Veterans Day Featuring S2S Applicant Tina Wong

tina wong wearing stanford red longsleeve standing on a beach

Hometown: San Jose, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: Every couple of weeks, I receive a call from someone looking for Apple. Our phone numbers have a difference of one digit.

Intended Major: Economics

What did you do in the military? Healthcare specialist

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? Successfully led an effort to increase overall vehicle exhaust sample quality to the highest grade. (Just kidding.)

How did you hear about S2S? After months of attempting to navigate through the college application process alone, I performed a simple Google search for college resources for veterans. Among the first few links was S2S – which, at first, seemed too good to be true. S2S turned out to make a far greater impact on my success than I expected.

What was the best part of S2S for you? S2S gave me confidence. Having an empathetic and knowledgeable mentor to lean on for advice, guidance, and reassurance made the application process seem far less intimidating and acceptance seem far more attainable.

Why did you decide to pursue college? When it came time to decide whether I wanted to reenlist, I contemplated the paths that would lead to growth, within and outside of the military. Although every course had its unique appeal, I was drawn to the idea of college for the flexibility I could enjoy while exploring different fields and roles and skills. Adventure and excitement, from a different angle.

How has the transition been from the military to civilian life? Terrific – I attribute the ease of my transition to an encouraging support system and numerous veteran-oriented resources.

What’s your favorite part about Stanford? The resources and networks of support offered to all students are unparalleled. Stanford does an incredible job with cultivating students’ growth while promoting a healthy mindset throughout the community.

What advice would you give to future applicants? Be genuine with your answers in the application. Use the application process as an opportunity to look back and appreciate your growth while serving, and take your time – the process is difficult, but the enlightenment you achieve can be gratifying. Remember that real people are reading your application, and an insightful reflection has a special sheen that can’t be replicated. Also, use your resources!

What are your goals post-graduation? In appreciation of the encouragement and guidance I’ve had to lead me here, I would like to pay it forward and offer my own contributions.

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Service to School (S2S) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides free college and grad school application counseling to military veterans and servicemembers.

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