Be confident in your decisions.
If you don’t believe in your decisions, who will?
Second-year Seattle Central student Amy Le is the very picture of self-motivation and commitment to her academic future. An outgoing and confident student and dog-mom to her pups Lucky and Winston, Le is on track to complete her Associate of Arts in the ’21-’22 school year, with plans to transfer to the UW to study business. As a Seattle Promise scholar, she’s used her time at Central to become a better student, a master of time management, and to chart a course through higher education that works for her.
As a junior at Cleveland High School, Le first learned of the Seattle Promise scholarship from a presentation through the College Success Foundation. The more she learned about the Promise program, the more it made her think about her plans for after she graduated, and the more appealing Promise became. Unsure what area of study she wanted to focus on in college, she worried about the cost of attending a four-year university without a clear plan.
As the third of five children, she was keenly aware of the financial demands already placed on her family. “I didn’t want to be a burden on my parents, and I also didn’t really know yet what I wanted to do. I thought that it wouldn’t be the smartest decision for me to go straight into a four-year school without a plan, so I decided that I could use these two years of free school to explore what I wanted to do and see if college is really the fit for me.”
A native of Seattle and first-generation college student who grew up on the South end in a large Vietnamese-speaking family, Le is immensely proud of her academic success, in large part because it’s been the product of a lot of hard work. “When I came into the education system around age six, I didn’t know a lick of English!” She told us, “English is not my first language, so I automatically got placed in ESL classes from the start. I also had a speech impediment, so that really set my progress back from my peers. I always tried my best though, and I think that struggle built this determination and perfectionism in me. I was driven to do better so I could get to the same level as my peers.”
That determination has paid off – with a cumulative GPA of 3.9, Le is proud of how far she’s come, especially because of how hard-won that success has been. “I worked my butt off for that,” she says with a smile, “There were a lot of tears, anger and stress last year - and a lot of happy moments too! I was always telling myself, ‘I have to be a week ahead, I have to do this, I have to do that’. This year I’m trying to pace myself better.”
With her transfer to a four-year school looming large, she’s planning to move on to the UW to study business. As well as having a natural aptitude for the area of study, her older sister graduated with a business degree, giving her a road map forward. “I went to her and she gave me some good guidance,” says Le, “I decided that business would be a great place for me to start if I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; it’s a really broad area to start from and it branches into a lot of different careers. That was my idea, and I’ve been trailblazing it ever since!”
As she delves into her second year in the Promise program, her plans for after she completes her AA degree are beginning to coalesce. While she had initially considered pairing her interest in business with her talent for communication to pursue a career in marketing, she’s now settling on human resources as a career path. Through it all, she has maintained a core of steely determination to succeed. “In college you do the work for yourself,” she reflects, “It’s all up to you. Whether you get your work done, whether you take that quiz, whether you read that chapter is on you.”