Capitalizing on Opportunity
China Yang, a senior at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex in Providence, believes in taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. It's why she was one of the first to sign up when she was presented with the chance to take free college-credit bearing courses at University College. It was a decision she never regretted.
A big reason for that is the experience. Yang, who began taking courses at RWU in her sophomore year, has learned what it means to be a college student and gained the confidence to succeed in college - all while she's earned almost a semester's worth of credits. At UC, Yang has taken a range of courses that have given her a taste of potential career paths, including introductory courses in psychology, public health and community development. She's also been able to build her professional skills in courses like introduction to public speaking and nonprofit management. In fact, in her non-profit management course, Yang and a class of her fellow students were able to put their learning into action and make a difference in a way no one expected them to.
During the class, Yang and her classmates started JSEC Goods, a nonprofit weekend food pantry created to feed JSEC students in need. That type of hands-on, real-world project taught her a lot about leadership and what it's like working as a team to reach a goal. That's because, under the guidance of their instructor, students broke up into teams and wrote by-laws, sought funding and food donations, and created a website to advertise the organization. They would then come together to evaluate what they had done and then decide on next steps. Yang and her classmates launched the nonprofit successfully toward the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
When Yang graduates from JSEC, she will have 15 college credits and a certificate in community development from RWU. She is not sure where she will go to college just yet, but she does know that she will be well prepared for her studies and beyond.