Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. Senior, Louise Kajinake, Wins Jobs for America’s Graduates Scholarship

Louise Kajinake, Senior Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M.
Louise Kajinake, Senior Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M.

Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M. is proud to announce its first Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) scholarship recipient. Senior Louise Kajinake is one of the twenty-one students to be awarded the Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship. There were 101 students who applied for this fund which honors extra-ordinary leadership and service to JAG participants. Ms. Kajinake will receive $2,000, which she may reapply annually while completing her degree.

A senior at Barringer Academy of S.T.E.A.M., Louise has a style all her own. This South African native is not only known for her fashion sense in school, but also for being a well-rounded scholar. Nearly five years ago, Louise and her younger brother came to the United States on a journey most adults wouldn’t brave. Traveling without supervision, the two embarked on an expedition which their family believed would lead them to a better education and, essentially, a better life.

She recalls leaving East London, South Africa and having quite an experience during a layover in Qatar, while en route to the U.S. “It was really scary. We were supposed to call our parents but everything was in Arabic so we didn’t understand. We were young and timid,” she said.

Upon arrival in the U.S., Louise found that many things were similar to where she lived in East London and she adjusted very well. She had taken her education very seriously in South Africa and she carried that attitude over to her educational experience at Barringer. Louise, now 18, plans to attend Montclair State University in the fall where she will major in Fashion Studies and Business.

In addition to being named a Smith Scholar in the Job’s for America’s Graduates (JAG) Program, Louise also participates in Development School for Youth, a job readiness program, and has a summer internship through them. She is a member of Peer Group Connection (PGC), a yearbook editor, and a tutor for School Base for Math and English where she recently helped seniors prepare for the Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) so they could graduate.

In 5 to 10 years, she hopes to be working as a fashion merchandiser. Fashion is right up her alley and anyone at Barringer can attest that she knows how to jazz up the uniform with her ability to accessorize. Kajinake hopes to travel back to South Africa to see her friends and family whom she keeps in contact with through frequent phone calls and Facebook. Her teachers at Barringer are very proud of the young woman she has become.