The Amsterdam News spoke with 21-year-old Ruqayyah Sanders, who went from Teaneck High School in New Jersey to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C., about her college experience. Sanders is majoring in biology and is currently studying for the Medical College Admission Test to get into medical school. “It is the deal breaker if I go to medical school or not,” said Sanders.
When asked why she chose North Carolina A&T, one of the reasons Sanders gave is that her grandparents met at the school. Although she was accepted to all of the schools she applied to, North Carolina A&T has granted Sanders the most financial aid.
North Carolina A&T State University is a public, coeducational, historically Black, research university. Sanders mentioned that another reason she is attending that particular university is that she has a lot of family in North Carolina. “Whenever I get sick of staying on campus or in Greensboro, I just take a trip to Raleigh to my uncle’s, aunt’s and cousin’s house,” said Sanders.
Sanders comes from a military family. Her grandfather served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and her father also served in the Air Force.
Asked about her accomplishments in college Sanders explained, “Back in high school, I was very shy, always smiling, and kept to myself. In college, I joined a few clubs. This year, I was elected to be a board member by a Biological Honor Society Club. That was a big accomplishment for me and I broke out of my shell and talked to a lot more people.”
The other clubs she participated in are the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students and Ladies Excellence, which is a business etiquette club. She is also a tutor in math, biology and chemistry.
“I want to open up my own pediatric oncology practice,” said Sanders of her long-term plans. Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. “What I learned in college is that a lot of people in the medical field have to have experience in order to volunteer to work,” said Sanders. “So I want to allow kids in that community to volunteer where I am, knowing that experience is needed. I want to be the foundation for students if they need experience in the medical field. I’ll be there to help.”
Sanders gave future college students the following advice: “If you don’t know what you are doing or majoring in, don’t worry about it. Just go to college. People say college is where you find yourself and I find that to be true. If you don’t know exactly what you’re going into, at least take the initiative to start somewhere.”