STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Get acquainted with and inspired by these upstanding undergrads | Laila Kabongi

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Laila Kabongi is a senior at ASU earning her degree in health sciences. Kabongi is Vice President of Services for the student body on ASU’s Downtown campus. As a STEM student of color, Kabongi feels that in this position, she can help to better influence the student body and be an effective advocate for her fellow STEM students of color. Kabongi noticed that minorities on campus were often overlooked, and she sought to change that.

Kabongi is also involved with the Black Medical Students Association, which promotes POC in STEM.

In addition, Kabongi participates in a summer school program to help high school students from disadvantaged schools achieve great things through ASU’s Barrett Honors College.

Learn more about Laila Kabongi below.

What is your favorite part about your school?

My favorite thing about ASU is how much they are willing to work with students. I also think they do a good job of diversifying their resources. I really appreciate that. I think, given the scale of the university, they are doing an excellent job of providing resources like internships, job prep, access to graduate school testing, fee waivers and partnerships with other programs. They really do a good job of using the community well.

If you could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of my life it would probably be Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. I basically eat it every morning anyway.

What’s your favorite book?

It’s not really a book, as much as it is a book of poems, but my favorite book is Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I really like poetry and when I was younger, it really spoke to me. Reading it as an adult, I’ve found it has some great hidden gems about adulthood. It really bridges the gap between childhood and adulthood.

What annoys you the most?

What annoys me the most is ignorance. Like, when people are willingly ignorant and refuse to see the other side of things. When they know they could learn more and understand something better, but they choose not to.

What is your go-to show for Netflix binge-watching?

Law and Order SVU is the greatest show ever. Gilmore Girls is a close second.

If your life was a book, what would it be called?

If my life was a book, it would be called Probably Stressed, A Little Depressed, and Always Overdressed.

What’s No. 1 on your bucket list?

You know Beyoncé? I’ve always had a love for Beyoncé. I have to meet her. Or be at least 10 feet from her.

What college advice do you have for incoming freshmen?

Take it one step at a time. Oftentimes when you come right out of high school and into college, you have this plan that you’re going to go to school for four years and then get a job, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Students start college and they fumble, they fail a class, and things might take longer than you originally thought. Everything takes time, but if you really want something, you have to be patient. If college doesn’t go the way you thought, it’s OK. Also, make sure to take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. Self-care is really important.

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