Introducing our Better Make Room Student Advisory Board Member — Mina Yakubu!

By: Mina Yakubu, Senior at New Hanover High School

A scene set in movies, dazzling in its prestige, the White House was within my reach. I was walking into the building as a Better Make Room Advisory Board Member to attend the last event in the White House by Former First Lady Michelle Obama. My expectations were surpassed, as I stopped to take in reality. From my first steps into the White House, I caught sight of prominent leaders within their respective fields. At this moment, my fear of exclusion and division disappeared. This House was not a fantasized wonderland, but it was the home of the American people. A home of history and unity. Beyond all, it was home because of the family that inhabited it. Maintaining their identity and authentic story, the Obamas’ sought to make a positive change and create a legacy of diverse leaders who represent the true American promise: where merit is placed before one’s race and gender. When I received the notification of my appointment as a Better Make Room Advisory Board Member, I knew that I was selected not to meet a quota, but as leader of change in my community.

At the School Counselor of the Year Ceremony, while in the midst of influential leaders like Usher and Secretary of Education John King Jr., I was not a commoner but a celebrated leader and team member. Our large team has the ability to fulfill the mission of Better Make Room by promoting resources and providing encouragement to students as they pursue their educational goals and decide on their future plans. While conversing and snapping memorable moments, I envisioned the dream of success alongside my peers as we get ready to lead the next generation.

“I am involved, because I believe the voice of my generation and community is important and essential to creating progressive change.”

Throughout the day, I am reminded of a message placed on the chairs for the event written by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. From this, I am reminded of my mission “to create something better for millions of students around the nation.” In the midst of celebrating my appointment, I remind myself of my goal — to make a difference in my community for my peers and future generations.

“The voice of the rising generation has potential, but without information and the necessary resources their potential has no pathway to success.”

As a public servant, I lead with my actions, character, and dedication to advocating for my community’s needs. I am involved, because I believe the voice of my generation and community is important and essential to creating progressive change. The voice of the rising generation has potential, but without information and the necessary resources their potential has no pathway to success. I seek to celebrate the success stories of graduating seniors at my high school in hopes of showing underclassmen the different images and stories behind success, as they begin to formulate what success means to them. I seek to acquire knowledge, because I know that I can never be deprived of it. As I prepare to attend college in the fall, I hope to continue to explore my interests in African History and the inner workings of governments, as well as, experience personal growth and enlightenment. I will use my education and voice to eradicate injustices and speak for change.

“I seek to acquire knowledge, because I know that I can never be deprived of it.”

Chef Carla Hall said it best herself during the Better Make Room Advisory Board Orientation, “Say yes, adventure follows, than growth.” Her advice continues to motivate me as I set on my journey to create a successful pursuing, college-going, college-graduating culture in my community.



Mina Yakubu is a senior at New Hanover High School, located in Wilmington, North Carolina. She immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana, West Africa. She is an ambitious young woman who has found strength in her African heritage, a passion she hopes to further in college. She believes that the opportunity to attend college or learn a trade should be made available and affordable for everyone. Mina is a LEDA Scholar and President of the International Club.