Tell us about your background: If was ever a girl who wanted to travel the world, it would be me. I am an international student from Indonesia. Two years ago, I was an exchange student at Washington High School. Before coming here, I was passionately curious about my future. As a kid from a developing country, I faced so many struggles in my life to get a good education. I had a dream to study abroad, get a degree and become successful. I knew that it would not be easy to make my dream come true. But I believe in the value of hard work. Before I came to Washington, I almost gave up because I feared that my dream was too big for a kid from a low-income family. My family income in Indonesia is about 200 dollars a month and my parents could not afford my education. However, I am one who doesn’t get discouraged easily and I knew I would find a way to continue my education – no matter what.
What brought you to Kirkwood?: I remember the day I received the good news. My amazing host family invited me back to stay with them and to attend college. The Kirkwood Washington County Regional Center is the college closest to where I live in Iowa. It reduces the living costs and other financial needs. I am so glad that Kirkwood has a new building in Washington! Thank you to Kirkwood who has accepted me as an international student and given me a Global Citizen Scholarship, and also thank you to family and teachers that always support me on my academic journey. Today I am proud to be an Eagle!
What program of study are you in at Kirkwood?: I am taking accounting classes. I love numbers, because working with numbers always makes me feel like I am doing a puzzle. I make it a game where I have to find the exact number so I can win.
Are you in any clubs, organizations or any extracurricular activities? What attracts you to them?: I am a student ambassador for Washington County Regional Center. I am also planning to join Chess Club because I love chess and I have won many chess competitions in the past. I want to improve and be a chess master someday. Just like Albert Einstein said: “I don’t have any special talent, I am just passionately curious.” I always want to get involved in many activities, just because I want to learn something new. If I don’t get what I expect from it at least I still get the experience. Outside of campus, I am an alumni and an ambassador for the AFS-YES Program (an exchange program for kids from developing countries. I’m also a part of a youth delegation from Indonesia for UNEP (United Nation Environment Program) and I was honored to be an ASHOKA-Young Change Maker (a non-profit organization to make positive changes in the community). Getting involved in so many activities has taught me to be a better person. I understand that my life will be more valuable if I do something good for other people and my community.
What are your interests outside of class?: I love everything about art, such as photography and design. Art is my hobby and accounting is my passion. They’re two different things that aren’t really related to each other, but they’re both inside of me. One thing that I love about art is that there is no true or false. Art helps me to understand diversity and to keep my dream alive. I also love traveling. I want to travel all over the world. I have come 9800 miles from home to get a good education, and I’m not going to stop at that. I will continue my path and open as many opportunities as I can get to study abroad in the future.
Where do you see yourself in five years and what is your ultimate goal?: Five years from now, I can see myself as an expert accountant, working with big businesses, traveling the world and earning lots of money. Then I will reflect back to who I was and remember the how I got my success. I got my success because of help from other people, and I want do the same thing that other people did for me: help other kids that could not afford an education. I believe that life is not only for our own success, but also helping others to reach their goals as well. I made a commitment to myself. I pledged to keep my passion for life. I will build my community and always remember where I came from. I will spread my wings as if I am a real Eagle.