Kana moved to Chicago from Japan three-and-a-half years ago with her husband for his job. Discouraged because she couldn’t understand much English, she decided to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at Truman College. After a year of honing her English, she applied to the Gateway Program, which helps ESL and GED students move into credit courses at City Colleges. She soon found her niche in math classes and became a tutor at the Tutoring Center. After focusing on learning English for herself, it felt good to be able to help others with her math abilities.

She enjoyed her time at Truman because she feels that everyone has equal opportunities. “Even though I’m not an American citizen, I was older than many of the other students, and I am a woman pursuing mechanical engineering, I was always treated equally.” She was also able to utilize the academic advisors, transfer advisors, Writing Center, and Math Center. “I took advantage of all the resources Truman offers!”

Now a mechanical engineering student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Kana says it’s tough, especially while she is continually striving to improve her communications skills. However, she has a support system in a group of students from City Colleges who transferred to IIT together, which she says is a huge advantage. Kana hopes to continue her education and earn her master’s degree at IIT.

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