Quick Facts

Name: Lydia Onimo

Class of: 2010

Major: Public Health

Current Occupation: Executive Director

Words of Wisdom: It's good to have a general sense of what you would like to do, but don't write your plans in stone.  Keep an open mind and take the time to explore your passions and talents.

Lydia Onimo, Class of 2010Onimo, Lydia - Profile Pic

Founder & Executive Director
The Language & Cultural Leadership Institute

Tell us about yourself.  How did you come to Tulane?
I grew up in Michigan, but I went to New Orleans as a child to visit family.  I've always loved the city and decided to pursue a degree at Tulane University so that I could live here and attend an institution where Public Health is offered as an undergraduate degree.


Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Public Health Studies    2010
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Master of Business Administration, Marketing        2014 anticipated
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA


Present Day

What do you do?
Program design and implementation; student recruitment; marketing; overseeing operations; financial planning; researching, designing, and developing international service opportunities; coordinating and leading international student journeys.

How did you get to where you are today?
I started my organization in 2011 and raised about $50,000 to take a group of talented yet underprivileged high school students on an educational tour of France and Spain.  Since then I have been working to develop the program and I will be leading an international service tour to South Africa next June.

What are some of the pros of your current position or role?
Every day I get to do something that I love.  I also get to travel to different countries, provide youth with a life-changing opportunity, and assist non-profits around the world with securing international volunteers.

Some of the cons?
Leading a start-up is challenging, time consuming, and can be very frustrating.  It's very rewarding; but you have to love what you do if you're going to stay with it for the long run.


Undergraduate Experiences

What did you study at Tulane?
I double majored in Public Health and International Development.

What insights did you have as a college student?
"One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things”
- Henry Miller

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him … We need not wait to see what others do.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

What academic advice would you offer incoming students?
It's good to have a general sense of what you would like to do, but don't write your plans in stone.  Keep an open mind and take the time to explore your passions and talents.  I highly recommend studying abroad.  It's expensive, but well worth it and there are alternate funding sources.  I picked up extra hours at work, sent out letters, and asked for the support of family and friends in order to raise funds for a trip to South Africa.



What was your first job after earning your undergraduate degree?
I was a Math Teacher at Joseph S. Clark High School.

Do you have any other recommendations?
Socialize, but don't go overboard.  It's good to build relationships and networks, but that's not all college is about.  It's also a good time to think and reflect on what YOU (not your parents, family, etc.) want to do and who you want to become.  But again, don't write your plans in stone!  Take the time to discover your passions and talents and adjust your plans accordingly.  

Also apply for all the scholarships/fellowships you can!  The National Scholarship Service provides a book called "The Scholarship Book: The Complete Guide to Private-Sector Scholarships, Grants, and Loans for the Undergraduate."  This is a great book! I found a scholarship in the book that helped me get the funds I needed to finish my degree.


Contact Information


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000