I am Smith

Kristina Ngema

Kristina Ngema ’23J
About Kristina

Class of AC 2023J

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Quantitative Economics, Data Science

Marketing Director, Smith Startup Consulting Group

Smithies in Business

SDS (Statistics and Data Science) Coalition of Color

Scholarship Recipient

What has financial aid meant to you?
Generous financial aid from Smith changed my entire life, and I can’t put into words how grateful I am to the donors who made this possible. As an international student, it’s really hard to seek financial support in the United States, and so many times I feared I would have to go back home due to my inability to pay for my studies. I’ve come a long way to be where I am, and I am beyond grateful to Smith for opening its doors to me and for offering so many opportunities onward.

What does being a Smithie mean to you?
Being a Smithie for me is being fearless in the face of adversity. It’s being surrounded by brilliant, open-minded and hard-working Smithie peers. Each one of us brings unique stories, backgrounds, visions and passions, and by lifting each other, we are building unity. We are not only working toward our degrees, we are growing into the people we aspire to be.

“Being a Smithie for me is being fearless in the face of adversity. It’s being surrounded by brilliant, open-minded and hard-working Smithie peers.”

What’s one of your favorite classes?
While I have loved all of my classes, I definitely hold ECON 253 close to my heart. I felt supported by Professor Vazquez, and I really enjoyed the cooperative environment among my peers. When I started the class, I felt insecure about how I would perform (I took a gap year prior to transferring to Smith, so I was new to the online experience), and for a moment I feared being able to meet my class’s and my own expectations. Thanks to our professor and my peers, I regained confidence and outperformed my own expectations.

Who has had the most impact on your life?
The resilience of my parents through their own struggles gave me tools to overcome my own. While I recognize all I’ve managed to accomplish and overcome to be where I am today, I couldn’t have done that without their support.

Why should donors support financial aid?
Financial aid provides support and opportunities to students who might not make it to their end goal in their educational journey due to financial struggles. As someone who is able to continue her studies only because of generous donors, I can firmly say that financial aid changed my entire life, and I hope it can change many other lives for the better.

Contact Us

To make an endowed gift or to learn more about supporting financial aid at Smith, please contact Betsy Carpenter ’93, associate vice president for development, at 413-585-2052 or ewcarpen@smith.edu.