More than a decade ago, as part of ACT’s 50th anniversary celebration, ACT established the ACT Scholars Program, as part of a pair of endowments to nurture the academic talent of graduate and community college students at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. These two institutions share ACT’s passion for helping all students achieve their ambitions in college and their careers. ACT emphasized scholarships for students from populations for which the cost of higher education could have presented a significant barrier to college access and accomplishments.
We feature ACT Scholar blog posts regularly, to hear their stories and learn about their college-going journeys. Learn more about the ACT Scholars program.
What was your motivation for going to college and earning a degree?
My motivation for going to college is my dad. My dad passed away from colon cancer before I was born, but he was known for helping, especially in the medical field. His hard work in China made him one of the top specialists in his city. When he moved to the U.S., he wanted to continue his medical profession. He had trouble renewing his license in the U.S. due to differences in countries, but he was determined to reclaim his title. With English being a hurdle for him, he pushed through adversity and kept working hard. Even though he wasn’t able to finish what he desired, I look up to him for advancing and am determined to help in the medical field.
What are you currently studying? What degree do you hope to earn?
I am currently finishing my Liberal Arts – Associate of Science (AS) degree at Kirkwood this year. I plan to pursue a health and human physiology degree when I transfer to the University Iowa in the fall.
Why did you select this area of study?
I have always been interested in the anatomy and physiology of the body. Physical therapy was one of the occupations that stood out to me and I’ve always enjoyed helping people.
Who inspired or supported you in your college-going journey?
My dad and mom inspired me to pursue college. As they were both immigrants in the U.S., they worked hard to obtain their degrees and they are the people that inspire me the most to finish college.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a college student?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had a big challenge, but as a commuter student, finding friends or people in classes to ask about homework or study has been challenging. But, the ACT scholarship has financially helped me a lot and has lifted stress off of me.
What advice would you give to a college student today?
Make sure you’re on top of your assignments and study a bunch. Ask your professors for help; they’re not as scary as you think and are very helpful.
What goals have you set for yourself?
The goals I have set are to finish college and get accepted into physical therapy school at the University of Iowa. My biggest goal is to be a physical trainer on a professional sports team, especially the NBA.
John Fan is a sophomore at Kirkwood Community College. He is an Asian American student pursuing his liberal arts degree. He plans to transfer to the University of Iowa to complete a health and human physiology degree, in pursuit of becoming a physical therapist.