Freshman year was a very dynamic year in my life because it was filled with so many ups and downs. There were several highlights in my year but my favorites are, one, being part of the Steven and Lauren campaign for Undergraduate Student Government and moving up in the leadership role as the Presentation Coordinator. Two, being elected a member of the executive board for the Somali Student Association as the IT-chair.
During autumn semester, I faced a lot obstacles that not only challenged my views and place in the world but also what I truly wanted to do in the future. With that being said, I have decided to change my major. I am now majoring in Computer and Information Systems.
I am so glad to have met everyone in my scholars group because they influenced me and challenged me in way I never expected. In my application to the scholars program, I wrote down that the reason I wanted to be part of the International Affairs Scholars was because I wish to meet a diverse group of people in not just the racial variety but also of the mind. And I am glad to say that this wish was granted.
My friends and I attended the annual African Youth League Gala. My friend, Suad Osman, was one of the recipients at the gala. It was an amazing experience to see people of the African Diaspora like me embracing our wildly different and unique traditions through our choice of clothes. It was also inspiring to see what my African peers are doing to better and promote the African community.
Earlier this year, I was selected to be a committee representative for the Diversity and Inclusion commitee of the Undergraduate Student Government. This position has given me a lot of opportunities to start and create several hard hitting conversations around campus that fosters the sense of inclusion. Under the new campaign #ENDHATEOSU, I have been able to organize and be part of several diversity discussions like for example, The Israel-Palestine Discussion. In attending this event, I was able to get unbiased information about the issue, have a very meaningful and informed discussion with my peers, and determine new ways in which the problem could be solved.
Hello! My name is Ayobami Balogun, I am a freshman at The Ohio State University who is currently undecided BUT is planning on majoring in Public Health and double minoring in Business and Theater. I fell in love with volunteerism and helping people less priviledged as I am, while I worked and volunteered at several non-profit organizations in downtown Columbus. I first volunteered at a soup kitchen called Faith Mission, it gave me the opportunity to converse with a lot of the people we fed and not just see them as homeless but as dynamic human beings with whom homelessness doesn’t define as a whole. At Planned Parenthood, I worked as a liaison between my fellow peers in high school and Planned Parenthood health professionals with which I taught young girls at inner-city schools about sexual and reproductive health issues. I also served as a neutral, non-judgmental ground in which my fellow peers could safely ask any questions they had. Lastly, I volunteered at the Physician Care Connection Clinic, a free clinic that completely runs on volunteers and tries to provide medical care for underserved patients who can’t afford proper healthcare. I worked as the vision screening liason and I assisted in the free vision screening tests.
Currently as a freshman in college, I serve as a committee representative on the Diversity and Inclusion Commitee of the Undergraduate Student Government and as a general body member of MUNDO and the African Youth League(AYL).
As someone who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, a global-south country, mental-illness was seen as a social taboo and the government has given an abysmal effort in trying to support a change in the public’s perception. As a result, many mentally-ill people are abandoned by their families and left homeless, so in terms of my future goals, I hope to someday work as a spokesperson and creator of a non-profit hospital that treats mentally-ill patients in global-south countries.