Shamah Okojie remembers being really outgoing in high school. After she first moved to America from Nigeria to take classes at a small college in Utah, she went into what she calls a cocoon.
"It made me not be myself and I got used to that. That became my personality," she says.
Then she transferred to The University of Baltimore, where she felt comfortable getting involved on campus and even became an orientation leader.
"Coming here made me be myself again," she says. "It's just like you forgetting who you were before and then coming here and people remind you, like, 'Oh, no, Shamah, it's OK if you do this. It's OK for you to be this way, that's fine. Just be yourself; that's fine.' I didn't have to act a certain way."
Transferring to UBalt was easier than Shamah expected.
"The international admission office helped me transition smoothly. All I had to do was send my transcript and they were able to transfer me in. I didn't have to worry about anything. I came in on a Wednesday and then on Friday, I got my admission. Saturday, I came for orientation and classes started on Monday."
At UBalt, Shamah is working toward a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Injustices in her native country inspired her path, she says. She wants to pursue a law degree and become a criminal lawyer.
Shamah says UBalt is helping her work toward her goals from classes to campus services. She has appreciated that the Career and Internship Center, for example, is so embedded in the student experience from their first year at UBalt.
"Here, you're preparing for your future. That's what I'm getting from UBalt; they're preparing me for my future. It's part of the process here, growth. There's just so much that they're doing for their students."