When Penn State sophomore Jasmine Yedra applied to be a 2019 Forbes Under 30 scholar on Aug. 8, she wasn’t sure if she would be selected into the prestigious program.
“I originally thought I didn’t get into the program because I didn’t hear back within the one-week window listed on the application,” Yedra (sophomore-information sciences and technology) said. “But about two and a half weeks later I got an email and I was so excited to find out I’d been accepted.”
Yedra, who is a Lenfest scholar at Penn State, was one of 1,000 college students named as a Forbes Under 30 scholar. She will join students from across the country at the prestigious Forbes Under 30 conference in Detroit.
Joycelyn Yedra, Jasmine’s sister, said she thinks her sister was rightfully chosen to be one of the scholars.
“I think — no, I know my sister has worked hard for every single good thing that has come her way,” Jocelyn said. “Forbes is business and my sister has been a businesswoman since before she began forming a personality, so if anyone deserves to be a Forbes scholar, it’s her.”
According to a Forbes press release, the annual program, which promotes diversity and inclusion, provides 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to experience the exclusive conference, which will take place in October.
“Students will have the ability to participate across four different content stages, and will have access to investors, entrepreneurs, celebrities, musicians, fashion designers, sport stars, cultural icons, world-renowned chefs, educators, political leaders and business icons who represent the entrepreneurial spirit of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list,” the press release reads.
Dr. Andrew Sears, dean of the College of Information Sciences and Technology, hopes Yedra uses this opportunity to network within the field of IST.
“The success of our students is central to the success of the college, so my primary goal would be for Jasmine to use this opportunity to gain insights and build connections that she can leverage as she moves forward in her career,” Sears said. “Jasmine’s story is one of resilience and perseverance. She has overcome incredible challenges, and she’s done so with a positive attitude and eye toward the future.”
Sears added the college is proud to have Yedra as a student, and he looks forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the future.
Yedra said she hopes to represent students who come have fought through adversity at the summit in October.
“I really want to represent, not only Penn State, but all students like me who have faced adversity in their lives,” Yedra said. “I’ve had a lot of troubles in my life the past couple of years and I want to represent people who have experienced similar adversity at the Under 30 Summit.”
The four-day conference brings together the top young minds across many industries to learn from each other, network, and explore new ideas.
Speakers for the annual event include championship tennis player Serena Williams, Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski and AOL cofounder Steve Case.
Attendees at the summit have access not only to the featured speakers, but also to corporate exhibitors from across the globe, the Forbes Music Festival and other festivities.
Jasmine plans to one day attend the conference again, hopefully as one of the 30 chosen honorees from Enterprise and Technology category.
“My dream is to one day be chosen as one of the 30 Under 30 for the tech sector,” Yedra said. “I plan to work in Silicon Valley after graduation for one of the tech giants, so I hope I can create some sort of innovative new technology impactful enough for me to make list one day.”