Bachelor of Science in Biology, 2013
"I would most definitely recommend Ashford University to any graduating high school senior."
"My name is Nkemdilim Okwumabua, but everyone calls me Kemi – pronounced like Cammy." This Illinois native graduated from Auburn High School (Rockford, Illinois) in 2009 before enrolling at Ashford University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2013 at the age of 22. In high school, Kemi participated in band, creative and performing arts, volleyball, and track. She also ran for USA Track & Field's Golden Eagles Track club every summer.
Clearly, running is a big part of Kemi's life, so it is not surprising that the main reason she chose to attend Ashford University was the running program. "I knew I wanted to continue running and the coach called me, so I made a visit. The second time I visited, I thought to myself, 'What isn't there to like? I'm close to home, I'll be receiving a scholarship, and it's a small school.'" Kemi is confident she made the right decision. "I would most definitely recommend Ashford University to any graduating high school senior."
In addition to track, Kemi sang in Ashford's Inspirational Choir, was the president of Ashford-Clinton Unity (a dance mentor program), and was the vice president of AU Life (a Christian organization). She also found time to participate in most of the events offered on the Clinton campus. During her sophomore year, Kemi along with some other Clinton campus students, "took a bus to Iowa State to help with the Special Olympics Tennis Clinic. She also participated in events put on by the Student Government Association and Hall Council such as holiday parties, picture booths, prize giveaways, and cook-outs.
Kemi told us that one of the biggest surprises about Ashford was the diversity of the student body. She said that Ashford has "people from all over the world – people from Europe, Africa, Central and South American, and Asia. I came from a diverse high school so I was already very open-minded about other ethnicities, but I was surprised to meet some people who were not. I've learned that many people grow up in places where there is only one race, or places where people don't date outside their own race. Sometimes my new friends would ask me questions that took me by surprise, but I just reminded myself, 'They never saw that, or they didn't know that.'"
Beyond Clinton campus activities and the diverse relationships developed on Ashford's Clinton campus, Kemi appreciated the academics. "The teachers really do care if you understand or not, and they really want to teach you all they know."
When we last spoke, Kemi said she wanted to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy. "I also want to teach some kind of music or dance, and maybe go to the Olympic trials, and hopefully get married. Wherever the Lord takes me will be fine – these are just some of my plans that I think would be nice."