Yu-Chen (Anna) Sun
Milpitas Adult Education
Nominated in 2022
Two years ago, Yu-Chen (Anna) Sun came to the U.S. for a two-week visit to see her husband's family carrying only one suitcase. She ended up being stuck in the U.S. when the pandemic took over and the travel restrictions between China and the U.S. tightened. She and her husband, a U.S. citizen, eventually decided to stay in the U.S.
Staying in the U.S was a hard decision to make. Anna had never lived and worked in an English-speaking environment. She is originally from Taiwan and has a bachelor's degree in laboratory science and a master's degree in immunology from National Taiwan University. For over twenty years, she worked as a medical technologist at a Taiwan national medical center and later became a research scientist for a year in a biopharmaceutical company in Shanghai, China. To live in the U.S., she had to find a job, but English was the biggest hurdle for her.
Initially, she had no confidence in expressing her thoughts and feelings in English. In order to improve it, in August 2021, she started attending my advanced ESL classes at Milpitas Adult School every weekday. In the first week of school, we worked together to set up SMART educational, career, and community goals. She set a career goal for herself to use her previous work skills and experience to continue to work in the US as a laboratory scientist starting in the spring of 2022, and she actually made it happen! In my class, she was a model student with excellent attendance, active classroom participation, collaborative spirit, and positive attitude. She quickly improved her English language skills and became more and more confident using it.
In addition to academic excellence, she demonstrated extraordinary people skills by volunteering in our school. She successfully coordinated several presentations geared toward providing information on our school's career fair and explaining school policy to students with limited language skills. In addition, she completed the IET (integrated education and training) on workforce skills offered by our school and I also referred her to Upwardly Global. With advice from her coach at Upwardly Global and online research, she was able to create a professional resume and get familiar with job search engines on the internet. With a lot of hard work and persistence, she was able to set up phone interviews, video interviews, and finally on-site interviews with potential hiring managers at various companies. Her hard work finally paid off when she was offered a position as a senior research associate at a company in Milpitas called ASC Therapeutics in March 2022. She also made an informative and inspirational presentation sharing her success in job-hunting with the students at our school.
Anna's success story has inspired a lot of students in our school with a past established career to pursue the goal of overcoming obstacles and continuing their career in a new country. I hope her story can touch more immigrants to make the best out of the worst situation and make their dreams come true.