Oluwatomisin “Tomi” Ladeinde of Milwaukee is studying accounting at Cardinal Stritch University with plans to follow in the footsteps of both her parents and her grandfather. But a career in accounting is not the only goal Tomi is pursuing. She has a greater vision for the ways she can affect the world through her ever-present positive attitude, her appreciation for the opportunities available to her, and her sense of responsibility to share her blessings with those in need.
“I’ve been given so much and it’s my duty to give back to the society that helps me,” said Tomi, a graduate of St. Joan Antida High School in Milwaukee. Sorting donations at the House of Peace, an agency that serves Milwaukee’s homeless and working poor, visiting the elderly at a local nursing home, and taking a spring break Habitat for Humanity trip, Tomi is well acquainted with the needs of the community. She challenges herself to go out of her comfort zone.
A junior, Tomi achieves high grades while immersing herself in campus life. She earned a certificate in diversity studies and is part of the Leadership, Development, Reflection and Service (LDRS) Initiative, a living-learning community for students who are the first in their family to attend college, are students of color, or come from low-income households. She is a founding member and former treasurer of the Hispanic student organization. She is also involved with the Franciscan Servant Scholars (FSS), an education, formation and scholarship program allowing students to integrate their faith with academic and career interests. Additionally, she works as a tour guide and orientation leader. The University honored her with the 2014 Multicultural Image Award recognizing her efforts to create an inclusive, caring community.
Previously an intern at Milwaukee Community Service Corps, she now works as an accounting intern at Northwestern Mutual, “where they know I’m a student but expect professional-level work.” She is grateful for the high expectations the company sets for her and said her professors have prepared her well for these experiences.
“Education is such a lifeline,” Tomi said. “It’s something that can’t ever be taken away. I may not be athletic, I may not be artistic, I may not be a whole lot of other things, but I’m smart. And I’ll take my education and experiences everywhere I go for the rest of my life.”
Tomi is setting an example for her three younger siblings while following a path set by her parents, both college graduates. As an American citizen, her mother envisioned a brighter future for their children, prompting them to move to Wisconsin from Nigeria several years ago.
“I’m forever grateful for the Wisconsin Grant and the scholarships that have helped me,” Tomi said. “I am hard on myself and put a lot of effort into doing well in school because I’m not just working for me, but also doing something good for the people who sponsored me in my journey to get here.”