MESA helps underrepresented first-gen students with interests in STEM fields. They took a chance on me,” said Phin of her employment through MESA. STEM fields include science, technology, engineering and math majors.
Phin was hired as an academic facilitator and participated in the Academic Excellence Workshop (AEW) which was brought to Highline by MESA.
“AEW is not a tutor, but more of a guide to get extra support,” said Phin.
This year Phin has also participated in an internship with the SPARK program. In this position she does outreach to Tyee High School students in SeaTac.
“I am a mentor, guiding them in what they want to do after high school,” said Phin of her position at SPARK.
Involvement helps student find way through college
Cassidy Kannin • Staff Reporter
Starting college was hard for Leslie Phin.
But in taking on the challenge of college, she discovered a passion for helping others also have success.
Phin entered Highline in Fall 2020 as a first-generation student during the height of COVID. Now she graduates in Summer 2022 with an associate’s degree in social sciences and years of experience in various Highline programs.
Phin chose Highline because of the vast educational opportunities and majors to choose from, and because it was on her bus route.
The Kent native is a first-generation student and member of Highline’s TRiO program, which provides support for students like Phin.
“I started TRiO in Fall 2020, I joined because I saw that they supported first-gen,” Phin said.
She said the personal connection to an adviser, the academic workshops and free classes offered through TRiO helped her greatly, especially during the pandemic. Phin later took on a volunteer position as a TRiO ambassador, doing outreach for the program.
This year she is even more involved and works as a student employee, supporting underrepresented communities of homeless and foster care system students.
“I have really enjoyed my time with TRiO, they have helped with money and building connections,” said Phin.
In addition to being a member of TRiO, Phin has been involved in several other campus organizations.
She was hired by Highline’s MESA program to help other students.
After graduation Phin will transfer to Central Washington University to pursue a bachelor of science degree through their online program.
Upon completion of her time at Central Phin hopes to return to Highline as an academic advisor, to give back to the community that helped her pursuit of higher education.
“I am glad that Highline has so many resources, Highline should be recognized for the diverse programs” said Phin in closing.