Since childhood, Akylai Davletova’s dream was to study abroad. However, growing up in the male-dominated Kyrgyz culture, where building a family is valued over choosing a career path, Davletova struggled in her pursuit of higher education.
But she persisted and started her journey abroad at age 9. That is when she left Kyrgyzstan to live with a host family to compete in an international dance competition in Turkey. It was there that she kindled her interest in travel and higher learning.
At 16, she enrolled in an exchange program and lived with a host family in Wisconsin, where she graduated from high school. Davletova, who speaks four languages, enrolled in USF and is a junior majoring in finance.
At USF, Davletova is an equity research associate in the Student Investment Club where she creates financial reports and analyzes market research to recommend the stock portfolio. She has learned how to balance work, school, and life responsibilities. She maintains a GPA of 3.92 while working part-time jobs at the Academic Success Center and Housing Services at USF.
In her spare time, she helps new international students who are studying abroad from Kyrgyzstan adjust to campus life.
She is also a communications intern at the USF Muma College of Business. She works as an intern on the college’s communications and marketing team and was appointed as a campaign lead.
Coming from a large family with six siblings, she is a first-generation college student at USF. With her family’s support, she made her dream come true.