Each month, the Goodnight Scholars Program highlights a select number of current Goodnight Scholars who represent the program’s highly diverse and involved student cohort. This month, the spotlight focuses on Parkland Magnet High School grad, Jasmine Kamiab ’18.
Goodnight Scholars Program: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jasmine Kamiab: I am from Kernersville, North Carolina. I come from a family of four including my mother, father and fourteen year old sister, Lily. I graduated from Parkland Magnet High School in Winston-Salem, where I was a student during my junior and senior years. While I was at Parkland, I participated in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. This program’s rigorous curriculum, which is followed worldwide, is uniquely designed to give students a well-rounded, global-minded education. My experience in the IB Program, although a difficult one, critically shaped my decision to study at NC State. While in high school, I did well in my higher-level math class, but I also enjoyed researching the social science topics I had chosen for my individual assignments. Service was also a large component of IB, and I found that I really enjoyed volunteering as I continued through the program. With the help of my advisor, I decided to go into civil engineering. We determined that this was the best field of study for me because it could incorporate my skill for mathematical problem-solving with my love of service. With this degree, I can incorporate language, culture, and conflict resolution, all while traveling the world. Currently, I am in my second year of studying civil engineering with a concentration in structures.
Talk about some of your greatest accomplishments thus far at NC State.
Last spring, I went on an Alternative Service Break (ASB) trip to Nicaragua. ASB Trips give students the opportunity to work abroad on service projects during their spring break. The ASB Trip in which I participated worked in conjunction with the Fuller Center to build homes in Las Peñitas, Nicaragua for those who live in unsustainable housing conditions. On my site, I translated for the homeowner, Francisco, and my fellow team members, which allowed me to get to know everyone I was working with better. Although I departed from Nicaragua in what seemed like a short amount of time, I left with great memories and a new experience in which I got to improve my Spanish-speaking skills, learn about the dynamics of successful service, and make lasting friendships at home and abroad.
At the beginning of last summer, I was also a participant in LeaderShape. LeaderShape is a week-long, intensive program that focuses on allowing its participants to develop their leadership skills. This week was a challenging one, as we discussed fragile topics such as racism and classism. However, through this experience, I was able to learn a great deal about myself and what kind of leader I can be. I learned how to successfully, and unsuccessfully, work in a team in order to achieve a common goal. More than anything, I gained the confidence at LeaderShape to know that I can be a leader if I try to accomplish a vision with integrity.
What has your experience in the Goodnight Scholars Program been like thus far?
I’ve been in the Goodnight Scholars Program for a little over a year now and I must say that my experience has been nothing short of incredible. Beyond the obvious financial benefits, the program itself has been extremely influential on my college career. Coming to a university as large NC State from a high school program that never exceeded 50 people was a bit overwhelming. Being part of a community of like-minded people no doubt made my transition into university life much easier. Once I became more comfortable interacting with the other students in the program, the large campus that NC State is began to seem a little bit smaller. Goodnight Scholars programming has also provided me with a much-needed break from my difficult engineering classes. Whenever I have a scheduled event, I always look forward to the chance to be able to expand my mind and immerse myself into a different subject. Whether it be a dinner with notable faculty at NC State, or a STEM Night at the local elementary school, I know that time devoted to Goodnight Scholars programming is going to allow me to grow both socially and professionally. Additionally, the enrichment grant funding that the Goodnight Scholars Program provides has allowed me to have a one-of-a-kind experience outside of the program, which I might not have otherwise been able to experience. Last year, I applied for, and received, a grant to go on the ASB Trip to Nicaragua. The grant that I received made the trip affordable and allowed me to have that life-changing experience.
Coming to a university as large NC State from a high school program that never exceeded 50 people was a bit overwhelming. Being part of a community of like-minded people no doubt made my transition into university life much easier.
What does being a Goodnight Scholar mean to you?
Being a Goodnight Scholar means that I get to be a part of one of the best communities on campus. Every day, I am surrounded by individuals with the same drive and determination that I have, who push me to do my best inside and outside the classroom. Being a Goodnight Scholar means that I get to interact with others who have similar interests as I do, but that we also get to learn from our different experiences. Most of all, it means that I have an incredible community of support around me. I know that if I ever need anything, be it a letter of recommendation, advice or even just someone to lend an ear, I can go to the Goodnight Scholars office and someone will be there.
How has the Goodnight Scholars Program prepared you for life after college?
The Goodnight Scholars Program has provided me with the opportunity to do my best in my professional life after college. The professional programming that I attend makes me aware of potential aspects that employers could be looking for that I would have never considered. Overall, I am more prepared to handle professional life thanks to the Goodnight Scholars Program. In addition, I am also aware of how I should give back. The advice I received from professionals at the Goodnight Scholars events has been priceless, and as I gain my own insight into the professional world, I won’t forget to come back and share my knowledge with others, as it has been shared with me. As our mantra goes, pay it forward. An investment has been made into my education and it is my responsibility to ensure that the benefits of that investment extend as far as possible. No matter where my future takes me, I will always keep this idea in mind.
Speaking of life after college, what are your future career goals and aspirations?
My long term career goal is to one day be able to travel, using my civil engineering degree, in order to contribute to the improvement of infrastructure in towns and cities across the globe. I hope to be able to combine my soon-to-be professional expertise with my passions of service, language and culture in order to be a part of something that makes a positive impact on the world.
My short term professional goals include graduating from NC State University with an internship or co-op experience and, once I graduate, either earning my professional engineering license from a civil engineering company, or working for a construction company. I would like to work for a company that aims to better its local community, since community outreach is very important to me. I would also like to work for a company that strives to be diverse and include people from different backgrounds. I believe that diversity is a wonderful thing and it would be great to work for a company that employs the same kind of thinking.
What advice would give to a new or prospective Goodnight Scholars about being involved at NC State and the Goodnight Scholars Program?
Being an undergraduate in college is a once in a lifetime experience, so you might as well take advantage of every opportunity. Travel and find new opportunities, because at a university as big as NC State, there are surely plenty of new things to explore. Find something that you enjoy, something that you may never have tried before you came to the university. These are the years to discover what you like and what you don’t like, so you can have a better idea about what makes you, you. Before anything else, just make sure to have fun. Your time college is the final big step before you go out into the “real world.” Spend these years enjoying yourself, making new friends, and having experiences that you can carry with you throughout the rest of your life.