As a little girl growing up in The Ivory Coast in West Africa, Yasmine’s Ouattara’s dad always told her she would attend college in the United States. At 17 years old, excited but slightly fearful, Yasmine moved to the U.S. full of dreams, ready for new adventures, and eager to learn.
While finishing her last year of high school, her aunt and uncle encouraged her to consider Central Piedmont. After some extensive research, and support from an education advisor at the US embassy in West Africa, Yasmine applied and never looked back. As Yasmine is counting down the days to graduation, she speaks fondly of her experience at Central Piedmont, which ultimately proved to be the right decision.
“I received incredible support from my instructors as well as my clubs and program advisors. They believed in me when I was doubting myself. They provided me guidance when I needed it the most.”
Not only is she involved as a peer mentor, Yasmine served as vice president of the Global Student Association, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, is a member of Model United Nations, and is involved with the North Carolina Scholar Global Distinction Program.
Yasmine was awarded a scholarship from the Central Piedmont Foundation as a Student Ambassador, which was invaluable as an international student facing out-of-state tuition. She was also named a Ruth G. Shaw Scholar and a Peer Mentor Scholar recipient. These financial aid opportunities opened some unexpected doors. “My scholarships not only helped me reduce the financial burden of my education, but also provided me with personal and leadership development, networking opportunities, and incredible support from my program advisors,” Yasmine said.
Yasmine will receive her Associate in Arts degree in Business Administration this May and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance at Queens University of Charlotte starting next fall. Yasmine has been selected as the 2020 Presidential Scholar at Queens, which covers full tuition for four years, and is interested in pursuing a career in investments and capital management.
What’s her advice to future graduates? “At Central Piedmont you will always have people to help you. You will always have people ready to listen to you no matter what your struggles are, but you have to find those people. Get involved, and open yourself up.”
Yasmine is walking into her future more confident than she’s ever been, knowing she is capable of achieving her dreams. Congratulations on your success, Yasmine! You did it!