November Student of the Month: Halona Poor

What is your background?: I was born in upstate New York. After my parents separated I was raised by my mother in Mount Pleasant, Iowa with with my younger sister, Ae-In. I graduated from Mount Pleasant Community High School in 2013 and then spent a year abroad with a leadership program called Generation Peace Academy.

What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: Honestly, the low cost of living and tuition is what brought me here! I was living with a family friend in Des Moines so I could study there, but I was really itching to get my own place. I never really thought Kirkwood was an option until a friend brought up the low cost of living in Cedar Rapids. I realized I could actually afford to be independent and study here, so I went for it and Kirkwood made it happen.

What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I am studying music education with an emphasis in vocal performance. The benefits of a musical education in the development of children is very significant as well as the lifelong connections made in performance experiences. Performing and creating music in a group teaches people the value of what each individual brings for the benefit of the whole group. It also shows you how to get up in front of others and present yourself professionally. These are very useful life skills that translate to other fields and careers in society that everyone can benefit from!

Are you involved in anything else on campus?: I am apart of the Kirkwood vocal jazz group, Jazz Transit, as well as the Concert Choir. I have ton of fun digging into different styles of music with the great friends I’ve been so lucky to make here. I also work as the Choral area work study assisting the vocal music director Dr. Fred Kiser. It’s is a unique experience where I essentially job shadow a professional in the field I plan to work in.

Are you involved in anything off of campus?: Off campus I work part-time at my apartment complex as a Community Assisstant and will be apart of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s adult chorus this upcoming season.

What do you do for fun?: I’m a real homebody, but I love driving around and blasting some quality music. If I’m not on the hunt for the perfect latte or taking drives with my friends, I’m usually curled up on the couch with my roommate’s cat.

Where do you see yourself in five years?: I really can’t say. I’m learning to go with the flow. Ideally, I hope to be done with my undergrad at least and teaching music somewhere or maybe performing with an opera guild? But who really knows, opportunities pop up at the most unexpected times.

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