Ms. Ashanti Stewart is a former MBHSAA Atlanta Scholarship Awardee.
While at MBHS, Ashanti was also Miss Teen St Thomas and won a CSEC Merit Award for English Language.
In 2022 Ashanti was awarded a New Seasons Youth Program Scholarship.
The interviewer is Howard Jackson.
HJ: Ashanti, congratulations on your acceptance into the New Seasons Youth Program. Can you share with us the name of the school that you are attending, and the degree program will you be purusing?
AS: I am attending the LeMoyne-Owen College which is in Memphis, Tennessee. The course I am studying is Information Technology/Computer Science.
HJ: That is a great choice, and I'm not just saying that because it was my area of study as well!
What have you missed the most since you left Jamaica, and what was the most exciting part of the preparation to move to another country and start university?
AS: I definitely miss the food and family most. The most exciting part was coming to a country that seems to be renowned for many things. I was excited to experience a new culture and new environment
HJ: How has the MBHSAA-ATL Scholarship Program helped you in achieving some of your life goals so far?
AS: I was always a hard working student but there came a time when expenses stood in the way of my education . I didn’t have to fear though, because I knew the MBHS Alumni Atlanta Chapter and their Scholarship program would help me achieve my goals.
My immediate goal at that time at MBHS was to pass my CSEC and CAPE examinations, which I couldn’t do unless I paid to sit the exams . The Alumni association assisted me in that regard and I was able to pass all my exams and even get a merit award for English Language.
HJ: Well we know that your merit award was no small feat, as it was recognition that you placed first in the Caribbean in the subject.
Given the path that you are on, what does Ashanti see herself doing ten years from now, on both a personal and professional level?
AS: Ashanti sees herself working in the Computer Science field . More specifically , the User Experience (UX) Design field creating apps and websites in helping solve real life problems.
This is a new found passion of mine ; understanding the interactions between people and products and helping them solve said issues , as I am empathetic and altruistic by nature.
I also have an affinity for charity work. I intend to hone that gift and use it by creating my own charitable foundation, where I can give back to children and community members. I was given the opportunity to advance in my studies to achieve my career goal, so I see it fit to do the same for others where I can.
HJ: You are now an MBHS alum, and I think its very important for those of us who have been in that space for a while to listen to the views of the younger generation of MBHS graduates. Please give us your thoughts on the role the MBHS alumni community has been playing in supporting the school, and do you have any suggestions on how to improve on what is already being done?
AS: The moment I met Dr. (Maxine) Foster in third form , I knew I became a part of something greater than myself and I am indeed happy to have become a member of the alumni. The members have been nothing but supportive of my journey and stop at nothing to ensure I am getting all the opportunities I deserve.
They hold our school in the highest regard and have been working together assiduously to ensure it becomes a better MBHS each day. The alumni plays a major role in supporting the school .
As for me, seeing the members come together for the good of the students gave me hope that despite the difficulties we faced , they were there to help us. I think they have been doing wonderful work with the school now and trying to get more students to join. With the continued joint effort from everyone, more students will feel included and want to be apart of the movement.
HJ: Ashanti, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. We wish you continued success during your college career and I know you will stay in touch and do great things in the future.