Paying It Forward
KSU senior Ambrielle August leads by example
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 21, 2019) — Ambrielle August set a goal for her college experience at Kennesaw State to be fulfilling and memorable, and she has accomplished that by making a difference in many ways on and off campus.
August, a senior majoring in information systems, has held several leadership positions, including as a mentor in the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program, a resident assistant at the Austin Residence Complex, and the vice president for community service and senior vice president in the Nu Pi chapter of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity. She recently was chosen to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit, a conference and networking event for leaders younger than 30.
“I keep myself busy with leadership roles and extracurricular activities so that I can continue to grow mentally and spiritually,” August said. “I try to avoid being complacent, so I take on new challenges to stretch my limits, overcome my fears, and achieve success.”
Being selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar isn’t surprising considering August began learning the importance of leadership at a young age. She credits her parents with setting the example for her to follow.
“My parents have always done their best to provide a better life for me and my siblings, so I work smarter not harder to make my family proud,” August said. “African-American girls need a leader to look up to, so I want to be an inspiration for them – because I am one of them."
August demonstrated that when she volunteered to teach a professionalism course to teenage girls at the Center for Children and Young Adults, a local program that provides a home for youths who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Along with overseeing the session on interview do’s and don’ts, professional attire and resume and cover letter techniques, August took time to listen to the girls’ personal stories and encourage them.
“What motivated me to volunteer with at-risk youth is the fact that not everyone has positive role models in their life like I have,” August said. “If I have the power to pay it forward and be that shining light in someone else's life, then I'll do it in a heartbeat because it just feels natural to me.”
Visiting the Center for Children and Young Adults was one of August’s efforts as Delta Sigma Pi’s vice president of community service, which also has included leading donation drives for hurricane victims and volunteering with senior citizens at Grace Personal Care Home. In addition, she has been active with KSU Housing and Residence Life, first as an advocate for her fellow residents as director of programming for the University Village Community Council and then for two years as a resident assistant at the ARC.
“I feel like all of the things that I've done since I was a freshman at Kennesaw State University have been uniquely different,” August said, “yet they all focus on things that are important to me such as personal development, leadership, community service or technology. I was able to learn from all of these experiences and grow into what I believe I will become.”
Community service projects also have played a vital role in her current internship with the marketing platform company Mailchimp. August volunteered at the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta to build tables for families who were moving out of homelessness and helped paint a mural for the Foundation for Hospital Art to support its art therapy initiative for sick children and elderly patients.
August plans to pursue a career in project management after she graduates in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in information systems and a minor in marketing. She will have left her mark on the Coles College of Business and KSU as a whole, according to associate professor of information systems Dominic Thomas.
“Ambrielle shows courage and initiative,” Thomas said. “She is willing to put herself forward and deal with the setbacks that come from moving into new spaces where she doesn't already know everything. I would love to see more students take a cue from her example.”
August also referenced the word “example” when asked what advice she would give Kennesaw State students about how to be a leader. She attributed the development of her own leadership skills to learning as much as she could from a peer mentor and surrounding herself with leaders who motivated and inspired her.
“I would tell other KSU students to lead by example and be the change that they want to see in the world,” August said. “I've learned that humility goes a long way and it is imperative to treat everyone with respect. Some of the world's greatest leaders were very humble and gracious, which allowed them to be effective role models for their community.”
Photography by David Caselli
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.