Success Stories

Photograph of Kemi Okwumabua

Kemi Okwumabua

Bachelor of Science in Biology

"My name is Nkemdilim Okwumabua, but everyone calls me Kemi – pronounced like Cammy." This 19-year-old Illinois native graduated from Auburn High School (Rockford, Illinois) in 2009 before enrolling at Ashford University, where she is now pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Biology. 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.'" Two years have passed, and 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 sings in the Inspirational Choir, is the president of Ashford-Clinton Unity (a dance mentor program), and is the vice president of AU Life (a Christian organization). She also finds time to participate in most of the events offered on campus. "Last year we took a bus to Iowa State to help with the Special Olympics Tennis Clinic. We also rent buses to support our sports teams all the time, and Ashford provides lunch and dinner. The Student Government Association and Hall Council always put on a lot of enjoyable events, as well, such as holiday parties, picture booths, prize giveaways, and cook-outs."

Kemi reports that one of the biggest surprises about Ashford was the diversity of the student body. "We have 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 campus activities and the diverse relationships developed on Ashford's campus, Kemi appreciates the academics. "The teachers really do care if you understand or not, and they really want to teach you all they know."

After graduation, Kemi plans 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."