Posts Tagged Babson

Four bloggers featured in The Boston Globe

CSOlogo-85Mean streets to collegethe_boston_globe)225
By Tracy Jan/The Boston Globe

November 29, 2009 – It can be lonely at times being a first-generation college student. And as a low-income high school student applying to college, the experience can be overwhelming.

Students can now turn to a new blog launched by the Center for Student Opportunity for support, advice, and inspiration. Four of the 10 bloggers attend New England colleges:

There’s Jesse Sanchez, who said he overcame gangs and poverty in San Diego to become the first in his family to attend college – at Harvard, no less. He hopes to become the first Latino mayor of San Diego.

Khadijah Williams, a Harvard freshman, writes of being a homeless high school student who used education as her way out of Los Angeles’s Skid Row.

Duylam Nguyen-Ngo, a budding entrepreneur, credits his single mother with inspiring him to enter Babson College despite growing up in a dangerous Richmond neighborhood.

And Lysa Vola, who was adopted at age 5 along with five of her siblings in Jensen Beach, Fla., is attending Williams College and hopes to become a pediatrician.

The students give candid accounts of their college experience, including their struggles adjusting to and juggling the increased workload as well as the highlights of freshman year so far (like meeting Chicano civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, cofounder of United Farm Workers, who recently spoke at Harvard.)

“When I first got here, the workload seemed impossible, but it just takes getting used to,’’ Sanchez wrote in a recent post. “I’m feeling WAY better now that I’ve learned to balance things out and really find ways to make time for the things that really matter.’’

Sanchez said he grew up with a single mother, who sustained the family on less than $7,000 a year. “Yet I was not going to hold our economic status or her absence as an excuse for failure,’’ he wrote.

He searched for opportunities while his friends succumbed to violence and drugs.

“Seeing how these influences had the power to tear families apart, I strived for a better way of life, put academics first, and made it to college! . . . I hope to be a role model that many of the students in my community lack. I want to prove that academic success is possible, no matter what obstacles one may face.’’

The blog can be found at www.csopportunityscholars.org.

The Quad highlights doings on local campuses. For online updates, go to www.boston.com/ MetroDesk and click on The Quad. To submit tips, e-mail Tracy Jan at tjan@globe.com.

Check out the published article here.

Check out Duylam and Jesse in the news!

CSOlogo-85The Wellesley (Ma.) Townsman recently interviewed Duylam and Jesse about obstacles they overcame to become first in their family to go to college and their involvement with the Opportunity Scholars blog. Read the article here.

Understanding Why

duylam-85 I don’t like being a sore loser, so horrah for the Yankees. How about that Matsui?

Hey guys, me again [I hope someone actually reads my blog haha]

As the days roll by, I find that I’m becoming more and more enveloped with promoting this blog, and getting CSO’s message out. Why? Why…well it used to be because I was a scholarship winner and I was excited about blogging. I still am of course, but the answer to “Why?” is becoming, for lack of a better word, clearer and more meaningful.

As a son of immigrant parents, I am my family’s “golden child”. My family has sacrificed their own comfort just so I can live unchained by the limitations of Vietnam. Guess what? I’m just one out of thousands and thousands of kids with the same story. Your life could be based off the same platform as mine – a family who believes in their seed.

So this brings me back to the question “Why blog? Why promote this when you got the scholarship?” Because I got to eat some pie, and everyone else should eat too. What I’m trying to say is that there are plenty of other people who want to “eat” and now that I have my piece I need to help them eat. Because I understand what it’s like to be without pie, and I understand what it’s like to have a family who believes in you, and I understand that you sometimes feel like Atlas carrying the weight of the world, and I understand what it is like to stay up at night wondering how you’ll ever get out of this hell hole. We’ve all shared the same hunger pains,  &  we are tied together, while we may not know each other, by a shared value and struggle. What I’m saying is sometimes we all need a helping hand, or maybe someone to help light that next step in your path and I want to do that. So when you read my blog know that this isn’t because CSO. It’s because we all need somebody and when there isn’t someone to help the world seems to be at its darkest.

So yeah, we were all put at the bottom. We’re all near the ledge, but just take a leap of faith and let your eagle wings spread,


wurds uhv wiz-duhm

duylam-85I was told to make the title catchy. aren’t phonetic spellings eye catching?! haha

I recently went to see the marketing director at Babson, Gene Begin, and we were discussing how I could push the blog and get it read. The conversation digressed slightly and we talked about the admission blogs of various colleges & universities. Gene told me as far as Babson goes not many prospective students comment on the blog for who knows what reason. But on UVA’s [University of Virginia] blog people comment every breathing second they have, seriously there are so many comments made.

This talk led me to think of two things for those who’s shoes I was once in.

Let’s say you are picking colleges and looking into them and you are trying to get a real “feel” for a college.

Go straight to the students. Go on facebook, call the school and ask for a student [this is only for those who are socially open a.k.a. not shy a.k.a. not me], or send a student an email. Just ask them to tell you everything, and hearing the story from their side will give you a better feel for the college. That’s what happened to me – I got on facebook and a freshman [sophomore now] sent me a message and we chatted a bit about this & that. They won’t bite or judge you – in fact most students love talking about themselves and their schools haha.

Secondly once you found a school you might be interested in go straight to the admission blog. Ask questions, post comments. This will give you a feel for HOW to get in. I religiously spent time on admission blogs. I breathed college applications.

So let’s sum this up. Talk to college students. Go on college admission blogs. OH AND CC DISCUSSION IS A GREAT WAY TO CONNECT!!!

If you can’t hear your sneakers you aren’t ballin’ hard enough,


P.S. What about them Phillies?