Rachel Yar Deng - Associate of Science in Life Sciences Program
Rachel Yar Deng, who goes by her middle name, Yar, is an exceptionally enthusiastic student in the associate of science in life sciences program at Landmark College. A resident of New York City for the last 13 years, Yar lived in Western Europe as a young child and has a motivating cosmopolitan energy. In Spring 2013, she won the academic award for excellence in science at the College. She shared her excitement for science and her reasons for selecting the A.S. program at Landmark College.
What would I say to a student who is thinking about coming to Landmark College? Do it. Even if one semester is all you do, you’ll learn so much about yourself, your learning difference, and the resources available. You’ll never experience anything comparable to being here—no matter where you go, what you do, or who you meet.
I love science. I have always known that I wanted to study science. You can learn so much about yourself through science. You learn how to observe the world in a different way. You gain a great sense of accomplishment by “doing it right” and seeing it work before your eyes. Right now, my goal is to earn an A.S. and go into the field of bio-engineering. I want to design new and better technologies—for health and medicine—than those that are in use now.
I have a non-verbal learning disability (NVLD), executive functioning difficulties, and a smidgen of ADHD. I did very well in high school due to my mother's pushing me to achieve success, and eventually I started pushing myself as well. There was nothing anywhere that implied I had an LD--my mother and I didn't even know! After an unsuccessful semester at my first college, my mom and I realized that something needed to be addressed. It was suggested that I might have some executive functioning problems, and my mom did some research. My mother found information on Landmark College, and I attended a summer session. I wasn't diagnosed until after that, which meant I wasn't diagnosed until I was an adult.
This summer session convinced me to enroll full-time. I knew I wanted to come back and learn more about how I learn, to tailor my study habits to my strengths, and to learn in an environment where the faculty and staff understand learning differences.
Since I have been here, I have experienced so many great things. After my first semester, my GPA skyrocketed because I learned how to excel in my courses. In addition to taking science courses, I assist Dr. Cynthia Tolman, associate professor of natural science, in the laboratory. She took the time to explain how things work—like measurement protocol, metric prefixes, and ratios—step-by-step. Doing science like this gives me such a sense of excitement.
The professors here are nice, cool, understanding, and straightforward. They are always willing to help, and they encourage you to be open with them—so that you can achieve your goals.
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