President’s Scholar inspired by Pomona’s daring spirit
Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing. Year 4 Applied Psychology student Capricorn Choi carried this message home as she completed her one-year exchange programme as the “President’s Scholar 2015/16” at Pomona College, a top liberal arts college in the US.
Take risks, make mistakes
Before heading to Pomona, Capricorn was keenly aware that the purpose of this invaluable outbound experience was not to secure perfect grades but to step out of her comfort zone and challenge herself. “I was not too worried about getting good grades because I valued the knowledge I gained more,” she explains. She took subjects she has never come across in Hong Kong, including Modern Dance, Theatre, Violin, International Relations, Speech and Debate, and even Astronomy. “In the Theatre class, a few students were experienced in acting and could recite the scripts fluently. To give my best performance, I rehearsed many times and consulted my instructors,” says Capricorn.
Her efforts paid off. Not only did she overcome stage fright, but she also engaged in thought-provoking discussions in other classes which impressed her professors and classmates. “It is very important for us to believe in ourselves and never underestimate our potentials,” Capricorn says with a sense of pride in her achievement.
Courage to change the world
Capricorn joined multiple Service-Learning projects before she went to Pomona but the daring spirit of Pomona students brought her new perspectives regarding the meaning of service. “While students in Hong Kong tend to follow traditional practices of executing a project, Pomona students always try to improve and expand their projects to create a bigger impact in the community,” she observes after her participation in the “Hunger and Homelessness Initiative” community project at Pomona. Knowing that the existing food delivery was not efficient, she and her teammates came up with a plan to connect with other colleges and shelters to improve the procedure.
Capricorn’s daring adventure did not end at Pomona. Her goal is to pursue a master’s degree and work in an international NGO. “I might even want to set up an NGO, a social enterprise or a philanthropy network to promote shared values in society.”
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