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Sunday, September 27, 2020

One face of the ever-changing diversity of Pierce College

[Revised and re-published on April 18, 2013 @ 2:54 a.m.]

Increasing numbers of students from foreign cultures help make Pierce College an ethnically-vibrant campus, matching a 20-year trend in other community colleges across the state.

One such Pierce student is Shelly Ann Jagroop, a 22-year-old psychology major from Chaguanas, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Jagroop recalls her childhood in Trinidad flying kites, playing hide-and-seek, fishing with cousins and schoolmates and eating mangoes, guavas, coconuts and tangerines.

“One of my favorite childhood memories has to be playing in my grandfather’s huge garden with all my cousins,” she said. “It was more like a mini jungle and we would climb every tree, play games and eat all the fruits.”

Jagroop is a middle child flanked by brothers eight years her junior and senior. Her elder half-brother immigrated to the United States and then helped the family follow sooner than they expected.

“There were certain gangs and people that targeted my father because we owned businesses,” Jagroop said. “Threats to kidnap my brother and I were made, [and] there were bombs thrown at our house.”

So right after graduating high school at 18 years old, Jagroop and her family moved to the U.S. to begin a new life. She currently lives in Santa Clarita with her father, mother and younger brother.

Jagroop notes there are big differences between the community of her small island country and the vastness of the United States.

“In Trinidad not only are you familiar with most places, but also with most people, and in the U.S. it’s very big and there is so much diversity,” she said.

While looking for schools, Jagroop’s sister in-law, a Southern Calif. native, told her that she should consider Pierce.

The International Student Admission actively seeks to add to the enrollment number of international students like Jagroop. There are currently 157 international students at Pierce, according to Abigail Sandico, director of the ISA.

The ISA gives prospective international students some reasons to attend Pierce, such as a high transfer rate to universities within the state, campus safety, a glamorous location and pleasant weather, according to their website materials.

Jagroop said she “felt very safe, even after night classes” on campus and agrees that the standard of education at Pierce is “very high.” However, she does note that current class sizes are big but that instructors are handling things well.

Jagroop said that it’s difficult for her to connect with some people in the U.S. and although she is not a member of the International Students Club, she gets why such clubs are important.

“My biggest struggle has to be repeating myself to people, because not a lot of people understand my accent at first,” she said.

The ISC has roughly 40 active members of the group this semester ,while their website notes more than 125 members and thousands who successfully achieved their goals, according to Kameni Ngahdeu, the current president of ISC.

“I think Pierce satisfies the needs of international students,” Jagroop said “Through clubs and events they have a chance to socialize and have found an identity.”

Nelson Funes, a domestic student taking a political science class at Pierce, sees the camaraderie firsthand.

“About 90 percent of my class is international students,” he said. “They talk a lot between themselves.”

Even though Pierce works with many Calif. universities, Jagroop will transfer across the country to Regent University in Virginia when she finishes her education here.

“It’s a Christian university and I would actually like to get into ministry,” Jagroop said.

After three years of community college Jagroop is looking forward to her transfer but muses her time at Pierce.

“What I will take from my experience is definitely my academic success but also the faculty, counselors, and students who have helped my throughout,” Jagroop said. “Pierce definitely made me focus and has reignited my passion for learning and pursuing my goals.”

These written starch-like quotes reflect nothing of her relaxed and rhythmic cool Caribbean drawl. Despite some jarring experiences, Jagroop is a proud delegate of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Trinidad and Tobago’s culture is very big, rich and diverse. It will blow your mind,” she said. “From the beaches to the people and our world-renowned Carnival celebration, the fun will never end.”

[End of Revision]

 

Increasing numbers of students from foreign cultures help make Pierce College an ethnically-vibrant campus, matching a 20-year trend in other community colleges across the state.

One such Pierce student is Shelly Ann Jagroop, a 22-year-old psychology major from Chaguanas, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Jagroop recalls her childhood in Trinidad flying kites, playing hide-and-seek, fishing with cousins and schoolmates and eating mangoes, guavas, coconuts and tangerines.

“One of my favorite childhood memories has to be playing in my grandfather’s huge garden with all my cousins,” she said. “It was more like a mini jungle and we would climb every tree, play games and eat all the fruits.”

Jagroop is a middle child flanked by brothers eight years her junior and senior. Her elder half-brother immigrated to the United States and then helped the family follow sooner than they expected.

“There were certain gangs and people that targeted my father because we owned businesses,” Jagroop said. “Threats to kidnap my brother and I were made, [and] there were bombs thrown at our house.”

So right after graduating high school at 18 years old, Jagroop and her family moved to the U.S. to begin a new life. She currently lives in Santa Clarita with her father, mother and younger brother.

Jagroop notes there are big differences between the community of her small island country and the vastness of the United States.

“In Trinidad not only are you familiar with most places, but also with most people, and in the U.S. it’s very big and there is so much diversity,” she said.

While looking for schools, Jagroop’s sister in-law, a Southern Calif. native, told her that she should consider Pierce.

The International Student Admission actively seeks to add to the enrollment number of international students like Jagroop. There are currently 157 international students at Pierce, according to Abigail Sandico, director of the ISA.

The ISA gives prospective international students some reasons to attend Pierce, such as a high transfer rate to universities within the state, campus safety, a glamorous location and pleasant weather, according to their website materials.

Jagroop said she “felt very safe, even after night classes” on campus and agrees that the standard of education at Pierce is “very high.” However, she does note that current class sizes are big but that instructors are handling things well.

Jagroop said that it’s difficult for her to connect with some people in the U.S. and although she is not a member of the International Students Club, she gets why such clubs are important.

“My biggest struggle has to be repeating myself to people, because not a lot of people understand my accent at first,” she said.

The ISC has roughly 40 active members of the group this semester ,while their website notes more than 125 members and thousands who successfully achieved their goals, according to Kameni Ngahdeu, the current president of ISC.

“I think Pierce satisfies the needs of international students,” Jagroop said “Through clubs and events they have a chance to socialize and have found an identity.”

Nelson Funes, a domestic student taking a political science class at Pierce, sees the camaraderie firsthand.

“About 90 percent of my class is international students,” he said. “They talk a lot between themselves.”

Even though Pierce works with many Calif. universities, Jagroop will transfer across the country to Regent University in Virginia when she finishes her education here.

“It’s a Christian university and I would actually like to get into ministry,” Jagroop said.

After three years of community college Jagroop is looking forward to her transfer but muses her time at Pierce.

“What I will take from my experience is definitely my academic success but also the faculty, counselors, and students who have helped my throughout,” Jagroop said. “Pierce definitely made me focus and has reignited my passion for learning and pursuing my goals.”

These written starch-like quotes reflect nothing of her relaxed and rhythmic cool Caribbean drawl. Despite some jarring experiences, Jagroop is a proud delegate of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Trinidad and Tobago’s culture is very big, rich and diverse. It will blow your mind,” she said. “From the beaches to the people and our world-renowned Carnival celebration, the fun will never end.”

### END OF UPDATE ###

 

International Student Admissions office, L.A.P.C. – http://www.piercecollege.edu/offices/international_students/index.asp

International Students Club – http://www.lapierceisc.com/

Hundreds of current international students, with and without F-1 visas, tie Pierce College to a 20 year statewide trend of growing ethnic diversity in California community colleges.

One international student, not on an F-1 visa, is Shelly Ann Jagroop, a 22-year-old psychology major from Chaguanas, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Jagroop moved to the United States at the age of 18, where she  currently lives in Santa Clarita with her father, mother and younger brother.

“I came to Pierce College after graduating from high school [2008] in Trinidad,” she said.

Jagroop’s sister in-law, a Southern California native, suggested Pierce to her, saying it is a top community college.

Pierce boasts one of the best transfer rates of community colleges in California with destination universities like UCLA, USC and Pepperdine, according to the International Student Association Office.

However, Jagroop will transfer across the country to Regent University in Virginia when she finishes at Pierce.

“It’s a Christian university and I would actually like to get into ministry,” Jagroop said.

A list of top ten reasons to attend Pierce College from the ISA homepage includes

  • High transfer rates within California
  • Established relationships with major universities
  • Depth an breadth of educational programs
  • Campus safety, glamorous location and pleasant weather

Jagroop said she “felt very safe, even after night classes” on campus and agrees that the standard of education at Pierce is “very high.”  However, she does note that current class sizes are big but that instructors are handling things well.

The International Students Club at Pierce has roughly 40 active members of the group this semester while their website notes more than 125 members and thousands who successfully achieved their goals, according to Kameni Ngahdeu, the current president of ISC.

“I think Pierce satisfies the needs of international students,” Jagroop said “Through clubs and events they have a chance to socialize and have found an identity.”

Nelson Funes, a domestic student taking a political science class at Pierce, sees the camaraderie firsthand.

“About 90 percent of my class is international students,” he said. “They talk a lot between themselves.”

After three years of community college, Jagroop is looking forward to her transfer but muses her time at Pierce.

“What I will take from my experience is definitely my academic success but also the faculty, counselors, and students who have helped my throughout,” Jagroop said.  “Pierce definitely made me focus and has reignited my passion for learning and pursuing my goals.”

These written starch-like quotes reflect nothing of her in-person relaxed and rhythmic cool Caribbean drawl.  Jagroop is a proud delegate of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Trinidad and Tobago’s culture is very big, rich and diverse.  It will blow your mind,” she said.  “From the beaches to the people and … our world-renowned Carnival celebration, the fun will never end.”

 

Links:

International Student Admissions office http://www.piercecollege.edu/offices/international_students/index.asp

International Students Club http://www.lapierceisc.com/

 

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