Brittany Boyd: Tell me about yourself?
Ja’Onna Wilson: I’m born and raised in Brooklyn and currently a junior at Baruch College, studying Marketing Management.
Brittany Boyd: What do you plan on doing with that in the future?
Ja’Onna Wilson: In the future, I want to become a stockbroker. I want to own neighborhoods and half of Disney. I want to teach in Japan for five years and become a self-publisher, as well.
Brittany Boyd: You have some goals lined up! Nice. How were you introduced to YWCA?
Ja’Onna Wilson: By association. My friend was in the YWCA since freshman or sophomore year. Through her, I was able to enter the community during my junior year in high school. I’ve been connected to the Y for four years.
Brittany Boyd: What do you do in your free time?
Ja’Onna Wilson: My free time mainly consists of me going to the computer lab and studying. I also like writing and drawing in between studying and classes.
Brittany Boyd: Who’s inspired and pushed you to get where you are today?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Growing up, it’s been about two or three teachers who have pushed me to become the person I am today. The first teacher was Ms. Norton from my middle school. She taught me to read more and learn more about my African American heritage; to strive to discover more about myself and the world. The second teacher was Mr. Harris, my calculus teacher in high school. He was someone who told me to strive to further my education, go to a prestigious college, to choose a good career. And my brother taught me to become more financially self-sufficient.
Brittany Boyd: What is your spirit animal?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Cats. I grew up with cats. I had a cat for about 16 years, since I was a baby.
Brittany Boyd: Since you’ve been in college, what has been the greatest lesson you’ve learned?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Networking. To defitinitely use college as a tool in the same way students from wealthy backgrounds use it as a tool. Use it to gain connections, expand your network…things like that.
Brittany Boyd: Do you go to office hours and stuff with your professors and take advantage of those types of opportunities?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Absolutely.
Brittany Boyd: Are you in any student unions at your school?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Unfortunately not, but I’m trying to get more involved into the culture of my school this semester. Currently, I’ve just been trying to figure out how to stay on top of my studies.
Brittany Boyd: Balance everything..outside life and school. I can relate to that. OK, what’s some advice you’d give your younger self or an incoming freshman about college?
Ja’Onna Wilson: I’d tell an incoming freshman not to punish themselves so much if they don’t get the grade they thought they would get. Before college, I’d always been very confident in my academic skills. I’ve always been on top of my assignments. I was always a straight A student, sometimes B+. But last semester was the first time I’d ever received a D in any of my classes. I had to teach myself to not be so hard on myself and look at the bigger picture.
Brittany Boyd: Does the thought of graduating make you nervous?
Ja’Onna Wilson: It makes me excited and nervous at the same time. Excited because I’ll actually be able to start my life. Then, I’ll be able to teach abroad by that time. Right now, what I’m waiting for is my degree and then to be certified to teach English as a second language in any country.
Brittany Boyd: Is Japan the only country you want to teach in?
Ja’Onna Wilson: It’s the first country because they pay a lot of money which will help me pay off my student loans. But not only that, I really love Japan – the history, the culture.
Brittany Boyd: Tell me one interesting fact about yourself.
Ja’Onna Wilson: I’ve been writing stories since I was five, way before I even knew how to properly write a sentence.
Brittany Boyd: Do you like to write novels, things that come to your imagination…?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Yes
Brittany Boyd: How many stories do you think you’ve written?
Ja’Onna Wilson: Possibly 20 between now and then. Right now, I’m working on a fantasy novel but I’m just taking my time because there’s a lot that goes into it.
Brittany Boyd: What do you love about yourself? What makes you feel confident?
Ja’Onna Wilson: I like that I’m a curious person and very confident.
Brittany Boyd: If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Ja’Onna Wilson: This person isn’t alive anymore but possibly Mansa Musa from the West African empire. The reason why is because I feel that everything started with him. He was the one who made the world realize there’s a lot of gold in Africa. I would’ve probably done completely different things than what he did.
Brittany Boyd: What is your superpower?
Ja’Onna Wilson: I don’t know what my superpower is but if I could choose one, it would be clairvoyance. The power to know everything about anything.
Brittany Boyd: Fill in the blank. I am on a mission to ________.
Ja’Onna Wilson: I am on a mission to FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY AND TO CREATE THE SECOND BLACK WALL STREET IN AMERICA.
To contribute to Ja’Onna’s educational success, please support her through this college shower registry!