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Ryan Kim

Image of Ryan Kim outside while wearing a jacket.

Seizing Opportunity

I'm surprised at how much fun I had at AACC because when I heard “community college” it seemed like just school, but it was so much more. In high school I was quiet and didn’t really interact much, but here I’ve experienced so many things. I think at one point I was involved with 10 different clubs, so I was able to explore everything that interested me, like Korean Culture, Adventure Club and Student Government.

The community is all very supportive, encouraging and just a lot of fun. It was fairly easy for me to see where I should reach out for help – I was able to email advisors, I worked with the financial aid office, and the Student Achievement and Success Program helped guide me. All of my professors were really great. A lot of the club advisors are also professors and I feel like they've been really supportive of students, helping them make connections and directing them to the right place.

I applied to intern with Smithsonian Environmental Research Center last summer, but the internship was canceled due to the pandemic. This year, my professor contacted me and encouraged me to try again. So now I have a 12-week internship there. It’s work, but it also just feels like being paid to go on a daily field trip.

For me, this was an amazing college with so many opportunities – you just have to be willing to start taking them.

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