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Jamia is the first of five STL | LIFT student leaders that you will get to know this month. I chose to interview each of the student leaders in a similar fashion — asking them questions about what they wanted to be when they were younger, what they want to be now, and how they intend to reach those goals.

I realized early on that an easier question to ask Jamia would have been "What didn't you want to be when you were younger?" instead of the opposite. Among her shifts from teacher to doctor and everything in between, a businesswoman is what has endured the test of time.

She smiles as she recalls her childhood; where peppermint tea doubled as coffee and her kitchen doubled as her conference room. Yes, HER conference room. She was running the show as she intently and aggressively typed away on the computer keyboard.

She desired to lead then, she fiercely leads now, and she aspires to continue to lead. She invests in that dream by taking her education seriously, surrounding herself with positive people, and seizing opportunities for growth and development through support programs like STL | LIFT.

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