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Two Drew Students Named Rising Stars by New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chekwube Okunowo C’24 and Kareena Salvi C’23 recognized for their passion, dedication
September 2022 – Two Drew students receive Rising Star Awards from the New Jersey Business Association (NJBIA).
Chekwube Okunowo C’24 and Kareena Salvi C’23 were two of five college students selected by NJBIA who “demonstrated a passion for their career paths, academic success, and commitment to community volunteering throughout their undergraduate careers,” according to NJBIA .
The students were honored in person earlier this month at the 8th Annual New Jersey Women in Business Leaders Forum in Atlantic City.
“This award is very special to me because it shows me that my work and contributions are being seen and recognized in the Drew community, the American community and even my Nigerian community,” said Okunowo, majoring in international relations and economics Say. Law, justice and society double minor.
“This recognition shows my strong will to grow up and to be a role model for not giving up on your dreams and ambitions for the future,” added Salvi, a political science major and Spanish, dance, law, justice and society Dao triple minor. “Receiving this award has helped me look back on the real inner spark that was ignited when I pursued my passion to advocate for underrepresented voices.”
Both students reflect on how Drew has prepared them for their futures and, unsurprisingly, both want to be leaders and change-makers.
Okunowo plans to pursue a career in foreign service after earning a law degree or a master’s degree in foreign service and gaining experience working with NGOs and human rights advocacy groups. She used Drew’s New York semester at the United Nations as a springboard.
“The UN program was one of those opportunities that gave me the transferable skills and knowledge I needed to achieve my goals,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot about the UN and the diplomatic service community from Carlos Yordan. [associate professor of international relations and director of the New York Semester on the United Nations] and guest speakers, including diplomats. “
She added, “Drew—through programs, organizations, professors, and community—has provided so many opportunities for institutions that have helped me grow and learn. Through this opportunity to work with NJBIA, I hope to meet a great group of leaders, They will help me further my path towards achieving my personal, academic and professional goals.”
Salvi plans to pursue a master’s and doctorate in political science with a focus on racial politics in the United States. Afterwards, she hopes to work for an NGO or a civic/human rights advocacy group similar to the Sikh Coalition.
“My Drew experience helped me achieve my goals through programs such as the United Semester and shortTREC Barcelona,” she said.
“I also served as student council president and served on the Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee — all experiences that helped me get into spaces and networks that helped me achieve my ambitions. Drew’s experience provided me with the opportunity and the space to make I finally make decisions about my future and create a path for the Kareena I want to define, be and look up to.”