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We Are Dallas College: Ngai Ning

Can you share your journey leading up to attending Dallas College? 

I moved from Burma, also known as Myanmar, to Malaysia in 2012 to escape the oppressive dictatorship and civil unrest. Myanmar was a difficult place for Christian believers like my family due to the authoritarian government. We faced hardships, limited freedoms and a lack of educational opportunities. Moving to Malaysia was a dangerous journey, as we traveled illegally when I was about 12 years old. My dad had already moved to Malaysia, and we reunited with him there, where I learned English for the first time. In 2015, the United Nations Refugee Agency helped us relocate to Dallas, Texas, which was a tremendous opportunity for us. After graduating from high school in 2021, I began attending Dallas College.

What were some of the biggest obstacles you faced upon arriving in the U.S.? 

The biggest obstacle was the language barrier and adapting to a new environment. Learning English in Malaysia helped a bit, but starting middle school in the U.S. was tough. I had to catch up with peers who had been learning English since kindergarten. Balancing schoolwork and part-time jobs was also challenging. The support from my parents and teachers, along with resources like ESL programs, was crucial in overcoming these obstacles.

How did your academic and career interests evolve at Dallas College? 

Initially, I pursued an engineering major but struggled with math courses. I switched to a business major in my second semester and started exploring photography and videography, which became my passion. Dallas College provided affordable classes and opportunities like the Dallas Promise scholarship. I began doing freelance photography and videography, balancing classes with part-time jobs, and eventually secured an internship with FC Dallas, thanks to my ongoing college enrollment.

What drives your passion for photography and videography? 

My passion for photography started when my dad won a Nikon camera in a raffle. I loved capturing moments and seeing the joy it brought to people. I loved to see the smile on their face after I show them the photos I took of them. Combining this passion with soccer, another love of mine, has been incredibly fulfilling. The drive to create, express myself, and bring happiness to others motivates me. I aim to turn this passion into a full-time career, blending creativity with financial stability.

What legacy do you hope to leave behind? 

I want to inspire others, especially the next generation of creatives. Many people have inspired me, and I hope to do the same for others. I also want to be known as a community-oriented person, giving back through my talents. Whether through community projects or helping individuals, I strive to use my gifts to positively impact others and leave a legacy of kindness and support.

Published inCampus LifeStudent Success StoryWhy Dallas College?