Science senior strives to ensure Black students will succeed at CSUMB

Photo: Judah Young

Judah Young | Photo by Randy Tunnell

November 8, 2021

By Joanna Snawder-Manzo
Judah Young wanted something different. Growing up mainly in Inglewood in the greater Los Angeles area, she envisioned leaving home for school and studying science.
“I‘m the youngest of six and all of my siblings, except one brother, had stayed in the LA area for college. I wanted to go away,” she said.
She committed to CSUMB before even visiting. Her first time on campus was for new student orientation. She marveled at all the lush greenery — a sharp contrast to Southern California — and felt affirmed that her desire to work with wildlife and plants would be realized in Monterey Bay.
She credits Miss Wong, her seventh-grade Life Science teacher, for cultivating her love for science.
“She was super engaged and just helped me a lot,” Young said. “Miss Wong really did it for me. Ever since then I got involved. In high school I joined the Science Club and the Medical Research Society, and we did dissections, and I was just really interested in all that stuff.”
Young recalls that very few of her friends were interested in science at that time. She was definitely carving her own path. At CSUMB she first tried some different leadership roles, joining the Garden Club and the Area Council with Student Housing.
She now serves as the College of Science senator in Associated Students, a role she wanted after deciding to major in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental education and a minor in pre-law. The position allows her to advocate for less represented majors in her college.
Along with a rigorous major and serving in student government, she is also a tutor for seventh-grade life science at Pacific Grove Middle School. As if that weren’t plenty to keep her busy, she added something unexpected and trailblazing: student assistant at CSUMB’s new Center for Black Student Success. Young is thrilled to be part of CSUMB history in the making.