Derek Layne

  
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Sep 23
Derek is a senior majoring in civil engineering, who aspires to own his own consulting firm in the future! Read more about his aspirations and accomplishments below!
Class Year 
2017
What is your hometown? 
Brooklyn, NY
What is your major/minor(intended)?
Civil Engineering/Construction Management
What are your career aspirations?
I am looking to go into transportation planning but one day I want to start my own consulting firm.
Tell us about an accomplishment you have recently achieved that you are most proud of. 
This year I had the privilege to serve as the Vice President of the National Society of Black Engineers at NYU. This role has allowed me to grow as a leader and take on a great responsibility. I am grateful for the people I got to work with this year from my e-board, to advisers, collaborations with clubs and sponsors. We were able to build back up our chapter membership and create events such as Diversity in the Workplace and our annual Food for Thought potluck dinner. I’m grateful for the community that we built because it taught me how to be selfless, compassionate and responsible.
What inspires you to get up every morning?
Knowing that it’s a new day to gain more knowledge and experience
Who is your hero/shero and why? 
My parents because of the way they have pushed and motivated me to be excellent. They were always tough on me but it was always out of love and wanting the best for their son. My parents always remind me of where they came from (Barbados), what they had to go through and the opportunities that I have provided for me today. They are the two people who have influenced me most in my life and have made who I am today.
If you could have dinner with one person(dead or alive)who would it be and why? 
Nelson Mandela because of his incredible dedication to end apartheid in South Africa. He’s an inspiration to many people across the globe and talking to him would be an honor.

Sindy Sura

  
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Jul 29
Sindy is a rising junior who aspires to use all of her talents to uplift and better the lives of others. Read more about her accomplishments and aspirations below!
Class Year 
2019
What is your hometown? 
Dallas, Texas
What is your major/minor(intended)? 
Business, Education Studies, Anthropology (Minor)
What are your career aspirations?
I want to have fulfillment in what I do, where I better the lives of others. I want others to feel uplifted and provided for. At the same time, I need all my time and efforts and what I have learned and invested to not be in vain. I want all the talents I have to offer to be used fully.
Tell us about an accomplishment you have recently achieved that you are most proud of. 
I received a paid internship at MetLife (Rhode Island) as a Countrywide Underwriting Consultant. At first, I wasn’t receiving anything from back home, so I expanded my options by searching in new regions. I continued getting many rejections, but I finally received this offer right before summer came around. I was literally contemplating about getting a minimum wage job if I didn’t get a paid internship, but I thank Jesus Christ for opening this door to this opportunity. Everything worked out, from the interview process to the living and transportation logistics.
What inspires you to get up every morning? 
I always want to live purposefully, so I think about accomplishing small goals EVERYDAY so that I can be a step closer to what I want to become real. This quote “Don’t let your dreams be dreams” reminds me to do so.
Who is your hero/shero and why? 
MOM! She has always set the example of perseverance. She learned the new language, fixed her immigration status, attended community college, got a better job, and still continues to have dreams. She doesn’t just let these dreams just be dreams; she chases after them despite the obstacles and reminds me that Jesus is on our side. Because of her character, she has always pushed me to become a better me and evens reminds me of who I am when I get lost in what comes my way.
If you could have dinner with one person(dead or alive)who would it be and why? 
JESUS CHRIST! He has all the answers to life’s questions!

Oreoluwa Oloruntoba

  
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Jun 04

Oreoluwa is a rising senior who hopes to become a healthcare executive in the future. Read more about his accomplishments and aspirations below!

Class Year

2018

What is your hometown?

Queens,NY

What is your major/minor(intended)?

Business and Health: Science, Society and Policy

What are your career aspirations?

Future Healthcare Executive/Hospital Administrator

Tell us about an accomplishment you have recently achieved that you are most proud of.

One of my most recent achievement’s has been receiving an opportunity that is directly aligned with my career goals because It allows me to have an chance to really impact the lives of individuals.

What inspires you to get up every morning?

The fact that I have an opportunity to change the lives of individuals everyday in many facets of my life.

Who is your hero/shero and why?

Barack Obama as he’s an individual whom I’ve felt has overcome much adversity to be in a position of power.

If you could have dinner with one person(dead or alive)who would it be and why?

My late friend Justin Zemser who attended the Naval Academy because he was one of the most honest and genuine individuals I’ve ever met in addition to being my mentor and he was one person I felt could answer any question I ever had about life.

Oyemen Ehikhamhen

  
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Apr 02

Oye is a business student with hopes of breaking into the entertainment industry.Read more about her accomplishments and aspirations below!

Class Year

2017

What is your hometown?

Boston, MA

What is your major/minor(intended)?

Business and Health: Science, Society and Policy

What are your career aspirations?

In the future I aspire to continue to grow both professionally and personally. Also, I will create and lead my own enterprise.

Name one accomplishment you have recently achieved that you are most proud of and please explain.

I directed “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage on my university’s main stage. It was important for me to open the doors of the theatre to new narratives. This felt like the perfect story to be told. In addition, I learned more about my leadership and collaboration capabilities.

What inspires you to get up every morning?

Knowing that there is so much more to see and learn from yesterday.

Who is your hero/shero and why?

My parents because I would not be who I have become without them.

If you could have dinner with one person(dead or alive)who would it be and why?

Viola Davis because she is the epitome of Black excellence!

 

Ivonne Pena Alejo

  
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Apr 02

Ivonne is a first year student with aspirations of becoming a physician in the future. Read more about her accomplishments and aspirations.
Class Year
2020
What is your hometown?
Atlanta, Georgia
What is your major/minor(intended)?
Biology and HSSP/Theater
What are your career aspirations?
I believe that life is full of opportunities and a person cannot be passionate about just one thing. I aspire to become a pediatrician, and an entrepreneur. One of my goals is to create my own brand of natural cosmetics. I also hope to found a non-profit organization aimed to help individuals who are visually impaired. I love acting too, so I might become a movie star…who knows!
Name one accomplishment you have recently achieved that you are most proud of and please explain.
I volunteer at WATCH’s Housing Advocacy Clinic, which is a clinic that helps low-income members in the Waltham community with housing issues. The people who come to the clinic seeking for help place their trust in me. They share their stories, financial struggles, and the personal hardships they are facing. To be allowed to be part of someone’s life in this way is a privilege. For this reason, I consider helping those people an accomplishment. I devote my time to provide service for others because it is comforting to be part of a community that cares and works towards the common goal of improving the world. I feel happy when I see people dedicating time to purposeful causes and doing things for the benefit of others. Caring for my community taught me to be selfless, efficient, creative and a good role model by encouraging and performing good deeds.
What inspires you to get up every morning?
When I was thirteen, my family and I left our home in the Dominican Republic to pursue a better life and more opportunities to succeed in the U.S. The sacrifices my family has made inspire me to get up every morning and have the motivation to continue my education. My ultimate goal is to make my family proud and prove that their sacrifices were not made in vain. Although it is not possible for me to ever repay them, I want to give back to them as much as I can.
Who is your hero/shero and why?
My hero is my father and my shero is my mother. My parents’ generosity, compassion, humility and most of all their love towards others inspires me to be better every day. They are fighters, survivors, and people who do not give up, in spite of the obstacles, they use those obstacles to challenge themselves. I learned from them that a life without a challenge or puzzle to solve is like a life without meaning. Without the hardships and the struggles I’ve had in my life, I would not be the person I am today. I would not have learned that life is a bank of knowledge and that I should not give up on the goals that are difficult to achieve but consider them challenges that will aid in my personal growth. My parents are and always will be the foundation of my identity and people whose unconditional love and protection are always present. No matter where I go, my family will always be with me.
If you could have dinner with one person(dead or alive)who would it be and why?
I would have dinner with Nelson Mandela, because I admire his perseverance and bravery. He endured so much to fight for a free society with equal opportunities. I consider him a very wise and revered man from whom I could learn valuable life lessons.