Tina Wong- U.S. Army Medic to Stanford University
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Fun Fact About Yourself: My hair was red throughout BCT.
What did you do in the military: I was an Army medic.
What was your proudest accomplishment in the military: I take huge pride in every encounter in which I helped each of my patients.
How has the transition been from the military to civilian life? I have been so lucky to have had the love, support, and resources that helped ease my transition.
How did you hear about S2S:
How was your experience as an S2S applicant? I felt so empowered. Digging deep to be able to write meaningful essays was especially challenging, but I had a fantastic ambassador (Jacob Fure-Slocum) to lean on throughout the process.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Service to School? I want to be part of the effort that equips student-veterans with the tools they need to get to their next stop – and help them recognize the value of their experiences and their potential. S2S and other student-veterans encouraged me to pursue a path I believed was, at best, a longshot. The support from S2S that makes higher education at top universities accessible to already-qualified veterans is invaluable.
How has your experience as an ambassador been? Being an ambassador has been so fulfilling! I love seeing the growth and witnessing the progression. I’m so honored that I get to be part of such a meaningful process.
What advice would you give to veterans interested in pursuing higher education? You’re definitely more qualified than you believe yourself to be. That said, there’s so much more to a quality experience and education than the “prestige” that comes with the name of a school – consider ones that suit you, your values, and desired lifestyle. Regardless of the institution you choose to attend, don’t underestimate the power of being a driven, motivated “big fish” in a small pond – you might even find that it’s easier to stand out.
Graduation year: 2022
Why did you decide to pursue Stanford? Truthfully, Stanford popped up on my radar because I had heard 1. the application fee would be waived for veterans, and 2. the financial aid was extremely generous. I was adamant about completing my education in the Bay Area to be near family, so I figured I had much more to gain than lose – but I didn’t think I actually had a chance. Once I really started to research Stanford, I discovered how unique of a hub it was, and the more I explored, the more I realized how genuinely excited I’d be to be part of this community.
What are your goals post-graduation? Still trying to decide!
What advice would you give to future applicants? Answer the essay questions in a way that is meaningful to YOU. Stanford’s essay questions are unconventional, but they’re opportunities to showcase the different sides of you – your personality, your values, your interests, etc. It’s not supposed to be easy, but the process of crafting answers in your authentic voice can be enlightening.
What resources did you use in the application process? In addition to Service to School, I utilized the Writing Center at my community college (College of San Mateo) for additional feedback on my essays.
What was your first quarter like at Stanford? It was intense, but I quickly found that Stanford’s reputation for having a ton of resources (people and tools) was no exaggeration! The communities I joined, both a veteran and a Transfer student, were also key in aiding my transition to feel that sense of belonging as a non-traditional student.