Noella Mpinga 20

Noella Mpinga ’20 is the youngest of six children who all attended college. So when it came time for her to choose a college, finances definitely factored into her decision. But she chose Ithaca College over the Rochester Institute of Technology, even though RIT offered her more money. The writing for film, TV, and emerging media program at Ithaca College and the faculty are what sold her on IC. 

“I absolutely made the right decision,” she says. “I like how student oriented this school is.” 

Mpinga was able to come to IC thanks to the Flora Brown Award for incoming students and financial aid. Because of her involvement across campus in her first year, Mpinga was awarded the William Bingham Foundation Endowed Scholarship, which is given to outstanding students with financial need who exhibit outstanding leadership and involvement in the Ithaca College community. Jaymi Feeney ’13 is a foundation officer and her mother, Robin Blossom, is president of the foundation board.

To say Mpinga is “involved” is an understatement. She has been active with the Residence Hall Association since her first year, and she became a resident assistant her sophomore year. She is a student justice for the Office of Judicial Affairs, and this spring she was a volunteer coordinator for Ithacon, supervising 80 volunteers at the annual comic book convention.  

“If I didn’t receive these scholarships, I don’t know how my parents would be able to afford it,” she says. 

Mpinga’s parents are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, where Mpinga herself was born. She moved with her family to Syracuse when she was six. She spoke no English at the time, and now she’s a screenwriter.  

“I want to tell stories and inspire another generation of writers,” she says. She also wants people to know about the ripple effect that philanthropy can have and wants to create a foundation for other students to attend college. “Other people will benefit from what we are doing,” she says.