My name is Jasmine. I’m a senior at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, CA. Majoring in Computer Science, minoring in Mathematics. Applying to graduate schools as i’m typing this (:. I’m applying to five schools:

1. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)

2. Florida International University (Miami, FL)

3. Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)

4. University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)

5. Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA)

I’m a full-time student, part time worker and researcher (I work for Social Security), and most times I find myself not being able to juggle everything. I’m the baby of my family (I have one older brother). I’m the first granddaughter on my mothers side of the family to receive a high school diploma (and hopefully) will be the first grandchild (on both sides) to receive a bachelors degree. Just thinking about those last two statements give me anxiety attacks because I feel like i’m on a pedestal. Graduated from Berkeley High in 2002 (yes i’m graduating college after being an undergrad for seven years). I’m torn when deciding my top choice. I feel that the best place for me academically would be Georgia Tech because their Information Security program is exactly what I want to do, but i’m lured by the glamorous life of Miami (hey I always wanted to live by the beach!).

I come from a musical family, my oldest aunt played the piano. My dad plays the bass, my uncle and other aunt play the organ and piano, so naturally music was easy for me. I played the clarinet while in elementary and middle school. I had to give this up due to a sex offender moving to my neighborhood, and my parents didn’t feel safe about me leaving the house at 7am. I was heartbroken to say the least. I went through a rebellious stage in the later years of middle school and early years of high school. I was almost expelled from high due to excessive abscences. I felt the need to fit in and be accepted amongst my peers. I had one truancy officer predict that I was going to drop out by the 11th grade due to pregnancy (by the way this didn’t happen). In 10th grade I developed new friends and started doing better in school, and graduated on time. After graduating from high school I went to Vista Community College (now known as Berkeley City College) then transferred to Laney College in Oakland to finish my pre-req’s.

I transferred to Cal State East Bay on a fluke. While at community college my top school was New Jersey Institute of Technology. I applied and was admitted to the school, but since I didn’t have any money, or scholarships I couldn’t go. The school offered me 8k when it was 25k to go. So I applied to Cal State East Bay and Cal State Sacramento, my plan was that whichever school accepted me first was the school that I was going to go to. Well needless to say East Bay extended their offer first. The day I mailed my letter of intent to East Bay was the same day I received the acceptance letter from Sac State.

When I transferred to East Bay I was naive. I thought that I was going to breeze through the classes and get my degree. The first quarter at East Bay I had to repeat a mathematics course-Discrete Mathematics because I received a D at Laney. I told my new teacher how I was repeating the course over and when I told him the teachers name he was like, “Oh Dr. Hubbert is a friend of mine. He’s an excellent professor.” And from that day on he tried to humilate  me in every class period. I was on the verge of giving up and dropping his class, but I told myself that I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. I stayed in the course and received an A-. Needless to say I learned my lesson and never took another class with him again.

My dream job would be to work in the United Nations International Telecommunications Development Union (ITU-D) to find solutions to global network security. This would be the perfect job for me because I love technology plus I love traveling to new places and meeting new people. During the second yeat at Hayward I was toying with the idea of studying abroad in Ghana or joining the Peace Corps, but I decided against it when I realized that I had to stay in school for another year. Don’t worry guys, i’m working on this goal! (:

I’m excited about being a McNair Scholar, even though I find little time to do my research. I’m somewhat nervous about the winter symposium due to the little work that I have done in my research. I’m grateful for the knowledge that I received through McNair. Before doing McNair, my goal was to graduate college and work in the computer science industry. After being in McNair I realized that I want to receive my doctorate in computer science. I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t matter how one starts their race, but rather how they finish.  I want to be that example to students mainly students of color and women. I want to show them that they can defy all odds and obstacles in their way as long as they believe in themselves and remain humble.

Well i’m going to sign off and start studying for my midterms tomorrow and do a personal statement for a fellowship.

Until the next time,



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