Current Scholar Spotlight: Kyla Wilson

Kyla Wilson speaking to studentsKyla Wilson has put a lot of thought into her career path. “I always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but I hate science so that didn’t work. As for the law, I like reading, but law just bored me!”

Enter her Uncle Jesse, who provided Kyla with some inspiration.

Her uncle would tell Kyla, who was good at math, that since she was in the fourth grade, she should know her multiplication tables. “He made me work in a composition book every day over the summer.” By the end of the summer, Kyla was hooked, and she knew that arithmetic was going to play a part in her future.

Having decided that math was the subject she wanted to study, Kyla needed to narrow down what, exactly, she wanted to do with her math skills. As a senior at the Dayton Early College Academy (DECA), in Dayton, Ohio, Kyla was able to do an internship with an accounting firm. “I was intrigued by accounting, but I didn’t really understand it. There were a lot of acronyms, and I didn’t know what they were talking about!”

Once she started classes at The Ohio State University, Kyla learned more about accounting and found it to be one of the most challenging things she’s encountered in college. “I actually saw growth in myself though my major, which I like. It wasn’t something that came easily to me. And I’ve also grown as a person because of it.” Now she is majoring in accounting with a minor in information retail studies.

That Kyla is at Ohio State, studying a major that she loves, hadn’t seemed possible a few years ago. “I never really thought about going to college because we didn’t have the means unless I had some type of merit scholarship.” But in her freshman year at DECA, Kyla was recommended and accepted into the Young Scholars Program. While in the Young Scholars Program, Kyla prepared for the Ohio Graduation Test and the ACT exam. She also came to campus during Summer Academy and the Summer Bridge Experience. “It got me into the mind frame that this was what college could be like. You go back to high school and think, ‘This is going to be my life in a couple of years.’”

Kyla is giving back to YSP and to the Scholars following behind her; she is a YSP Ambassador, a Peer Leader and an Academic Success Partner, assisting other Young Scholars in their transition from high school to college and helping them to overcome hurdles similar to ones she faced.

This past summer – her last before graduating from Ohio State – Kyla interned with L-Brands during an internal audit. That internship led to a job offer. In August, degree in hand, Kyla will start working at L-Brands in the Internal Audit department. She then plans to sit for the CPA exam within the next two years, a test that consists of four sections that Kyla says will each take two to three months of studying.

Kyla is grateful for all that YSP has done for her, and the people that she has encountered are ones that she will never lose touch with: “They are like family.” What YSP has done most for Kyla, she says, was to give her a chance not to become “a statistic.” She continues, “Being here [at Ohio State] is beating the odds. Being able to be that one out of the majority and meeting the standards that you’ve set up for yourself. And knowing that others have pre-conceived standards and being able to stand up to those as well.”


Prior Spotlights

Angela Frost Spotlight

Angela Frost Spotlight

Angela Frost always thought she would end up studying law. It is a field, she says, that touches literally every aspect of everyday life. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Sport Management, Angela took two years off from school to re-focus and to make sure that law was the career that she wanted to pursue. Read more on Angela Frost.

Zack Bazile Spotlight

Zack Bazile Spotlight

Growing up, Zack Bazile had always been involved in sports: soccer, football, rugby, baseball, wrestling and swimming. While attending grade school in Teaneck, New Jersey, during the summer, Zack’s mom enrolled him in track camp, a sport that he found he enjoyed very much. However, Zack’s path to becoming a champion long jumper hit a hurdle once he tried out for a track club team and participated in his first meet with the club. Read more on Zack Bazile.

Demetrice Allen Spotlight

Demetrice Allen Spotlight

Demetrice Allen excelled in high school as a gifted debater but coming from a single parent home and attending a Wisconsin high school that was in the bottom tier posed some challenges. “I didn’t have exposure to many different careers, so my background was so crucial to me being where I am today.” Demetrice’s journey to where he is today was one of new interests. Read more on Demetrice Allen.

Nima Dahir Spotlight

Nima Dahir Spotlight

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nima Dahir’s curiosity stemmed from her involvement in service and diversity activities in high school. “I was in the Student Council, was the president of the Interact Club, an organization dedicated to community service, and was a member of groups that focused on increasing understanding of diversity throughout the school,” said Nima. The same passion she had for service translated to her educational studies. Read more on Nima Dahir.

Shelby Newsad Spotlight

Shelby Newsad Spotlight

A love for nature is what inspired Shelby Newsad (pictured on right) to major in biochemistry. “I’m a very curious person at heart who adores nature and the outdoors. I took organic chemistry my sophomore year and fell in love with the illumination of life it brings. Understanding the natural world has always been an interest of mine, but with biochemistry it has become my career,” said Shelby. Read more on Shelby Newsad.

Kenneth White, Jr. Spotlight

Kenneth White, Jr. Spotlight

After graduating in 1995 with a BA in Mathematics from Wayne State University, Kenneth White, Jr. knew that he wanted to continue his education, with the ultimate goal of obtaining a PhD. He had heard that only about 1% of the population has a PhD, and he added, “Being a black male, I wanted a PhD to be a mentor in terms of educational attainment.” Read more on Kenneth White, Jr.

Carlos Mendez Spotlight

Carlos Mendez Spotlight

Born to parents who emigrated from Puerto Rico to America, Carlos Mendez often struggled with his identity and belonging and found himself wondering how to succeed academically and socially. But with the help of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s (ODI) LASER program, Carlos found a place where he can relate to people just like him, and he wasted no time getting involved. Read more on Carlos Mendez.

Da’Quan Knuckles Spotlight

Da’Quan Knuckles Spotlight

Da’Quan Knuckles believes in making a difference. “I just want to give back to my community and to the people who helped me. Without my community and family, I wouldn't be here,” he stated. This past January, Da’Quan was honored for his community work with the “Youth: Capturing the Vision of Dr. King” award presented at the 30th Annual Commemorative Celebration sponsored by the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission. Read more on Da'Quan Knuckles.

Korrie Johnson Spotlight

Korrie Johnson Spotlight

Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Korrie Johnson had plenty of support from family and friends. “I had people who looked like me to serve as role models, give me support and tell me that I was going to do great things.” So when Korrie made the decision to pursue a PhD, he knew that it would be very important for any university he chose to have an active diversity unit. Read more on Korrie Johnson.

Martín Pérez Spotlight

Martín Pérez Spotlight

As a Latino, Martín Pérez understands the issues that many underrepresented students can face and the need for a community of like-minded individuals who want to celebrate and educate others on different ethnicities. As a first-generation college student, Martín also understands the value of an education, a viewpoint, he says, that’s summed up by the Kofi Annan quote, “Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Read more.


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