6-7s Building Study: Progressive Education

MCS Alumni Spotlight: Najha Zigbi-Johnson '09 and Savio Zigbi-Johnson '13

MCS Alumni Spotlight: Najha Zigbi-Johnson '09 and Savio Zigbi-Johnson '13

Thursday, September 15, 2016

This month's Alumni Spotlight highlights siblings, Najha Zigbi-Johnson '09 and Savio Zigbi-Johnson '13, two young students from MCS' impressive group of recent graduates. The Zigbi-Johnson family has been part of the MCS community since 1999 and their mother, Kolu Zigbi, was the head of the Parents Association from 2008-2010. Najha and Savio's educational pursuits and thirst for travel and adventure are exciting and inspiring.


Najha Zigbi-Johnson is entering her senior year at Guilford College, a Quaker school in Greensboro, North Carolina. Inspired by MCS’ commitment to equity and social justice, Najha has pursued comparative religion and justice and policy studies. Najha studied abroad in Havana, Cuba during the Spring of 2015, and conducted an independent research project on the Afro-Cuban religion, Santería, and its centrality in the Cuban tourist economy. Najha also traveled to Spain this past summer to explore the history of Catholicism and the religious syncretism of Southern Spain. She's excited to begin writing her honors thesis on Santería, the Pan-Atlantic African Diaspora and its intersections with the Black Lives Matter movement.

During her final year at Guilford, Najha will lead a class she co-designed called “Organizing for an Anti-Oppressive Campus: A Popular Education Practicum.” Najha understands her commitment to movement-building has stemmed from her time at MCS and is excited to continue working in the South as a member of Ignite North Carolina and the student-led coalition she co-founded, Integrity for Guilford, to address issues around House Bill 2 (The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act), voter suppression and campus organizing.

Najha interned for the MCS Advancement Office (formerly known as the Development Office) in the Summer of 2012 and the Winter of 2015-2016 school year, and continues to stay active as an alum.


Savio Zigbi-Johnson is a rising senior at George School, a college preparatory school located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Deciding to attend a boarding high school was a difficult choice for Savio, but with all the opportunities and resources available at George, he is glad he did. One of those opportunities is an expansive language-study offering.

Going into freshman year, Savio opted out of Spanish (which he had been learning at MCS) and began taking courses in Chinese. Although difficult at first, his Chinese improved greatly, mainly due to the teaching expertise of his teacher, Lan Cheng. This past summer, Savio traveled to China, ready to use everything he learned.

George School offers annual service learning trips to different countries in order to allow students a chance to give back, as well as receive. This was undoubtedly what happened to Savio. Living with a Chinese host family and working with underprivileged students was a fulfilling experience where connections transcended language and culture.


We are thrilled to share what these two have been up to and can't wait to see what they get involved with in the years to come.