We sat down with our resident science expert Aaliyah to share some interesting points in her life with you.

What was your favorite subject in high school?

My favorite subject in high school was math.

What made you choose your college major?

In high school I took my first biology class and I loved learning about how/why things functioned, from cells in our body to diversity in populations. With my interest in science and my love for helping kids, I wanted to pursue a major that would prepare me to work in pediatric healthcare – biology seemed like the perfect path.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? In 10 years?

In 5 years I hope to be close to finishing my education, either in a masters or graduate program, and having a more clear path of what my career will be. I also hope to begin starting a family around that time. In 10 years, I hope to be in a career that I love, and am happy and proud of what I do. I hope to have a good balance between work and family, and to hopefully help and mentor others like me find their own paths.

Where do you most want to travel next?

I would love to travel to Bora Bora or Brazil.

Who has most influenced you in life?

One of my biology professors at Spelman influenced me the most. I took a course with her my freshman year and struggled with all of the adjustments that comes with the first year of college. I kept in touch with her briefly throughout the following years, and then my senior year I had another course with her. I excelled and was able to join her research lab. She remembered where I started freshman year and spoke to me about my growth and my potential. At that time, it was great to have reassurance and to have a full circle moment with a professor I admired and respected. I think of this in moments where I don’t feel I have enough opportunity, or when I’ve made a mistake and need to remind myself that you can always come back from anything and improve beyond measure.

Who do you most look up to in life?

I look up to a number of women in my family. I admire that they have all persevered through different challenges and journeys, but have all remained focused on their goals and happiness. I’m thankful to have so many great women to support me.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to stop second guessing myself so much and just start. Whether it be applying for an internship or starting a new hobby, just do it. There have been opportunities I may have missed because I was hesitant or didn’t fully believe I could do it, but I would never know without at least trying.