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Jasmine LeFlore | Contributed

Jasmine LeFlore | Contributed

As the only black woman graduating from the aerospace engineering program this term at the University of Michigan, Jasmine LeFlore of Flint, Mich., has had a remarkable educational journey.

She knew what she wanted to be early in life: “Ever since my class trip to (U-M’s Department of Aerospace Engineering) wind tunnels, at the age of 14, I knew aerospace was what I wanted to do.”

After high school, she applied to U-M and was admitted to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts — not the School of Engineering — and found that her Flint high school hadn’t prepared her for U-M’s standards. “I started a semester earlier (than others) and had to take classes which were below college level in order to catch up,” she recalls. She almost didn’t make it. “My adviser told me that I should be a manager at Target, make $40,000 a year and ultimately send my kids to U-M,” she said.

But she decided she’d rather flunk out of U-M attempting her dream than pursue a field she wasn’t interested in and pass. LeFlore’s persistence paid off. She was eventually admitted into the School of Engineering. That wonderful moment was tempered by the unexpected death of her grandparents and mother. “I wish they were still here,” she said. “I must keep reminding myself that God gives the hardest battles to the toughest soldiers.”

She’s on schedule to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in April. What would she say to other minority students who might come from poorly ranked high schools, but who have a dream others might find impossible? “Reach for your goals and be a genius or a genius of hard work.”

No green beer here, thank you

If it’s 7 a.m. and you’re sipping on a Guinness or an Irish whiskey, then it might be St. Patrick’s Day. In advance of this year’s celebration on March 17, I had a chat with Caroline Kaganov, general manager of Conor O’Neill’s on Main Street. Irish through and through, from her cascading red locks to her bubbly personality, Caroline let me in on some do’s and don’ts for the big day.

Lady T: St. Patrick’s Day is a time to let loose and have fun. What’s the best advice for a safe and fun celebration?

Caroline: Leave your car keys with the bartender or don’t drive at all. Our staff takes a mandatory “safe serve” class and we all monitor tickets in order to help with safety during this holiday.

Lady T: How much green beer do you normally serve during St. Patrick’s Day?

Caroline: None. Green beer is food coloring followed by a nasty hangover; we’re not doing that to our customers. Instead we’ll serve authentic, flavorful Irish beer. Anyhow, the national color for Ireland is blue, not green.

Lady T: Why is Ireland revered for its beers and whiskeys?

Caroline: We’ve been making them the longest!

Lady T: If you’re not a beer or whiskey drinker what alternative would you recommend?

Caroline: Magners cider.

Editor’s note: In the print edition, we incorrectly identified Jasmine LeFlore as the only black woman student in U-M’s aerospace engineering program.

Tasneen Bowe

Tasneen Bowe (a.k.a. Lady T), a real estate agent and entrepreneur, focuses on things that interest and inspire her and the women she knows. She’d love to hear what inspires you.

6 Comments

  1. cj kennedy

    March 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Grrat Story on Ms. LeFlores journey! Kudos young lady!

    BUT, Wth is that other article that just flows after the LeFlore article? No transition or heading like the article incluse a st Patrick day story?!

    • Jim McBee

      Jim McBee

      March 26, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Our columnist wrote about two different things. I’ve formatted it to make the subhead a little more clearly a subhead. Bad editor! No cookie!

    • Lady T

      Lady T

      March 26, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you for commenting Cj Kennedy! Jasmine is a fascinating young lady. She’s part of a growing movement; African American women defying odds. I’m so honored to have had the opportunity of interviewing her.

  2. Sandy Krupa

    March 27, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Yessssssss!!!!!! #teamjassle

  3. Tim

    March 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Congrats Jasmine! wish you the best.

  4. DENISE D GREEN

    April 4, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I AM SO THRILLED!!! MAY GODS BLESSINGS CONTINUE RAIN ON YOU MY BEAUTIFUL COUSIN!!!

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