Jasmin Ngene, B.S. in Public Policy ‘18, has a schedule that is so full she barely has time to start the countdown to graduation. While she is excited about getting her degree, she is already looking forward to post-graduation plans that will begin almost immediately.
“I’ll be leaving for the Peace Corps on May 31,” said Ngene. “There, I’ll be stationed in Kosovo, where I’ll be teaching English for two years.”
Amid the excitement and hustle that comes with preparing to graduate, Ngene recently took a break to reflect on her time at Georgia State University, her professional goals and aspirations.
Ngene transferred to Georgia State from Georgia Gwinnett College as a sophomore, after also looking at Georgia Tech. “Georgia State just felt right. It had a culture – something that is very important to me and that could bring out my best talents.”
As a transfer student, she was largely unfamiliar with the major that would soon become a substantial part of her life. Ngene admits, “I was a former nursing major and I didn’t really know much about nonprofits.”
She credits a job at a YMCA with changing the direction of her academic career by introducing her to nonprofit management. Eventually, she decided to select nonprofit leadership as her concentration.
She quickly blossomed into a model student of the discipline.
Ngene joined the Georgia State Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) – a national organization that offers training and development opportunities for college students and certification for nonprofit professionals – serving as its community service chair before eventually leading as president for two years.
She expanded her social service experience by traveling to Guatemala for Maymester 2017, where she taught computer skills and English to local students. She also studied gender and sexuality in Ecuador during Spring Break 2017. Also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Ngene promotes service-based activities that promote social change domestically and internationally.
During her interview, Ngene quickly shifted the focus from her achievements to her admiration for her professors, namely John O’Kane, a professor of practice in the Nonprofit Studies Program. She credits O’Kane and other faculty like Andrea Young, daughter of Ambassador Andrew Young for “influencing me to reach for the stars.” Ngene added, “They’re the reason why I love Georgia State!”
She also emphasized the importance of mentorship – specifically how the Andrew Young School empowers students towards success by offering uncomplicated procedures for internships, sound career advisement through Career Services, and great networking opportunities. She notes that her mentorship with NLA advisor Marcia Cross has been the “backbone of my success.”
After her upcoming Peace Corps assignment is completed, Ngene plans on attending graduate school.
Ngene feels her degree from Georgia State “gives one the option to be flexible in the public, charitable or private sectors.” The daughter of Nigerian parents, she says her dream job is to become the first African American female director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Whether Ngene ultimately decides to pursue FEMA or another position, one thing is clear: her commitment to academic scholarship and community service have undoubtedly placed her on a sound path to reaching her goals.