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 will feature ACT Scholar blogs regularly, to hear their stories and learn about their college-going journeys. Learn more about the ACT Scholar program.
What was your motivation for going to college and earning a degree?
My motivation for going to college was that none of my siblings have gone (to college) and because I joined a business club in high school and it gave me a love for business, so I wanted to pursue it further.
What are you currently studying? What degree will you earn?
I am a liberal arts major. Next fall I will be in the business program at the University of Iowa pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business analytics. In addition to attending college full time, I also work part time as a childcare counselor with school-aged children.
Who inspired or supported you in your college-going journey?
My mom has inspired me and supported me in my college-going journey. She has helped me with a lot of things that come along with going to college, because I was just moving out and starting the next journey of my life.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a college student?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced with going to college is having to be responsible for myself and everything that I do. That means getting myself up for class, buying my groceries, signing up for classes, paying my bills, and many things like that.
What advice would you give to a college student today?
If I were to give advice to a college student starting today I would tell them that it’s important to go to class. Even though you would think it’s something you should already know, it’s still very important. Unlike high school teachers, college professors have a more hands-off approach to class attendance. Also, unlike high school, when you go to college you pay for your classes. So, even though you can get away with skipping class, I would encourage you to always go to class.
What goals have you set for yourself?
Some goals I have set for myself is to graduate college with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and to get out of my comfort zone–to do things like speak up in class or join clubs. Anything I can do to experience new things and get out of my comfort zone.
Aidan Yamashita is currently a student at Kirkwood Community College’s Cedar Rapids campus. He is a pursing a liberal arts degree and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business analytics. He is originally from Iowa City and is a second-generation college student.