My GRCC Story: Don Hua carves alternative route to U of M success

A Raider Buzz feature:

Don Hua didn’t get into his dream school on his first try, but he carved an alternative route to the University of Michigan through GRCC.

Hua, a Rockford High School graduate, was disappointed when he wasn’t initially accepted into U of M. But he decided to work on general education credits at GRCC while awaiting the opportunity to reapply.

He became part of the TRIO/Student Support Services program and quickly found activities to keep him involved outside his classes: the Asian Student Union, the International Student Organization, Student Alliance, the Campus Activities Board and Phi Theta Kappa.

“Probably one of the coolest things about GRCC is the huge support for students to be involved with different leadership conferences and conventions,” Hua said. “Through ASU and with the financial support of Student Alliance, I was able to partake in the East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference at the University of North Carolina in winter 2017.

“This conference focused on empowering students to have a voice regarding Asian-American and Pacific Islander issues. Without being at GRCC, I would have never have been able to experience such an awesome opportunity to meet people from across the country.”

After a year at GRCC, Hua transferred to U of M, where he’s a member of the marching band. After he graduates this spring from the College of Engineering’s biomedical engineering program, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical engineer before applying to doctoral and medical programs to research artificial organs, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. He already has his Associate of General Studies through a Reverse Transfer Agreement between GRCC and Michigan.

“Don’t look at GRCC as ‘just’ a community college,” Hua said. “Look at it as a stepping stone. Just because you didn’t get into your dream four-year university doesn’t mean you have to give up on your education. All you’re doing is taking a different path with different opportunities and many chances to still do awesome things as a college student.

“If you do your research, make a plan, execute your goals, and ask all the amazing people around you for advice, you will be able to make it to wherever you want to go. Going through college is supposed to be an enjoyable adventure — not a heedless race.”


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