Meet our Students
Meet Bowen Ma
Bowen Ma moved to San Diego from Dalian, China where she graduated high school in 2009. "I came here because I wanted to experience something new and open my mind to new horizons," Bowen says. "I also felt I could get a better education and find more career opportunities here in the United States."
Although Bowen learned English at school in China, she struggled at first with her reading and writing skills. Bowen began taking noncredit English as a Second Language classes at MiraCosta College's Community Learning Center in order to prepare herself for college level English.
"In China we did not write as many academic essays. When I came to MiraCosta College I had to adapt to the new learning style," Bowen says. "I was reading very slowly compared to my American friends because I kept stopping to look up words." But she didn't give up, and soon the extra time she put in paid off. In 2010 she was awarded the Brooke Ellen Brummitt English as a Second Language Scholarship from MiraCosta College's Community Learning Center. The scholarship is given each year to a deserving English as a Second Language student who is ready to make the move to credit courses.
When Bowen transitioned to credit courses she thrived in her new academic environment. "The biggest difference between the Chinese and American school systems has been the amount of pressure or competition. MiraCosta has given me the freedom to choose what I want to do. I do not feel pressured to succeed, and I am more self motivated."
Bowen is now part of MiraCosta College's Honors Scholar Program and has earned a high enough GPA to qualify for placement on the college's President's List. Additionally, in the spring semester of 2012 Bowen was named one of the recipients of MiraCosta's highest academic award, the Medal of Honor. "When I found out about the award I was incredibly excited and overwhelmed. It has encouraged me to keep working hard in the future," she says.
Along with classes, Bowen also works on campus tutoring students in accounting. During Chinese New Year, Bowen also helps bring some of her culture to the community teaching Chinese calligraphy. As the president of MiraCosta College's Chinese Club, Bowen is happy to share her culture. "People here come from diverse backgrounds, and it's fun for us to exchange our customs as well as opinions," says Bowen.
During her time at MiraCosta College, Bowen says she has made new friends and adopted new customs. "You feel welcome at MiraCosta College -- The professors are friendly and helpful and people here are like family. I appreciate all of the help MiraCosta has given me -- it feels like home here."
In the fall semester, Bowen will transfer to UCLA and will major in business / economics. "I chose my major because of the business and economics classes I took at MiraCosta College -- it was an easy decision," she says.
The most memorable experience Bowen will take away from MiraCosta College comes from her involvement in the Honors Scholar Program and the Associated Student Government. "I was able to help both organizations win the President's Volunteer Service Award through community service projects. Through our volunteer work we were able to contribute to the community. It was a great opportunity and very meaningful," says Bowen.