CPE Alumni Spotlight with Omolayo Ojurongbe

Omolayo Ojurongbe was born and raised in Hyattsville, MD. In 2011, Omolayo joined CPE because she was inspired by her older sister, Remi, who is also an alumna of CPE. Additionally, she wanted access to quality education, academic and professional resources, and mentorship.

What’s one memorable moment you have of you and your mentor?

One memorable moment I have with Christine is the first time we met during the ropes course. Even though this was our first introduction and we knew little about each other, I could immediately tell that we were a perfect match. Every obstacle course I faced, Christine was right by my side cheering me on. Little did I know the ropes course was great foreshadowing to our relationship. We were able to establish such a strong bond in a short amount of time and now it’s crazy to think that I’ve known Christine for almost 10 years! 

How did your mentor help you with the college application process?

Christine was extremely instrumental during my college application process. She’s really organized, which was helpful for me because I applied to multiple schools. This helped make the college application process much more seamless. For example, in the beginning of my college process, Christine and I created an excel spreadsheet with all of the schools I was applying to, essential application components, due dates, and essay prompts. Christine also reviewed all of my essays and short answer responses, found numerous scholarships for me to apply to, and one morning she even woke up at 6:30 am to go over one of my college applications. Most importantly, Christine encouraged and supported me every step of the way.

What college did you go to and what career path did you choose?

I attended Boston College and I graduated with a BA in International Studies and a minor in African and African Diaspora Studies in 2019. I’m currently an Administrative Legal Assistant at a law firm. In the next year or two, I plan on enrolling into a PhD program for social policy. I’m personally dedicated to social justice and public policy, which stemmed from witnessing my parents navigate through the U.S immigration system. Moving forward, my personal experiences with social justice and policy has transformed into a passion where I hope to work with marginalized communities who have suffered from human rights violations, including neoliberal education, gender and LGBTQIA+ discrimination, inaccessible health care, voter suppression, police violence, racial/ethnic inequalities, and class disparities.

In what ways has CPE impacted your life?

CPE has had a huge impact in my life and has helped shape the trajectory of my career. CPE not only introduced me to my amazing mentor, but they also instilled useful tools in me such as financial literacy, public speaking, and networking skills through their monthly workshops. I also have CPE to thank for having a major impact on my current career path. CPE’s commitment to education and mentorship has inspired me to work with marginalized communities especially when it pertains to educating the youth. 

What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

In my free time, I love to hang out with my family and friends. Before COVID-19, I enjoyed going out to brunch on the weekends, exploring the city, and listening to live music. However, during the lockdown I’ve enjoyed watching international films and television shows. I love Nollywood films!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Always ask, because the worst they can say is: no”.  Christine gave me this piece of advice years ago and I still live by this motto today. Sometimes the fear of rejection can allow you to miss great opportunities. If you don’t ask or apply yourself, it can stifle your growth. However, once you accept the possibility of rejection or hearing “no”, it’s not as intimidating and can open a world of possibilities.