Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foreign Country Far, Far Away

For this week, I wanted to talk about a very close friend of mine named Max. He happens to be one of the happiest, sweetest and most charming guys I know. I’ve been blessed to become his friend over the past semester and I feel as though his story is truly amazing. His journey to Fullerton College starts a long time ago, in a foreign country far, far away: when he moved to the US from Hong Kong in 1999 after his father got his 'specialty occupation' work visa as an architect. He went through middle school and high school with high marks and was promised an American college education and the American Dream. He quickly learned that some dreams are not meant to be.
He discovered this when he received a scholarship to a university -- and when he accepted and noted that he did not have a Social Security Number, they kindly rescinded their offer. The rest of his senior year was a blur. To pass time, I helped my friends 'edit' their personal statements and they got into the universities of their choice. Max instead chose to work and vowed to return to school once he saved enough to avoid debt at all cost.
It took almost six years and a series of under appreciated jobs that ranged from being a caregiver to a private nurse. In the end, Max enrolled in Fullerton College thinking that he could finish in less than two years. But the obstacles continued to come. It's been four semesters and Max still hasn’t been able to get a single chemistry course. Fortunately, good advice is not in short supply at Fullerton College. At the urging of a classmate, Max applied for the Honors Program. Before he completed the 15 units required to be certified, he met the former A.S. President and she encouraged him to be in student government. From his involvement in A.S., Max learned about a variety of other programs including STEM and took advantage of the exciting opportunities there. Things may not have gone according to plan, but he always proudly says that his time at Fullerton College has been extremely rewarding. 

-Nora Matti

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