Accomplishing big dreams doesn’t always come easy. For Illinois State University graduate student Ngozi Ukweni, these big dreams came when she followed through with her goals and was selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar.
Forbes magazine selects 1,000 high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation to obtain a scholarship to attend its celebrated Forbes Under 30 Summit every year.
Ukweni learned about this scholarship program in February when she found out that one of the key speakers was professional tennis player Serena Williams.
She became more interested in being chosen as one of the Forbes Scholars as time went on. As a result, she completed the application process and submitted an essay about leadership and diversity.
After being selected, she attended the 2019 Detroit event at the end of October. The summit showcased 220 speakers, including entrepreneurs, artists, engineers, musicians, CEOs and representatives from the fashion industry.
Attendees were also given networking opportunities and practical business help along with the informative sessions. These learning and building opportunities included professional headshots, resume reviews and networking connections.
Ukweni’s experience at the summit was one of a kind for her. She notes one of the highlights of the weekend included the address by Williams. On the last day of the summit, participants were involved in a community service event.
Ukweni used this opportunity to load and distribute care packages for boys in the Detroit area. Originally from Nigeria, Ukweni has used her passion and experience in all aspects of her life to help her set goals and accomplish them in an active manner.
“One of my goals is to be a life-long learner and also to make an impact in the education aspect [which] comprises of so many things,” Ukweni said.
For her, it’s also about helping her surrounding communities succeed and creating an impact that she hopes can last for a long time. Her advice and message to students is within the same ballpark that she has for herself.
Ukweni strongly believes in setting goals and accomplishing them with an active plan and a positive mindset while also making a difference.
She also encourages students to evaluate their goals from time to time, especially when it comes to grasping onto big dreams.