Student Spotlight: Amarachi Olanma Ejiawoko
There are people that light up your day from a distance. That is the effect Amara has on people. She is an ambitious and hard working woman and I am beyond stocked to introduce her to you. Ladies and gentlemen (drum rolls please)...I present..
Amarachi Olanma Ejiawoko
Amara or Achi
Hometown, Country (example: Okigwe, Nigeria)
I claim that I have two hometowns: Spanaway, Washington and Mbaise, Nigeria.
Current Program, level, year in school
Biology major Chemistry minor, Senior, 4th and final year :)
Tell us a little about yourself/ what’s unique about Amara?
Biculturalism has been a very defining aspect of my life. Because I am an American-born Nigerian, I grew up having to live in two different cultures. Home was a totally different atmosphere and world than the outside, especially in social situations. Realizing that I was different from those around me allowed me to mature at a young age because I had to learn to be confident in being an individual. However, my difference has groomed my love for diversity, culture, beauty, and color. I take great pride in who I am because I have come a long way. I like expressing different parts of me, especially through dance. I have been performing Nigerian dances since I was a little girl with my sisters. I am a huge Afrobeats fan, and by physically expressing the music I feel that it allows me to connect with Nigeria, since I did not grow up there.
Why did you choose your school?
My parents actually chose Claflin for me because I received the presidential scholarship through the Alice Carson-Tisdale Honors College, which ultimately allowed me to attend college for free and also provided money for books and a monthly stipend. It was a great deal but I was very reluctant to leave home because I would be schooling on the other side of the country. However, Claflin University is an institution that truly supports their students and provides us with ample opportunities for success. The experiences that I have received while matriculating have been incomparable, and have made me a very competitive and marketable student.
What internships/jobs have you done?
I’ve participated in a number of undergraduate research internships since my freshman year at Claflin University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Alabama. I’ve conducted and presented research on computational chemistry, neuroscience and bipolar disorder, epidemiology, and alternative cancer therapy. Most recently in the summer of 2015, I traveled to Swaziland to conduct research on the Prevalence of HPV and Cervical Cancer among Women. It was a great and memorable cultural experience that allowed me to do something I have been afraid to do: TRAVEL ALONE!
What is/are the highlight (s) of your student life?
Becoming a college student has gifted me the opportunity to truly grow. I’ve grown spiritually, emotionally, and professionally. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be by yourself, and you’re not always going to fit in. Over the past 4 years I have taken time to truly get to know who Amarachi is, what Amarachi wants, and where Amarachi is going (by the Grace of God). That’s another thing. I take pride in the meaning of my name, because if it weren’t for the grace of God, I would not be who I am today. So basically, the highlight of my student life has been being able to look back to my first semester of college and thank God for everything and everyone I have lost, gained, loved, and learned from; for all the work He has done and is still doing in my life.
What do you plan to do after your degree?
After graduating from Claflin University, I will go on to pursue a Masters in Public Health epidemiology. I’ve been accepted into 2 programs so far, but I’m still waiting on 5 more schools. Eek!
What advice do you have for students and young people?
My advice is very simple. Have faith in yourself, but most importantly, trust in God! I live by Jeremiah 29:11. I believe a lot of us struggle with assurance of our future, but our future is controlled by God, so we must believe that He will take care of us.
What three things do you carry with you all the time?
Faith, perseverance, and my cell phone!
You can contact me at Amarachi.firstname.lastname@example.org
And feel free to follow me on social media (YouTube, InstaGram, Tumblr, etc) @AmaraGraces
I hope you enjoyed this feature. Don't forget to send some love to Amara in the comment section below.
Dear Amara, we wish a beautiful and successful life.
Make it a Winning-Day