This year’s Ramblin’ Royalty were honored with the award at the Tech Homecoming football game on Oct. 28. The Technique was given an opportunity to speak with the recipients of this award, Aimèe Ogando, fourth-year CE, and Amanda Johnston, fourth-year CHBE.
Both winners have been involved in many activities since they began their time at Tech. Johnston credits much of the beginning to her high involvement with the Tech community through housing.
“I was in one of the living-learning communities here, specifically the Honors program. That kind of jump-started my connection with housing, having a deep connection with people that I lived with. So, in my second year, I moved on, and I have been a part of one of the FLO’s [First-Year Leadership Organization] on campus. I was in FAB specifically, which stands for First Year Activities Board. In my second year, I decided I wanted to be an advisor for that,” Johnston said.
Johnston summarized her reasoning for why she ended up becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) and said, “I loved leading; I loved inspiring first years, and I was like — well, how do I continue this, and how do I keep growing within Georgia Tech housing? So, that year, I applied to be an RA [resident assistant] for the next year, so I really enjoyed that.”
As an RA, she was able to support students during the second-year experience. Johnston also became involved with the Student Government Association (SGA) as a junior representative. These experiences defined her narrative of making her mark on campus.
Through leadership and fostering strong connections, Johnston was able to gain a deeper connection with Tech’s community. Additionally, as Vice President of Campus Services, Johnston explained that she was able to connect with an even larger group. Her position falls in line with many different parts of campus, like Tech Dining, the CRC, the Student Center, Tech Square and auxiliary services.
Her time at Tech so far has mainly been focused on student experience and helping people find their communities on campus, whether it is through housing or another support network.
“Ramblin’ Royalty specifically, having that narrative and housing, and having one direct focus throughout my time here at Tech has really helped me to grow as a leader, grow as an individual and inspire the people around me to also find their niche and their narrative, and hopefully grow as leaders themselves,” said Johnston.
When reminiscing on the moment she found out she was selected as a finalist for Ramblin’ Royalty, Johnston said, “It was the Friday right before fall break. I got this email, and I was so excited, I couldn’t hold it in. This award has been a goal of mine since freshman year. I have been working to make an impact on this school, and it’s such a direct representation of that. I turned to my mom and immediately started crying and started jumping up and down in this restaurant.”
Ogando also explained her impact on campus which led her to become a candidate for Ramblin’ Royalty.
“I chose Georgia Tech because of how well I connected virtually because I was a first-year while COVID was going on. I feel like the Tech spirit definitely made the final decision for me to come here to Tech. And obviously, when I accepted the offer, I was really scared, because I didn’t know if I was going to make friends. I have never lived more than a week outside of the Dominican Republic, so I was very scared of just finding a home away from home,” said Ogando.
Before she even stepped foot on campus, Ogando joined the Georgia Tech Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (GT-SHPE).
She was paired with mentors and introduced to many other like-minded students. She has been active in many different organizations throughout her years at Tech, serving as a Familiarization and Adaptation to the Surroundings and Environs of Tech (FASET) leader, a part of FASET cabinet and even working with the Hispanic Recruitment Team (HRT).
Ogando explained that her passionate involvement in these organizations helped her find her home away from home and said, “I was so thankful for everything that they had done and was just so thankful to give back to all those communities that gave something to me.”
She also described her favorite projects and involvements throughout her time at Tech.
Oganda said, “I am proud of everything that I have done, and everything that I have done has put me in this position. Everything has meant equally as much to me. The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers has given me so much just by letting me be the first-year liaison, the corporate relations chair, and the external vice president, and now becoming the president; the people that I have met have really humbled me and have shown me what hard work is, what my culture represents on campus, and has really showed me the most amazing people on campus.”
She also talked about how FASET allowed her to make an impact and gave her the confidence she needed to be herself and find herself as a student and person in general. Both Ogando and Johnston have certainly made their mark on campus throughout their time at the Institute.
This award has allowed the duo to gain recognition for their many contributions to the Tech community, inspiring young Jackets as they strive to bring progress and service to the Institute and beyond.