The woman behind the job

The struggle is almost over

Naomi Prasad

Graduation is a bittersweet time during the year. Sweet because seniors get their degrees they have been working so hard for, and bitter because we no longer get to see their lovely faces on campus. All in all, the sweat and tears the seniors experienced comes to an end or is just the tip of the iceberg.

After completing four years here at Union College, Inonge Kasaji will be graduating with a degree in social work. It is only right that her quote for the peanut gallery is, “The struggle is real.”

“I have an internship in Washington DC for the summer so that's exciting... but beyond that, the plan is to get as much experience as I can get before heading off to grad school. The work I want to do doesn't necessarily have a strict path (unlike, for example, a doctor's path, which consists of high school, pre-med, med school, residency, and finally a title), it's more of a multi-faceted thing that can be approached in lots of different ways. Check back in 7 years because by then I hope to be working for the United Nations.” It is clear that Kasaji is not wasting time after graduation.

When asked what she thinks of when Inonge comes to mind, freshman biomedical science major Jolie Nkeshimana simply put it, “Hard working.” Many of us have known Kasaji as being on ASB and always busy doing something, but how has she changed since her freshman year?

“It's funny because if you ask people who knew me in high school whether I was the same or not, they'd tell you that I'm not what they expected me to become but I'm gonna argue that I haven't really changed. I've just grown into myself. The beliefs I had my freshman year are still the same, just more solidified with age and I think that's true of a lot of things. I guess you could say that the biggest way I've "changed" is that I have learned to respect and value myself more and to not tolerate people who will disrespect me cause ain't nobody got time for that. I've learned to have a lot more confidence in myself and my abilities. I'm more sure of who Inonge is as a person.”

Inonge has progressed not only as an individual, but progressed the work around her. She, along with the Senators, have progressed Senate to new levels this year. They were able to accomplish the goals they had this year of providing an open house for a meet and greet for Senators, passing bills, and opening the lines of communication between students, Senators, and administration.

...working on ASB has definitely been an honor and privilege that I will always treasure. I get to work with some of the smartest, most talented, most hardworking, and kindest people on this planet! And I won’t lie, it can be intimidating to be in a room full of greatness, but it definitely teaches you things. For example, being on ASB has taught me that being a leader is more than a just a position, it’s a lifestyle. The minute you’re elected or hired for a position as a student leader, people are looking at you and watching you and to them you’re not just a student leader on Saturday nights, you’re an example 24/7 so you definitely have to be careful about how you come across to people and all that and it’s a really huge responsibility. I would like to amend Peter Parker’s statement and say that ‘with leadership comes great responsibility’.

Naomi is a sophomore studying chemistry and pre-med.