Meet 2022 Grad: Josh Yang

Josh Yang

“If you have a goal you want to accomplish, do one thing every day to make it closer to achieving it. There will be hardships along the way that will distract you. It’s important to not lose sight of the big picture. Graduating from OCC is a step in the right direction.” - Josh Yang 

Major: Associate in Arts
Student Involvement/Honors: Phi Theta Kappa All Michigan Academic Team Award; Dean’s List - Oakland ACE graduate

Q: What were your biggest accomplishments? 
I’m not only a high school student but a first-generation college student. I’ve been a college student since I was 16 years old through the Oakland Accelerated College Experience (ACE). Graduating with my associate degree and my high school diploma at the age of 18 is my biggest accomplishment. 

Q: Describe your feelings having gone through the last two years of the pandemic and persevered? 
A: When I was enrolled in three high school and three college classes and working 12 hours a week, I felt isolated and burned out. I became really depressed, doubted myself, and questioned whether college is a right fit for me. What pushed me through those difficult times was helping others learn about chemistry. 

Q: What kind of support have you received from faculty? 
A: My Intro to Psychology Instructor Krishna Stilianos taught my very first class at Highland Lakes and gave a good impression of what to expect at OCC. Also, my General Chemistry 1 Instructor Katelyn Cottone taught my first semester online. I really appreciated her organization, fast communication and Friday Zoom meetings for extra help. 

Q: What type of support from the administration? 
A: PTK Co-Advisor Gail Adams and Andrew Muniz, former Associate Dean of Student Services at Highland Lakes, are very kind and always willing to help students in need. They are really friendly, and that’s what made me want to get more involved with PTK. 

Q: What are the next steps for you after leaving OCC? 
A: Transfer to Northern Michigan University where I was awarded their Hayden Scholarship which covers full tuition, room and board. I plan to complete an undergraduate degree in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience; afterwards, I plan to complete a graduate degree related to neuroscience and apply to a PhD program. I would like to get involved in research or work in a clinic with patients. 

Q: Any final thoughts? 
A: Thank you to the OCC staff and faculty. I feel like I’ve been lucky to attend OCC and meet such amazing people. Keep up the good work at OCC, and I hope the College will continue to be a place where students can thrive.