Loras College Alumni Estherjoy (Est) Mungai (’14) Featured In Alumni Podcast Loras. Lakers. Familia.

Loras. Lakers. Familia.

February Duhawk Dozen

Estherjoy (Est) Mungai (’14)
Washington D.C.

For the better part of eight years, Estherjoy (Est) Mungai (’14) has spent her professional career educating and informing young people across the country. From podcasts to written articles, she has been using the full reach of the world wide web and face-to-face conversations to help others. About her use on the internet, Est said ‘we have had to switch to a lot more digital organizing: hosting digital town halls, Twitter storms for different campaigns, creating flyers and posters digitally. It’s been really huge!” After graduating in 2014, Est wasted no time making her mark on the world. Working with AmeriCorps, the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, and now the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Est can trace her drive to help others back to a placement she had through a class at Loras. “I had a mentee in the sixth grade that I met with weekly,” Est started. “One thing that became obvious, even though I came and was a support for the student… a lot of the larger issues that they delt with were outside of their control.” Her work has grown and expanded since then, not only to cover a lot of physical ground in the South, but to educated on countless important topics to the young people of the region.

There’s a very thorough research process that goes into her work and time is key. Not only does she work with local and state officials, community members and councils, but she takes a new approach and strategy into every group of people and project that she works on. All the hard work that Est puts into her job does pay off. “In Charleston, we had pushed for greater transparency and accountability from Police Departments in Charleston,” Est started. “After a long campaign where it failed in city council… a couple months later, we were able to turn that vote around unanimously in our favor and were able to do that again for North Charleston a few years later.” For every victory Est has accomplished, though, there’s always another opportunity around the corner. “We’ve definitely won several victories, but we are on to the next thing.”

Though she never had a chance to play on the newly renovated tennis courts on campus, the courts as they were, and still remain, Est’s favorite spot on campus. With all the fun that came with tennis, one of her most memorable moments comes with a bit of a twist. “My first-year,” Est started with a laugh. “Someone came into my residence hall and threw a water balloon at me. I chased them down and as I chased them down, I broke my foot.” Est and her coach were both ‘stupefied’ but that didn’t stop her success with the program. Between tennis, Black Student Union and her studies, Est found great success with all she did at Loras.

Since graduating, Est continues to live out the notion of Duhawks supporting Duhawks through a love of both Loras and the Los Angeles Lakers. “We used to play pick-up basketball together and the few of us that were Lakers fans stuck close together.” That bond kept Est connected through a Loras Lakers Familia group chat, trips to Los Angeles and more! “The connection is very deep there and it will for the rest of our lives.” Between her classmates, professors, members of the Intercultural Programs Office staff and more; Est’s ties to Loras remain strong eight years after graduation.

Her legacy continues at Loras today through the revitalization of the Black Student Union, and across the country with her work in the field. Est left with a great piece of advice. “What I put in tends to be what I get out. Always give 100-110%, but you have to pick and choose your battles otherwise you’re going to burn out.” 

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