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Q&A with Accelerate graduate Jolade Oshinkalu, who will attend Providence College

The Accelerate Program offers Providence high school students an enhanced senior year experience that allows students to jump-start their postsecondary career while completing their high school requirements. Students who successfully complete the program can earn up to 24 college credits at no cost of enrollment for the student or family. 

My name is Jolade Oshinkanlu. I am an immigrant who came into the U.S. for a better life, good education, and opportunities for my future. My journey has been very hard, but it challenged me into becoming a strong woman of color who strives hard to do her best at everything. I remember several times that I was at the point of giving up, but being able to get up every morning to do my best and make my family proud every time I achieved something great kept me going. I am proud of who I am and where I came from because without the challenges I faced, I wouldn’t have become capable of doing many things, discovering my passions, and be where I am today. 

Why did you decide to join the Accelerate Program? 

I decided to join the Accelerate Program to challenge myself into doing something I have not experienced before. At first, I was scared that I would fail because of the way the program was described to me but then I remembered my mom said, “You never know what you can do unless you give it a try.” This is why I joined the program. 

Please share a memorable moment you have in the Accelerate Program. 

One memorable moment I have in the Accelerate Program is that one of my professors made everyone join different group of people to work together on a project. It was through that project I made friends with amazing people. We decided to hang out in person and had a wonderful experience together. 

What role did College Success Coach Heckerly Flores play in your success? 

Miss Heckerly played a big role in my success. She connected me to different opportunities, never failed to check up on me, and gave me advice that helped me to be here today. 

What are you most looking forward to in your first year of college? 

I am looking forward to discovering new things about myself. I want to try different activities I wasn’t given the opportunity to do because of Covid such as dancing, running, and creating programs for people etc. I also want to meet people coming from different places so that we can share our ideas together and create many wonderful things. 

What challenges are you anticipating in the years ahead? 

Some challenges I am anticipating in the years ahead are being in a new environment without people that I am used to being around with, doing many things by myself as an adult, and making sure that I have good time management. 

What words of advice do you have for the next group of Accelerate seniors (Class of 2022)? 

You can do this! It might feel like you should give up and just stop but I promise you that at the end, it will be worth it and not just for your family, but for yourself. Keep on going for your future dreams and never think that you are alone because there are people who will be there for you and great resources that can help a lot.