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We Are Dallas College: Tiffiya Samuel

Last updated on April 18, 2024

Can you share about your journey from India to Dallas College?

I am an international student. I came from India when I was in middle school. Adapting to a new country with a new language that I didn’t speak was a challenge. It wasn’t until after high school that I was able to start speaking with people and bettering my English. That’s when I decided to come to Dallas College instead of remaining in home school. That was a hard choice, but my grandfather was my inspiration. Before he passed away, I promised to pursue education and become the first woman in our family to achieve that.

How did you navigate being an international student at Dallas College?

The Student Government Association (SGA) was my guiding light. They showed me the available resources, which motivated me to assist future students in a similar position. Alexandria Reckley, the former SGA president, became a mentor. She showed me the abundance of resources available at Dallas College and inspired me to help others.

Could you share more about your grandfather and how he influenced you?

My grandfather was my role model. He was always there for me growing up. He provided unwavering support and motivation for me. He always encouraged me and made sure I was focused on school, even when he was battling cancer. His words as a farmer stuck with me: ‘Like a plant, start as a seed deep in the darkness of the soil, and with the sun and nourishment, come forth from that darkness and become a plant that gives back to the world.’ Dallas College has been my sun and my nourishment so far.

Why did you choose a nursing major?

Caring for my grandfather during his battle with cancer and a calling to serve the community led me to nursing. I want to provide care for the less fortunate, influenced by the lack of resources that affected my family back in India. This is a way for me to give back to the community.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

Growing up in a traditional environment where women were expected to remain silent, I persisted in questioning and seeking answers. I aim to break societal norms and inspire others to do the same. Despite discouraging remarks about my gender, and societal norms, I remained resolute. My recent election as the Vice President of SGA and nomination for Student of the Year is a testament to my determination even though certain people from my community disagreed with me joining this association as a woman and my slogan of ‘empower, enlighten, girl boss.’

What legacy do you aim to leave behind?

I want to be known as someone who emerged from darkness and embraced the light, never to regress. My goal is to pave the way for others, like my grandfather did for me.

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