Nomase Iyamu is a senior at Bard Early College Newark High School. In this debut edition of S2S: The Dialogue, Nomase talks about the critical challenges facing our world and communities, his experience at S2S, and his hopes and dreams about his future.
Your generation will face many challenges including scientific ethical dilemmas, limited resources, and sustainable lifestyles and last but not least saving the planet. What do you see as critical challenges facing our world?
My generation is between a rock and a hard place. Problems that we face today are products of the problems we neglected to solve. Global warming was something we could have prevented and now it is something we cannot avoid. The ethical problems with my generation is authenticity. So many people have a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror and accepting who they are. This is why social media has become the new cocaine. My generation uses social media to make an image of themselves they know does not exist. I once read in a study that the same hormonal chemicals released when someone takes a drug, dopamine, is released whenever (one) gets a text or an update from their social media platforms. There is satisfaction in knowing someone accepts an image of yourself that is not true and my generation embraces this addiction. I believe that if this energy can somehow be navigated to solving the social problems of the world such as bullying, we will be in a much better state morally and physically.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing Newark related to science and why? How do you believe science would alleviate them?
Some of the biggest problems in Newark related to science is the waste disposal system. There needs to be a cleaner way to safely degrade the waste in our society. I believe there is a lot of energy being developed through natural gas that I believe can be produced through burning waste. The heat produced from the burning trash can be used to energize certain functions that natural gas used to energize. This would solve two problems instead of the one I chose to address.
What inspires you about a career in STEM?
All my life I have wanted to help people, even the ones who have turned on me. I have always stuck my arm to the one trying to cut it off and that mentality never seemed to evade me. I thought about being a lawyer but I am not someone who would enjoy being at a desk every day. I thought about being a doctor but I am not necessarily solving the problem, I am just identifying it. I chose to be a pharmacist because we are the ones that actually solve the problems. We develop and create drugs to tackle the problems the physician find. I find more value in actually solving the problems rather than finding it.
What are your goals for college and career? Where do you see yourself professionally 20 years from now?
I will be attending The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science in Boston, in the fall. I will major in Pharmaceutical Sciences/PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy). And I should be finished within the next 5 years. I come from a school where I have already accumulated a substantial amount of credits, so my time in college will be condensed. I will then go back to school and pursue a psychiatry M.D. while I work for a leading pharmaceutical company.
Tell us about your experience at S2S? What impact did it have on your STEM education?
I enjoyed my experience at S2S. I had to recreate aspirin. This experience gave me a preview as to how the rest of my life would be and I completely enjoyed it. It reinforced my position as to why I decided to become a pharmacist.
If you could choose one word to describe yourself, what word would it be?
One world that would describe me is ruthless. I get what I want because I know I deserve it. I do not wait for handouts and when I feel like I have been handed something for a reason other than I deserve it, I throw it away because I do not value it. I am ruthless with my goals and my endeavors. If I see something that I want, I make a plan, and follow it to the fullest of my capabilities. If there are changes in my plans, as there have been multiple times, I adapt, grow stronger and push harder. I have to be ruthlessly successful because anything other than that is mediocrity in every sense of my existence. I developed this approach to my entire life because I realized that the ones you need the most are the ones who look at you when you are down and see if you are going to pick yourself up. Not only will I pick myself up but I will become greater than anything they ever knew existed. For me this is not a goal, this is a prophecy.
Nomase is a remarkable 18-year old with an intense determination and a clear vision for his future. His eagerness to engage, his intense focus, his kindness in helping others, and his larger-than-life personality make him a stand-out. He will be attending The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. In the future, he also plans to pursue an M.D. in psychiatry and work for a leading pharmaceutical company. We wish Nomase the best in all his future endeavors!