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SPAA Student Profile: Kareem Willis (BA'16, MPA'17)

Kareem Willis (BA'16, MPA'17)

Full Name:  Kareem K.M. Willis
Age: 29
Hometown: St. Catherine, Jamaica
Degree Program:  PhD in Public Administration 
PhD Graduation Year: Expected 2022

Why did you enroll at SPAA?
In choosing the BA program at SPAA, I found the structured environment I needed to explore my passion for community development and advocacy. 

What do you hope to accomplish with your degree?  
I’m recognizing that my degree opens up a plethora of doors and opportunities for me and so I’m allowing myself to explore them all. I’ve been able to explore that through consultation and so I hope to use my degree to add credibility and structure to my own public and nonprofit consultancy. 

Favorite SPAA memory?
 I fondly remember participating in the on-campus interviews and internship experiences. As a Newark transplant, navigating the landscape would have been even more difficult without these personal and professional opportunities and experiences. I made considerable progress and established many strategic relationships that have not only kept me employed, but exposed me to a variety of avenues to explore and exercise my passion.

Biggest challenge(s)?
My biggest challenge was getting out of my own head so that I could fully grasp the opportunities presented to me.

Next steps?
World Domination! Through my educational pursuits, I’m finding my voice in the fight against racial and social injustices. I want to go deeper in that work and so whatever I do will align with helping the various communities in a part of secure justice. 

Advice to incoming students? 
You are right where you belong. You have all that you need.