I began my educational journey at Elgin Community College through the ESL program in 2018 as an immigrant from Cameroon, Africa, and continued my journey to obtain my associate's degree. It was challenging at first, as I had to learn English, an unfamiliar education system, and new culture. The culture and educational differences between my home country and the United States were a shock to me. Still, I found ECC to be a peaceful and cheerful environment where staff and teachers communicate hope and know how to celebrate students' successes, making the transition easier.
Giving back to the campus community was very important for me during my first semester as a college student, so I decided to apply as the Executive Treasurer for Student Government. My involvement opened different opportunities for me to grow, and this past year, I had the honor to serve the students as their Student Body President. Serving in this role this past year has been the highlight of my time at ECC. Not because of the position, but the opportunity to make an impact for students and grow in the areas of leadership and emotional intelligence.
Graduating this year is a success in and of itself. I have gained all the knowledge, skills, and wisdom I need to continue growing as a leader and a lifelong learner when I transfer to a 4-year university. I'm excited for what my future holds and the continuous self-improvement I'm grateful to have thanks to my journey here at ECC.
Sandra Djou, Cameroon
Associate of Arts