At age 17, Ho Ying Lo became a trailblazer in her family.
“I am the first person in my family to attend college,” the now-19-year-old from Hong Kong said. “And, I am the first person in my family to travel to the United States.”
Lo said she was finishing high school, taking university entrance exams and anticipating going to a school in Hong Kong when she saw information about studying in the U.S. at Shoreline Community College. “I saw an advertisement and showed the flyer to my parents,” she said. “We went to a meeting and decided to come here.
Ho Ying Lo has been named to the All-Washington Academic Team. She carries a 3.98 GPA in the at Shoreline Community College.
Since 1996, Washington’s community and technical college system has recognized the All-Washington Academic Team at an annual recognition ceremony. The members of the All-Washington Team are the state’s nominees to Phi Theta Kappa’s national All-USA Community College Academic Team, as well as the national Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team.
The All-Washington recognizes and honors up to two students from each community and technical college for their scholastic achievement and community and college service.
So far, that decision appears to be working out just fine in school and in life.
On track to graduate spring quarter 2013, Lo has a 3.98 grade point average, having just missed perfection in one ESL class and one macro-economics class. Lo says her goals are to transfer to a university, perhaps the University of Washington, get a degree in business focused on accounting and then “help my family and make my parents proud.”
Shoreline Community College was the perfect place to start toward those goals, she said.
“Community college provides excellent academic programs for me in order to accomplish my academic goal: transfer into my ideal four-year university,” Lo said. “So I chose to attend Shoreline Community College to earn an associated degree. The class size in the college is small so students and teachers can have more interactions.”
Lo said one of the keys to coming to the U.S. and Shoreline was the chance to improve her English skills. “English is the prevalent language in the world now,” Lo said. “Shoreline offers a comprehensive English program for international students whose English is their second language.”
Her language and cultural skills are also being helped by her choice of accommodations while at Shoreline: homestay. “My homestay family has been very good,” Lo said. “We have shared the food from here and from my home, gone different places and I get to work on my English skills.”
She has also volunteered at a number of local events, including the Lake City Pioneer Days, North Helpline’s End Summertime Hunger Food Drive and the Seattle Jingle Bell Run/Walk. “I had never done this kind of service before, so I needed to do more preparations than other volunteers,” Lo said. “ By helping the needy, I learned more about a foreign country.”
Lo is also involved on campus. She serves as the public relations officer for Phi Theta Kappa honor society and volunteered at the International Students Transfer Fair, International Students Orientation Program and International Celebration Express.
“I needed to adapt to a whole new study and living environment,” Lo said. “This was hard for me as I never had this kind of experience before. I decided to volunteer and do some service in my school and the society.”
While Lo’s parents have not yet visited her in the U.S., they keep in touch through Skype. For Lo, while she is sure she will go back to Hong Kong, she is also sure that she will be a global citizen. “I am interested in business and accounting,” Lo said. “What kind of business is not so important because all business requires communicating with a lot of people all over the world. That’s what I want to do.”