Ryan Liu, who graduated from PCC in 2015 before transferring to Yale University, wrote about the contributions that community college has made to his educational journey in an article posted to Forbes.com.
In the article, titled "Why I'll Graduate From Yale But Owe It To Community College," Liu describes his upbringing as a child of immgirants and the first in his family to go to college. Community college made higher education possible, Liu says, sharing that until he came to PCC he shared a bed with two family members.
"I knew how a higher education could provide a better life, but I was unsure if I could afford it," Liu writes.
To help others in his situation take advantage of the benefits of higher education, Liu advocates for increased college access and tuition-assistance programs such as the PCC Promise, which gives local eligible students the ability to attend PCC without paying tuition for their first year. Similar programs have taken root in Tennessee, Utah, and elsewhere in California.
"Comunity college gave me the means to help at home, while pursuing a degree," Liu writes. "Community college gave me a shot. And I wouldn't be at Yale, or doing well there, if it wasn't for community college."
Through work on the College Promise Campaign, Liu and others are hoping to expand access to community college throughout the country, so that students can get "a promise that if they work hard, they can have the same opportunity that I had to attain a higher education — and a better life," Liu writes.
The entire article is available online.