Portrait of Janae Young

Janae Young

Criminology and Criminal Justice / Baltimore, MD


What made you decide to enroll at the University of Maryland?
The University of Maryland offered me a number of resources to allow me to reach my full potential. I knew that in order to do my best in college, I would need to lean heavily on a community and people to guide me through these years. UMD not only offered me the best support financially, but also catered to my needs as an individual. Through the various programs I am in, like the Maryland Promise Program, Incentive Awards Program, and FIRE, I am getting the maximum amount of support to do my best. As a sophomore, I already have one year of research experience under my belt and more to come. UMD has a community and clubs that help me feel more connected to my people and a plethora of majors that help me to explore my interests. UMD was my obvious choice.

What major/career path do you plan on pursuing and how did you select that path?
Initially coming to the university, I thought that I wanted to pursue a path in law. After some exploration, I am in the process of changing my major to chemistry and studio art. I want to pursue a path in cosmetic chemistry and eventually work to help formulate hair care, skin care, and makeup that helps cater to overlooked communities in the beauty industry. This path intrigued me because, as an avid consumer of cosmetics, I noticed a lack of options for people that look like me. I have always loved chemistry and I am excited to work in a field that caters to my creative side and academic interests. I am eager to start my new journey and unlock all there is to learn about myself and my career.

Activities I do outside of class or community service/volunteer activities I'm involved with:
Outside of the classroom, I am the vice president if the Black Student Union (BSU). I help to plan and host events. We also do community and high school outreach. Outside of BSU, I am in a program called Best Buddies where I am partnered with someone who has a disability and we work on building friendships and fostering deeper connections to help breakdown stereotypes. I have been a part of Mock Trial, Black Terps Matter, and the NAACP. I plan to continue to branch out and explore new clubs.

Aside from academics, what else do you hope to take away from your time at Maryland?
Aside from academics I hope to build a network in my prospective field and lifelong connections in and out of the programs I am involved in. Beyond my degree, I would like to know that I have people and mentors to look up to and help me navigate the adult world. Also, I want to be able to give back to students here and promote the programs that so graciously helped me go to college.

What are your future goals after graduation?
After graduation I hope to join the workforce and pursue my masters or go to med school for pharmacy. I want to unlock more to my education by looking at graduate school and also holding internships in places that I can see myself working. Eventually, I want to branch off and start my own company and look into mentoring students on the connections of STEM and art.

If you are a returning scholar, what is your favorite part of the Maryland Promise Program?
My favorite part of the Maryland Promise Program is meeting like-minded individuals and having a community backing me every step of the way. Coming in to college, I was nervous of how to navigate building genuine and long-lasting relationships. Maryland Promise not one helped me build those relationships, but so much more. I enjoy the workshops on professional development and leadership. I also enjoy the social and academic resources we are offered like creating a schedule for finals to not be overwhelmed with studying.