Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Leadership lived: Future doctor loves mentoring new UIS students

University of Illinois Springfield senior Ashley Osuma loves to share the knowledge she’s gained from her four years on campus with incoming freshmen.

Osuma is a peer mentor for the Summer Bridge Program, a two-week on-campus living-learning experience for first-year students who need additional academic support and college preparation.

“As a peer mentor, we counsel students through things they might be going through, help them with their homework and answer any questions they may have,” she said.

During the Summer Bridge Program, Osuma, an O’Fallon, Illinois native, spends several hours each day socializing with the students and helping them prepare for college.

“I love getting the chance to interact with students and pass on wisdom that I may have not had at the time I was a freshman and just give them a different perspective,” she said.

During Fall Semester 2017, Osuma will continue to mentor the Summer Bridge students as a resident assistant (RA) in Lincoln Residence Hall and as a peer mentor for Students Transitioning for Academic Retention (STARS).

“My main important advice for the students is to stay focused on your school work,” she said. “Remember your ultimate goal and what you want to do for yourself and get involved with things that will help you with that goal and keep you focused on it.”

On campus, Osuma is also president of the Tau Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the historian for the Pre-Health Society. She says she’s learned many important lessons from her leadership roles on campus.

“All my experiences have taught me that everyone has different backgrounds and we all see the world through different eyes,” she said. “I also feel to be a good leader you have to know how to be led.”

As a biology major, Osuma is concentrating her studies in the pre-medicine field. Following graduation from UIS, she plans to go to medical school and become a dermatologist.

“I’m glad I chose UIS for all of the great people I’ve met,” she said. “I’ve had a great experience with the campus and love the small class sizes.”

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