From the Bay Area to Jakarta and Back Again
1998. That was the year I was born in San Francisco. I was an innocent baby and I do not remember anything but I know that my parents brought me to Jakarta, Indonesia after I turned one. Fast forward to my life in Jakarta, where I grew up for 16 years. I was a typical student who goes to school because it is an obligation. When I got to middle school, I placed first honors. Surprised, I did not know how I got the award, but it sparked my motivation to do well in my education. From that moment on, I strove for my academic goals and decided to pursue my higher education in the United States.
Adapting to the United States
I started college in Spring 2016. As an introvert, I liked to be alone so I went straight home right after my classes each day. Despite enjoying being alone, as time passed, I became deeply lonely because my family was not with me. I changed my mind about standing alone being a sign of my capability. Thus, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and ask for help. The first place I went to was the English Language Institute which connected me to a career counselor who changed my college life. Through her help, I was able to get a job on campus and I began to build my own support community.
My first job has led me to take on more leadership opportunities. I gained the courage to run for a senator position in the student government and eventually got promoted to an executive position as Student Organization and Club Council (SOCC) Liaison. I worked closely with campus clubs and collaborated with the vice president in directing and coordinating activities for SOCC. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Having a campus leadership background, I ran for the President position for my chapter’s Phi Theta Kappa and was elected. I appreciated how my decision to seek help led me to numerous opportunities.
I am currently enrolled at Skyline College and expect to transfer by Fall 2019 with a major in Business Administration. My interest in business began when I took business classes during high school and was further strengthened by the support of my accounting college professor at Skyline. He put faith in me that with my persistence, I can become a successful entrepreneur. Initially, I intended to get my bachelor’s degree and work in a public or private firm. However, my experience working as a tutor on campus moved me to change my goal, and now I hope to one day become a college professor so I can give back to my community.
Being selected as a 2018 Pearson Scholar has tremendously helped me in terms of financial support. In addition, the mentorship program is very meaningful to me. I have never had a mentor, and I was thrilled to have met my Pearson mentor, Andréa. My mentor is very understanding of me and easily approachable. Living far from my family, I now have someone who I can share my life stories with and who will give me constructive feedback during my educational journey.
With the community I have built for myself through my leadership opportunities and the mentor component of the Pearson scholarship, I feel I have the presence of physical and emotional support to achieve my goals.
Pearson students: Who are the important people in your support community? Share your thoughts when you comment below!
Michelle Huang is student at Skyline College in San Bruno, California, and is a recipient of the 2018 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Michelle majors in Business Administration and aspires to be a future professor. Michelle’s activities cross many spectrums — Phi Theta Kappa, student government, peer tutoring, peer mentoring and community volunteerism.
This is Michelle’s first entry for to the Pearson Students Blog. If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!