Asha Sookraj, a third-year pre-nursing major, is Augusta University’s 2021 Homecoming Queen.
Graduation: May 2021
Hometown: Georgetown Guyana. Augusta was the first place I came to in the United States.
Why did you choose to attend Augusta University?
My cousin attended here and spoke so highly of Augusta University. The people were super welcoming and friendly. I feel at home. I take part in events in my organizations and sorority. I am very family oriented and it was also close to my family. We all used to live on one street.
What inspired you to major in your field?
I have always been a hands-on person. I believe that in the healthcare field nurses do so much and sometimes they are underrecognized. They are the ones taking vital signs and always see patient first before the doctor comes in. I really love that aspect because I want to be able to be there for patients.
When I applied to nursing school and I was waiting on my response, I had to undergo a procedure. I was very nervous and the nurse there was just guiding me. She was telling me that she has years of experience and had been through the same thing. It was my first surgery to go through. I was imagining when I am in the same field in 5-10 years, I’m going to be the one speaking to patients as well. I just want to be able to give that comfort and guidance to them.
I was very nervous and tense for that process, so I am so thankful for that nurse. I thought to myself that I can’t wait until I can do this too and be there for someone else. You really don’t know how that patient is feeling or what they are going through. There are so many emotions running through their head.
My grandmother and grandfather both died of cancer. Seeing them in the hospital was very difficult for me. I lost my grandfather beginning of this year. There was always a nursing assistant taking care of them. We even had a nurse come to our house when he was in his final stages and they took his vital signs. I really appreciate that aspect. Nurses are there to take better care of you and reassure you and I want to be able to provide that to my community.
What do you do when you have free time?
I have an artistic side. I enjoy doing crafts, painting, drawing, and DIY projects. Over quarantine period I redecorated my room to express my personality. One of my stress reliefs is cleaning and just making things organized. I am also very family oriented and I plan time to see them.
If money was not an issue, what would you do?
If money wasn’t a problem, I would pay off my family and friends’ expenses and any loans they have. I would want to take this out of their worries. When this pandemic hit, a lot of people, including myself, lost a lot of hours at work. I am lucky that I had a savings and could pull from that, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t even have a savings. My heart goes out for them because they are struggling to make ends meet.
What are your plans after graduation?
I want to be able to do clinicals to experience more on the various departments. Before I got into college, I volunteered in high school with the volunteer program in labor and delivery. This really caught my attention and I loved it so much.
I am leaning towards getting a masters as a family nurse practitioner. I want to be a practitioner for individuals of all ages, including babies, teenagers, and adults. I want to have a wider opportunity.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
I am a member of Alpha Chi Omega. I serve as the membership programmer and help get sisters to meet and connect on a deeper level. I am also a member of Indian Cultural Exchange. This is a student organization and a second family where people come together to share our traditions and cultures to the community.
If you knew you could not fail at something, what would you do?
Fun fact about me is that I was born left-handed. If I could not fail at something it would be dancing. When I dance, I always start off on the opposite foot as other people. I always get intertwined due to my muscle memory and original nature of being left-handed.
What is one Augusta University experience you will always remember?
My freshman year, I took part in an event called “tunnel of oppression”. It was held in University Hall. My organization was Indian Cultural Exchange, and we teamed up with Muslim Student Association. Regarding our backgrounds, we are not as privileged and get the harder way out compared to some people.
We created models of the TSA checkpoints and students would walk through these check points like they would in an airport. As part of this simulation we would interrogate every other person that walked through TSA. It really caught them off guard and opened their eyes. A lot of minorities go through similar experiences every day. Majority of attendees were Greek life. It opened my eyes and was a wonderful event. Our voices were heard on topics such as discrimination, stereotyping, and unfairness.