is the best fit is at the forefront of her mind.

“I am trying to take a very holistic approach to the decision that I make when it comes to choosing a program for graduate school. The cultural experience that could or couldn’t be provided at either…

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