Safi Askar Lumity Alum, New Engineer!

We are thrilled to share that another Lumity alum is a newly minted engineer! Safi Askar was a member of one of our first Lumity cohorts at Amundsen High School. Today, he is a recent graduate with an electrical engineering degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago and a Lumity volunteer.

We asked Safi to share his top 5 takeaways from his experience with Lumity.

1 – Look to the future.  “When I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Lumity pointed me in the right direction through its student enterprise program. The following summer, I took an opportunity with Lumity, even though lifeguarding paid more. A teacher gave me the advice that in seven years down the road I would thank myself for spending the summer with Lumity instead of lifeguarding. And that’s exactly what happened. I realized that Lumity would benefit me more in the future—and it did! If it wasn’t for Lumity, I wouldn’t be so future orientated.”

2 – There’s nothing to lose. “The Lumity STEM Talks were the reason I pursued my dream of engineering. Listening to the decisions the speakers made in their STEM careers helped me realize that I could do it too. When there is something that would benefit me, there is nothing to lose by trying it!”

 3 – Students know more than you think they do. “One of the things I learned as a volunteer with Lumity is that the students know more than you think they do. They just might not be motivated enough yet, so it’s up to us to bring [their motivation] out. They often know what to do [on a project], but they are uncomfortable sharing their ideas or getting started. It helps to ask students questions to get their ideas flowing.

4 – Use your strengths to build your weaknesses. “I’m more of an analytical thinker and not as social. In Lumity’s student-based enterprise, we worked as a team to create websites for local businesses. We spent a lot of time learning to work together; we took personality tests and career assessments that identified our interests and skills. Through all of these experiences, Lumity helped me use my strengths to help my weaknesses and helped me figure out what I’m interested in, why, and where to go with it.”

5 – It’s never too late! “I joined Lumity later on in high school, so one of the big lessons I learned is that it’s never too late to try something! That’s the advice I give to the Lumity students I work with now.”