Like so many Prescott College students, Tina Chen is highly motivated and engaged in the community. She strives to open her mind to new experiences and people, accept rather than ignore the problems that are occurring in the world, and practice using her voice to effect change and inspiration. As a Student Union Board (SUB) member, her goal is to “strengthen and expand our resources on campus so that students will feel more confident as leaders of this world” and to help students have their voices heard. It is very important to Tina, that “Prescott College grows with the relevant interests of the students”. A major contribution that SUB provides is funds to college clubs on campus. Tina is very proud of this contribution because she believes, “It is essential to allow clubs to fully realize their mission and give the campus a more passionate vibe. By offering clubs financial support, students have a place to indulge their interests through club activities.” In return for strengthening the Prescott College community through her participation in SUB, Tina recognizes that being on this committee will help her get out of her comfort zone and adopt essential responsibility skills that will assist her in the future.
Originally from New York City, Tina chose to come to Prescott College to study Human Development with a focus in Expressive Arts Therapies. The fact that the Prescott College Human Development program offers actual counseling practices influenced Tina’s official decision to enroll. Tired of the textbook-based learning she had experienced in her previous education, she was excited to “learn in a way that was more engaging”. In Tina’s time here so far, she has noticed that “Prescott College breaks away from traditional schooling which allows for more focus to learn from curiosity as well as experiential activities.” The most meaningful part of her program here has been “learning about psychology through a critical lens that does not follow traditional old school methods. Instead, I get to learn through a perspective that supports the values of marginalized groups in today’s society.” Tina’s time at Prescott College is a perfect example of how students have the opportunity to actively participate in their education, gain leadership skills and independence.
Going forward, the greatest lesson Tina has learned so far is to not doubt her capability of being a knowledge producer. Prescott College has helped Tina realize that “there is no exclusivity in being a knowledge producer” and there is no reason to be intimidated by the titles “researchers, scientist, doctor or professionals”. She tells herself, “Rather than thinking I will one day be a professional, everyone should believe they already are a professional and then act accordingly.” She has confidence in her ability because, “labels are as flexible as the reality you mold.” The second greatest lesson Tina has learned is the power of simply being a good friend towards others. Her goal is to “break the cycle of mistrust” and lend a hand as best she can. She believes that although people may be selfish sometimes, most of the time people are inherently willing to help. Tina wants to “emphasize that when people come together to help one another, positive changes are tangible and real.” Tina knows she can make a positive change in the world by recognizing that her “first job as a human being is to be compassionate and kind toward others.”