Name: Aliou Traore
Hometown: Gagnoa, Ivory Coast
If you want to meet someone who takes full advantage of every opportunity, you should meet Edgewood College senior Aliou Traore.
Take a look at his Eagles’ soccer career, for example. After playing minimal time off the bench in two years at Edgewood College, Traore earned a start in the Eagles second to last regular season game of the year.
All Traore needed was an opportunity. He was able to not only score his first career goal, but the first three of his Eagles career. Traore tallied a hat trick in the first 25 minutes but credited teammates with the performance.
“It felt good as I took it as a challenge. Having the opportunity to start a game was a challenge to show that I can play the game. I love this game and I know I am capable of playing well despite my handicap. I want to say that my teammates also help me scoring those three goals.”
The “handicap” Traore speaks of is his main reason for being in Madison. A native of Gagnoa, Ivory Coast, Traore elaborated on his journey. “My move was due to the fact that my brother who has been in Madison over 15 years found a doctor that could help with my arm here in Madison. But as you can see he was not able to help because the nerves had suffered significant damages which led to the amputation. It was my decision to amputate.” Traore has just one arm after an incident left him paralyzed in his right arm, and he was the one to decide to amputate. A tough decision for any young adult to face, but Traore has not let that stop him from doing the things he loves.
“I am involved with the AAM, and I’ve been accepted to be a board member of the AAM – African Association of Madison." Prior to Edgewood College, Traore spent two years at Madison College. “At MATC I founded a club called the ASA – African Student Association - and was the president for two and a half years.”
Following his time at Madison College, Traore looked to Edgewood College to complete his undergraduate degree. “Edgewood College would accept most of my credit and offered scholarships (including the Transfer Partnership Award, designed especially for transfer students from Madison College and UW System 2-year colleges). If it was not for the scholarships, I don’t think I would have been here. I am also so grateful for the Predolin Scholarship.”
Even as graduation approaches, Traore has developed a strong affinity for his major, Business. “Some of my favorites would be Accounting classes such as Accounting I and II, my Business Capstone, and Fraud and Forensic Accounting.”
Both on the field and in the classroom, Traore has made the most of his opportunities. He’s had a positive impact on those around him here, and after graduation, he’s ready for more of the same.