Her decision to study medicine is far from surprising. Though she participated in many Girls Inc. programs such as GirlVenture, the Girls Leadership Team, and the Women's History Project, her favorite program was IMPACT (Infant Mortality Public Awareness Campaign for Tennessee), which educates middle and high school students about infant mortality: how to prevent it, and how to share the knowledge they’ve gained with others. Like her approach to kinesiology, Jamiecia enjoyed IMPACT because it was exceedingly hands-on and gave her the chance to travel, speak with others, and get creative in sharing the knowledge she gained with the community. More than anything, Jamiecia feels her participation in Girls Inc. programs prepared her for public speaking: “Girls Inc. definitely prepared me to be comfortable and confident on the stage. In college, I had to speak at events with hundreds of people in the audience. I spoke at an honors event and they were absolutely blown away by my public speaking skills. They asked me where I learned to speak so well and I told them it was because of all the practice I had with Girls Inc. growing up -- giving speeches at the UnBought and UnBossed Awards and other events.”
Jamiecia encourages all young women to pursue their college dreams and take advantage of the freedom and opportunity higher education has to offer. But she also urges against holding on to a perfect image of what college life is supposed to be: “Always embrace the unexpected, and make the best out of it.” Jamiecia also advises young women to be aware of the unexpected costs of college life and suggests having a budget: “Everything is expensive on campus. If you don’t make a budget for the semester, things might not go smoothly. Even a can of soup can cost $4 at the campus store. Learning how to budget, something Girls Inc. teaches to this day, is so important.”
Jamiecia also recommends that all young women seek the life-changing experience of studying abroad while they have the opportunity, but suggests reaching out for scholarship assistance to offset the expense.
By: Lindsey Coe, Girls Inc. intern and graduate student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga