By REBECCA GOODNO
MCC Community Outreach Intern
“When my parents abandoned me at birth in China, my future was taken away from me. I waited every day hoping to be adopted. My life carried no purpose and every day I was just trying to get by,” recalled TeAnna Friday, an MCC student and a Muskegonites Child Study Club scholarship recipient.
At the age of five, TeAnna began her journey to the U.S. and soon discovered all the opportunities and challenges awaiting her.
TeAnna was one of four children in her family adopted from China. Although she was now part of a family who loved her unconditionally, the Oakridge graduate still faced struggles in life.
“All throughout high school, I doubted myself and believed that I was a failure. I felt like you couldn’t be what you wanted to be, you couldn’t dream. I want to make sure students can dream and never give up on their dreams.”
During her senior year she reached a turning point in her life. While volunteering in numerous activities with children such as tutoring, special needs in sports, classroom job shadows and Muskegon Youth Volunteer group, TeAnna realized she had a passion for children. Now she is pursuing a career in elementary education, majoring in English.
MCC has not only taught TeAnna academic subjects, but about life as well.
“Attending Muskegon Community College has changed my life,” she admitted. “After my senior year in high school, I realized I was missing a lot of life lessons. College meant making dreams come true and finding who you are. MCC staff were always helpful and kind. The world isn’t always kind, but I am learning about that, too. Teaching and learning never stops in life. I am always learning about myself and the world I live in.”
After completing courses this summer to earn her associate’s degree at MCC, TeAnna will be transferring, along with her sister, to Western Michigan University. “We are hoping to be roommates, I am pretty excited,” said TeAnna, whose dream is to one day go back to China to teach English and possibly even live there.
She draws inspiration as a future educator from teachers like Tia Peterson, who was a great mentor in her legally blind brother’s life. “She always went above and beyond to help my brother, I want to be a teacher just like her,” said TeAnna.
“I chose to pursue teaching because I want to make sure every child knows that they can reach their dreams and that they have potential. I want them to reach for their dreams and never let them go. I don’t ever want to see a child lose the glow in their eyes.”
Being awarded the Muskegonites Child Study Club Scholarship gave TeAnna confidence in herself and a boost to pursue her great ambitions.
“Winning this scholarship means that someone believes in me and sees potential in my dreams,” said Friday.