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Student Success Stories

Humphrey Chan

Humphrey Chan

My name is Humphrey Shi Hang Chan and I want to share my remarkable journey at Mission College. I attended Mission College in Spring 2015 with a goal to pursuit a Bachelor degree.  Mission College prepared me to succeed in my Junior and Senior years at University of Iowa with a conducive learning environment, supporting faculty staff, and a vibrant student community. I was a quiet and shy person in the first year until I left my comfort zone and participate and engaged on the following areas:

  • International student center work experiences improved my interpersonal and social skills. Meeting and helping other international students improved my overall confidence.
  • Association Student Government as the Marketing Director improved my leadership skill. My public speaking and presentation skills were improved as well.
  • Family, faculty and counselors’ encouragement and support were key to my success at Mission College and University of Iowa

I transferred to University of Iowa in August 2017 with a major in business analytics. In the first semester, I missed my Mission College friends, aunt and uncle, and my Hong Kong family. However, the desire to achieve my goal quickly took over with studying, school project, and examinations. I enjoyed the cold temperature and snow in Iowa. I fostered new friendship with student and faculty. When graduation arrived in May 2019, I realized that I am becoming an independent, discipline, and focus person.

After graduation, I landed a job as an associate data analyst with a global logistics company in Hong Kong. As a data analyst, I helped the company to find ways to improve our data models to save time and money for our customers’ shipping need. I was assigned to a team of young professionals with passions. I am learning so much from my colleagues and managers.

In the near future, I want to learn how to design data models using deep machine languages that will help different types of business serving their customer with efficiency and profitability. I am planning to enroll to the Hong Kong University in 2020 to further my study in the data science field. In conclusion, I want to give special thanks to my parents, sisters, uncles and aunts for their endless love and support. It is my sincere wish that the readers of my story will be inspired to pursuit their dreams boldly.





Daron Steven Pabelonio

Daron Steven Pabelonio


American High School
AA-T Psychology Mission College, May 2019
Currently attending CSU East Bay

I began attending Mission College in Fall 2015. Since graduating high school, it was never easy. My mother passed away a day before my high school graduation and my father was not the most present in my life. I have fallen many times, but through my perseverance, I was able to conquer and be the  first generation college graduate in my family. Sometimes you get blind throughout all the hardships, but trust me when I say life gets better, as long as you work for it.

My best experience is reaching out to the Counseling Department and Transfer Services. Chau Nguyen and MaryAnn Medrano have helped pave the way to reach my success. They make themselves available for the students and empathize to make it a comfortable environment.

I am current working as a Behavioral Therapist at A.G.E.S Learning Solutions and go to CSU East Bay. At Mission there is sense of community since it is a smaller campus. Since transferring, I have to form my community and expand my network.

Some advice I could give to current students is to set your mind to big and little goals and to celebrate when the little goals are accomplished. If I could get a restart at Mission, I would have gotten the help from Counseling and transfer services earlier. Reaching out for help, really makes a difference.

Fun Fact:  I am goal oriented; I set goals that are achievable within the next 3-5 years.

Daron Steven shared that he received support services from Admissions & Records, Financial Aid, the Transfer Center, and Counseling.


Julie Flores

Julie Flores  

Fremont High School, Sunnyvale, CA (1997)
Mission College

AA - Anthropology, May 2004
AA - General Studies, May 2004
AS - Hospitality Management, December 2018
Certificate of Achievement Food Services and Restaurant Management (2018)
Certificate of Achievement Fundamentals of Food Service Skills (2018)
Bethany College BA - Communications 2002

I transferred originally to Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas (BA Communications 2002). I was working in the telecommunications sector for a while, but always gravitated toward food (I had always wanted to be a Pastry Chef). Life, travels and events lite the fire for wanting to start a food truck. More life events brought me back home and I decided to return to Mission College to join the marquee Hospitality Management. I started slow with one class and that drove my passion even more deciding to go all in.  I used my classes and projects  as my incubator training, testing and focused obsession to help make my food entrepreneurship dream come true.

I went to a small liberal arts college in a small town in Kansas.  Mission College's community was very similar: intimate.  I thrive academically in smaller classes where my instructors know me. Larger colleges, can drown out your voice as a student and individual. If you need help it is more difficult to find what you need.  Small, intimate academic environments where you actually can get to know your fellow student and instructor is the best environment for my learning style. Small isn't for everyone.

This time around I have had one umbrella "best" experience.  The Hospitality Management department has supported this big food dream of mine since day one: Chef Scott Brunson being my very first instructor emphasizing enthusiasm and passion toward food and wine to his students and always allowing them to push themselves, Mr. Haze Dennis allowing me to run the social media channels for the department, Chef Daniel Arias for allowing me practice and opportunities on board the educational mobile food trailer and allowing me to promote this great department, Chef Katrina Morkner for helping me out on concepts outside of the classroom, Chef Michele Pett always being open to questions about cakes and Ms. Susan McDonnell for taking many hours outside the classroom guiding me and answering questions about restaurant design and equipment. The Hospitality Management program is a special place with special instructors.  They care about the success of their students and celebrate with them. The information that I have not learned from this department, I am learning taking business courses in the Business department.  Mission College is still helping me toward my goal of food entrepreneurship dreams.

I am doing it over again, so I can tell students how I actually did things differently this time around. :)  I came back to college knowing all of the things I didn't do right the other go-arounds. I needed to evaluate what I needed to know to get a small business off the ground. One was Social Media.  I approached the department chair at the time if I could volunteer to do the social media for the department. I was given a yes. I took ownership of HM like it was my own small business. Since our department runs a restaurant, I reached out to guests of our Bistro (and even they became mentors or friends-special thanks to Ms. Heidi Garland for her social media guidance). I participated in all the extracurricular activities relating to the department as I could. With my visibility came more opportunities that may not have been given to others, just because I was involved. I even somehow ended up on the Sustainability Committee, which has been an awesome experience. 

College is a special place where you are granted opportunities you don't get outside of school. It is a place you are allowed to make mistakes without any major detriment . Seize all of the great opportunities afforded to you.  Get involved. Join a club or committee. Those opportunities lead to valuable relationships and networking opportunities.  Most importantly, share your goals and dreams with people you respect including your favorite or most challenging  instructors.  You never know when your passion is contagious and you find that small group of people willing to guide, mentor, or place a little more time in you because you have a passion for what you are doing.  People want to help those that want to help themselves.

This summer with my Cuban Street Food concept (one I have been working on at Mission College), I was one of the selected applicants to the 2019Posbile Latina Entrepreneurship Boot Camp sponsored by Univision Bay Area, POSiBLE US, Eva Longoria Foundation and Televisa Foundation. It is part of a series of events that helps Latinas pursue their dream of entrepreneurship. (I might even get to meet Eva Longoria this month).

FUN FACT:  I have a lot of interests and specialize in nothing. It allows for interesting, random conversations and might actually help me with my food dreams.

Julie shared that she received support services from Admissions & Records, Financial Aid, Job Placement, the Library, TRIO (ACCESS), the Welcome Center, and Counseling.

Khadija Abdulmalik

Khadija Abdulmalik

Redwood High School
Mission College

AA - Liberal Studies, May 2011
San Jose State University
BS - Health Science (Recreation Therapy), December
MA - Educational Counseling

I've attended other campuses and felt that I had the best experience here at Mission College.  After I obtained my associates degree from Mission I was able to transfer to San Jose State University.  There, I was able to get my bachelors degree as well as my masters degree. I would have to say that community colleges tend to be smaller than four-year universities and they offer more interaction with faculty.  The smaller environment also provided a more home like feeling.  I feel like when I attended Mission College I was able to get an ample amount of support from staff and faculty and was able to make life-long connections.

At the university the campus was bigger, and classes far more challenging, and it felt like there was less support.  The best part about attending Mission was that I was able to do so with no college preparation, and from that, grow into a well prepared transfer student.  Being able to take intermediate courses and utilizing student support services helped me prepare for transfer.  I gained a lot of personal growth through my experience.

My advice to current Mission students is to remember the sky is the limit.  "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."  - Walt Disney.  I would not change a thing about my experience at Mission.  It is what shaped me into who I am today.

FUN FACT:  I attended Mission College full-time while working full-time and raising four children.  If you know anything about parenting, you know it's a full-time job.  I have a drive that's unstoppable!

Khadija shared that she received support services from Admissions & Records, the Assessment Center, CalWORKs, EOPS, Financial Aid, the Library, the Transfer Center, the Tutoring Center, the Welcome Center, and Counseling.


Manija Ansari

Manija Ansari

Fremont Adult School
Mission College
AA - General Studies, December 2005
AA - Business Transfer, May 2006
San Jose State University
BS - Business Administration (Finance), December 2009 with Honors
Minor - German Language
MA - Educational Counseling, December 2018

As an immigrant and first generation college student, I received so much support form my counselors and teachers while at Mission College that allowed me to succeed academically, personally and professionally.  After receiving two AA degrees from Mission, I transferred to San Jose State University and received a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.

The advice I would offer current Mission College students is to stay in touch with the counselors and teachers. Ask questions. Counselors are the best assets; take advantage of the one-on-one appointments.   The support of my teachers and counselors were the best experience.  While at Mission, I worked in the Learning Assistance and Tutorial Center, which is now the Academic Skills Department, as an ESL Tutor.  I also worked in the ACCESS Program which is now TRIO.  This helped me make strong connections with the staff on campus and understand the educational system in the United States much better.

At Mission I learned the skills to navigate the US higher education system effectively and efficiently, a less familiar system to me. As a result I chose to follow the path of my counselors and became a school counselor myself.  In 2018 I graduated from San Jose State with a Master's Degree in Educational Counseling.  I am currently working at Foothill College as a part-time Veteran's Counselor.

Mission College made a difference in my life. It served me to break many barriers and succeed in achieving my goals. So I want to thank Mission College in particular the Counseling Department.

FUN FACT:  Manija speaks four languages.  She speaks Farsi (Dari), German, English and Russian.

Manija shared that she received support services from TRIO (ACCESS), the Tutoring Center, the Transfer Center, and Counseling.

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