30 Grads in 30 Days: Kashima Samuels

Kashima Samuels (photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Name: Kashima Samuels

Age: 21

Major: Psychology; minor in Education

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

UCSC college: Ten

Favorite class or professor and why?

My favorite class here at UCSC was my freshman seminar. It was the first time I was able to discuss race, class, and gender in an academic setting. My instructor, Susan Gorsky, provided multiple opportunities to challenge and improve my writing skills and critical thinking abilities. This class was one of my first college classes and it gave me the tools I needed to be successful in my later college classes. I truly appreciate the class and especially my instructor.

Most memorable experience at UCSC?

I had the opportunity to be part of Colleges Nine and Ten Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans. It was a powerful experience. Most individuals that I have encountered are under the impression that New Orleans is back to normal since Hurricane Katrina hit. Sadly, after almost four years nothing has been done by the government to improve or support Katrina victims. Volunteers are responsible for all change that has taken place in New Orleans. I was blessed to have this learning and life-changing experience. Alternative Spring Break 2009 is my most memorable experience here at UCSC.

Favorite spot on campus and why?

There is a bench at Cowell College that faces the ocean. It is the most beautiful sight to see. Whenever I feel the need to catch a break from the stressful realities of my life, I go there. That bench with that view is my equivalence to tranquility. It is my favorite place on campus, because it reminds me of all my blessings and privileges.

How has UCSC shaped you?

UCSC has played a significant role in shaping the woman that I am today. All of my college experiences have not only provided opportunities to learn more about myself, but have also given me insight on how to improve certain aspects of my life.

What are your future plans?

I ultimately plan on opening my own school and designing a self-esteem camp for young underprivileged girls.

How did you choose your college, and how has your college affected your education?

I have always been interested in anything related to creating positive change. With that said, I decided to choose College Ten because of its social justice and community theme. My College Ten experience made opportunities to learn about different cultural perspectives more tangible. I even had several opportunities to take part in volunteer-based programs geared toward social change.


I am a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. I will be graduating in the top 15 percent of my class. With that said, I have worked really hard throughout my time here at UCSC. I am looking forward to graduating and beginning a new chapter in my life.