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Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis—a good hot cup of coffee.” — Alexander King

Coffee has always been part of my childhood since my mother brought me up from the income of her coffee farm. I remembered the sleepless nights of my mother when the weather was too harsh on the coffee farm. Still, all the worries will be paid off by the smell of freshly roasted coffee bean harvested in the coffee season. I love to see my mother’s eyes sparkled with joy and satisfaction when she tastes the coffee harvested from the farm. To me, a good cup of coffee has the magic to bring my mother happiness and peace even though she has to struggle a lot to raise me up all by herself. My love for coffee has been kindled from that loving image of my mother’s smile when she was enjoying a good cup of hot coffee. I learned to make a various coffee drinks from my mother when I was a sophomore in high school. A year later, I came to the United States of America as a high school junior. My most precious luggage of the half-world trip was my mother’s love, the coffee farm picture and the passion of sharing good coffee to people.

The first two year in America as a high school student, I quickly adapted to the new environment. Culture shock was not a big deal to me. In fact, I enjoy learning new cultures and picking up other languages from my friends such as Spanish, Korean and Chinese. I am thankful for the experience of growing up in America that I was provided. I love the diversity of the languages in my daily conversations, especially in colleges. There are times my friends would bid me “Hello” in Vietnamese and I would say back “Hola” in Spanish and we could possibly end the conversation with “Jal ga” as Goodbye in Korean. Although I am surrounded by friends and love daily, I sometimes still feel homesick. I miss my mother’s coffee farm and the smell of roasted coffee. Thus, I try to keep myself busier with volunteer services and leadership opportunities. With God’s blessing, I finished 120 volunteer hours within my first semester of freshman year in college. For the volunteer hours, I earned Bronze Award through the Presidential Service Learning program. In addition, I was also recognized on the President list with my GPA.

My second year in college, I challenge myself with Honor courses, working fifteen-hours per week as a tutor and reception in Tutoring Center and still successfully complete my role as the President of International Club. Staying involved on campus, I realize that clubs on campus are not interactive to each other. Although all the clubs on campus are required to come to Inter-club Council meeting twice a month in order to maintain good standing, many of the club representatives attend the meetings just to get by. I wish clubs could have been more interactive with each other. Since all the clubs could have benefits each other. For example, International club members could give Anthropology club members some insightful culture experiences from their cultures. I know things could have been different; thus, I ran for Inter-club Council (ICC) Vice-President on behalf of International Club and successfully elected.

I have learned and grown a lot after two semesters and half in California community college. Now, I’m looking forward sailing to a new direction. With the experiences of being an energetic leader, a hard-working student and a coffee-lover, I am hoping to share my experiences with other new students. I would like to try the experience of living in an urban city.

For a long-term plan, I would like to open a coffee shop in the East Coast and named it as “Merry Christmas” for people to come, enjoy good cup of coffee and talk. I hope people would feel the love and joy everyday like Christmas time of the year and I get to make good hot cup of coffee for my mother and other customers of the coffee shop.