Succeeding as Mother,
Advocate and Professional
I was an undergraduate, so my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I lived in Eagle Heights. Having children while studying at the University was of course stressful
at times, but it afforded me the opportunity to work in the Office of Childcare and Family Resources where I planned and created programs for students, faculty, staff
and parents. This was a very small, but important non-traditional population on campus, that I was glad to not only be a part of, but also support through the work
that I did.
Q: What you are doing professionally in the workforce?
A: I am not currently working professionally, as I am preparing to take the LSAT this June in the hopes of fulfilling my long time dream of attending law school in the
fall of 2019. My previous work experience however, includes working with stakeholders to secure and maintain the assets of a Fortune 500 Company; conducting
various types of investigations (criminal, HR, misconduct); program creation and implementation; event planning; budget management; as well as team leadership.
Q: Generally, do you feel supported as a young professional of color in our community?
A: Yes and No. Yes, to the extent that there are organizations geared toward professionals of color where we can network and socialize. In the general professional
setting, I often times do not feel supported and often am asked to be the spokesperson for African Americans, which is not conducive to an inclusive work
Q: What networks or organizations have you personally and professionally benefited from here in Madison?
A: Right after undergrad I became a member of the Madison Network of Black Professionals (MNBP), and that was a great experience. I connected with and forged
relationships with other professionals of color, which still hold strong today. I am a member of the Madison Area Diversity Roundtable (MADR), which brings
together professionals, mainly of the HR background, to discuss various topics including best practices.
Q: What are some of the other civic engagements you are involved in?
A: I sit on the board of directors for Pathways of Wisconsin, and am a mayoral appointee to the Affirmative Action Commission. In addition, I am always looking for
ways to get involved in the community.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment as a young professional in our community?
A: My proudest accomplishment would be my role in implementing lactation rooms on campus back in 2005.
Q: What current issues affecting our city are important to you and why?
A: The achievement gap in Madison schools. I currently have three children in the school system (freshman, second grader and a kindergartner), and am concerned
with the current gap between African American children and white students. There have been many improvements in the last year including an increase in
graduation rates; however there is still work to be done. Fortunately, having gone through the Madison school system myself, I am able to navigate it and
understand some of the politics of it if you will, but it is still very concerning. Being active in schools and advocating for my children help. However, I have met
many parents who aren’t able to do so due to work schedules or other reasons. We (Madison) need to do a better job sharing resources and programs with all
parents, whether they can attend the PTO meeting, volunteer in the classroom or not.
Q: What advice would you give to young professionals of color who are new to Madison?
A: Network, network, network. MNBP and MADR are great ways to connect with other professionals of color. There are also Groupme and Facebook groups for
those who like Social Media like myself.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of your work and civic activities?
A: I love to cook and entertain! My oldest and youngest sons play soccer, so on the weekends in the spring, you can find me on a soccer field either here in
Madison or Minnesota where my oldest son plays. Next fall, my oldest will be playing soccer for Gonzaga University, so I probably won’t get there as often as I
Nia Trammell is a professional in the legal field.
For many, the college experience is a period of self-discovery and growth. While some of us stressed over
whether we would pass mid-terms, and others were more focused on the highly anticipated house party over the
weekend, April Kigeya was busy balancing the rigors of school and the intricacies of motherhood. Her path as a
student no doubt colored her perspective on life, creating a rich, non-traditional experience. That experience
allowed her to plan and create activities and events that fostered a more inclusive environment for student-
parents on campus.
Part of her accomplishments included playing a key role in the implementation of lactation rooms on her campus
— a simple yet natural accommodation that was absent from the forethought of university officials at the time.
After graduating from college, April went on to work for a Fortune 500 company. But the learning never stops it
seems. Her unyielding instinct and intellect is guiding her to pursue a law degree in the near future. Earning that
distinction, coupled with the background she gained in the private sector, will give her solid footing to become a
great lawyer. Read more about April's journey in this YP Spotlight.
Q: You are a longtime Madisonian. What qualities or attributes about the city has kept you here?
A: Having kids honestly is what has kept my husband and I in Madison. There are a variety of activities and
events geared towards kids and families throughout the year that we like to take advantage of. Madison is also
nice because we are a short drive away from Milwaukee and Chicago where we travel to frequently for
festivals and cultural events.
Q: Where did you attend college? How was your experience?
A: I received my Bachelors Degree from UW-Madison. I didn’t have the traditional undergraduate student
experience in that I didn’t live in the dorms and I didn’t party on campus. My two oldest children were born while