Meet OCC 2021 Grads: Elena Wong

Elena Wong "I know a lot of students, even myself, who didn’t plan to go to OCC. They planned to go to a 4-year university. For me, going to OCC was a blessing. It was an opportunity for me to open a new door and try to become the person I had to be. I would tell future students to get involved, talk to faculty, make friends, and make connections."

- Elena Wong

Major: Associate in Arts and Associate Degree in General Studies
Student Involvement/honors: Student Government at Auburn Hills Campus 2018; International Student Club Officer 2018-2019; PTK President at Auburn Hills Campus 2018-2020 and International Officer this year; PTK Michigan Regional President 2019-2020; Student Ambassador 2018-2019; and Students for Sensible Drug Policy Vice President this year.

Q: What were your biggest accomplishments?
A: I was elected International Officer for PTK this year and selected Coca-Cola Gold Scholar. I also got a job at an ophthalmology office, and I really appreciate being able to help other people, especially during this time.

Q: What are you most proud of?
A: What I’m most proud of is the project I worked on with the Foundation a couple of years ago. A few other students and I started a scholarship for survivors of human trafficking.

Q: How has the last year changed you?
A: I’ve become more confident in my skills and myself. It has helped me be more empathetic about what other people have been going through and be there for people who need help. I also feel it has helped me see things more positively. Before a small thing could happen and my day would be ruined. Now I think, is it the worst thing that could happen to me?

Q: What type of support did you receive from faculty over the past year?
A: I’ve had really amazing professors. Professor Theodore Bolak has helped me by writing letters of recommendation for colleges and scholarships and has really been there for me when I really needed that personal connection. Also, Dr. Jeffrey Farrah did the same. He’s so kind and really looked out for me. They are the best.

Q: What type of support did you receive from the administration?
A: I have a special place in my heart for Vice Chancellor Daniel Jenuwine. He is a man who is incredible, and I appreciate him and the help he gave in guiding me in what I want to do professionally. He’s very encouraging and has written strong letters of recommendation. Dean Stacey Crews is an amazing woman and so inspiring. Associate Deans Marikay Clancy and Andrew Muniz and Dean Jahquan Hawkins also were very supportive.

Q: What are the next steps for you after leaving OCC?
A: I want to finish my bachelor degree at a 4-year-university. I don’t know where I’m going, but it’s where my heart takes me. I hope to come back to a community college in the future and help other community college students.