Imagine yourself in a foreign country with no language skills, no driver’s license and a small child. Meet Xianghui (pronounced Shong Hoy) Song, a 35-year-old wife and mother who came to the United States from China in 2004. Xianghui's initial goals were to pass her driver’s test and to improve her English skills, so she enrolled in adult education classes at Henderson Community College. Xianghui says with the help and encouragement of her instructors at HCC, she was able to achieve these initial goals and then exceed them by becoming a college student. She did all of this while working and caring for her young daughter.She will graduate in 2011 with an Associate’s Degree and will work as a Clinical Laboratory Technician. She also plans to continue her education and transfer to a four-year university to continue studying either chemistry or biology. Xianghui pointed out that face-to-face interaction and comfortable relationships with her instructors has allowed her to be successful.
Xianghui’s philosophy and belief in the power of education is proof of why she is one of only two students at HCC who has been nominated for the 2010 USA Today All-USA Community College Academic Team and 2010 Coca-Cola All-State Community College Academic Team. These awards come with a potential monetary prize of up to $2,500 each and make her eligible for $40 million worth of scholarship money across 37 states.