Student Story

Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling of Exclusivity with Yasmeen Ibrahim '22

Why did you choose to attend Simmons?

Simmons was not initially my first choice for school. However, after I decided to stay local for college and toured Simmons, I ended up choosing Simmons because of the small, intimate class sizes and the favorable location in the heart of the city, accessible to many advantageous areas. I also loved that I had the opportunity to cross-register at the neighboring Colleges of the Fenway.

What professors have helped you reach your goals?

I’m a business marketing and communications major on the graphic design track. I’m happy to say that I’ve enjoyed working with almost all of the professors I’ve had at Simmons. A few professors in particular that have helped me reach my goals are Professor Aronson, who has helped me create my foundation of necessary skills and perceptions that I have built upon in design. Also, Professor Gans-Boriskin who not only helped me in her classroom, but also has been my advisor and a great person to talk to. I’m also thankful for Professor Kiely in the Department of Art and Music, who gave me a different perspective on color and drawing and created an incredibly comfortable learning environment.

Also, a special thanks to the School of Business for all of their help, especially my business advisor, Professor Shapiro.

My goal is to combine my passion for design and my dedication to my traditions and values to elevate people like me...

What does the Ifill Scholarship mean to you?

After the initial shock of reading the email saying that I was chosen to receive one of the Ifill scholarships, it was exciting to see that my hard work did not go unnoticed. I think it’s easy to overlook your own achievements and underplay them to an audience. It’s a great feeling to know that the people around me have recognized my hard work and commitment to the tasks I’ve completed and have decided to reward me for them. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and plan on following through to the best of my ability.

How do you think students in the Gwen Ifill College will carry on her legacy and impact the world?

Living in a male-dominated, white-dominated world makes it harder for minorities to start their own path and open the door for others like them. I’ve worked alongside amazing students here at Simmons who are out-of-the-box thinkers that have proven their creativity time after time again — regardless of race, religion, and identity. I do not doubt that they will continue to carry this creativity outside of the classroom and into the real world.

My hope is that I can break through the glass ceiling of exclusivity within my future career. Hopefully, it’ll be a little bit easier for future generations of minorities, POCs, and women to follow suit, just as Gwen Ifill was able to do for us and this generation of students.

As you look to the future, how do you hope to connect your passion to a lifelong purpose?

I am a design-oriented individual with a passion for art, fashion, and culture, which initially drew me to study design. I also care greatly about my community and want to continue to shine a positive light on us. My goal is to combine my passion for design and my dedication to my traditions and values to elevate people like me who haven’t felt comfortable in the mainstream designs and styles of the western world. My lifelong purpose is to start that process, be the initial stepping stone to help along that journey, and encourage other people to do the same.

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