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Miriam Leah Thompson
During my first two years of high school I was not very focused on excelling academically. I spent most of my energy on the social aspect of high school such as dating, shopping and having fun. As my junior year approached, an English teacher whom I admired told me that she believed I was an intelligent student with just as much potential to succeed as my peers who were continuing their education. She asked me about my plans and helped me refine them. After researching various careers and examining my strengths, I decided to study Design.
At this point I realized that my academic record was not UC eligible. I vowed to myself to make academic success my priority and sacrifice anything that might hinder me from that goal. After graduating Westchester High School in 2000, I enrolled at West Los Angeles College determined to transfer to a top-tier University of California Design program. I joined the Transfer Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and Alpha gamma Sigma Honor Society to enrich my experience and build my leadership skill-set. Through determination, support from peers and advisors I was accepted to three UC campuses and eventually choose to attend UC Davis.
Transferring to UC Davis was a very humbling and rewarding experience for me. To step outside of my comfort zone and still succeed gave me a heightened sense of personal worth. Working for Black Family Week, Design Museum, and being an ACE mentor were some of the activities that helped me to develop my work ethic and learn my strengths and weaknesses. As a Design major, I choose a comprehensive emphasis. It gave me freedom to build my own curriculum and explore my interests in bridging Design and the Environment.
These interests lead me to pursue City Planning. I recently completed my first year of graduate school and am currently working for the Los Angeles City Planning Department. My ultimate career goal is to promote sustainable community development through the vehicle of City Planning. I am convinced that attending West Los Angeles College as an alternative to directly enrolling in a University was a pivotal opportunity that allowed me to realize my academic and career goals.
Miriam L. Thompson
Miriam Thompson, a successful graduate of West Los Angeles College and UC Davis. She is now completing her Master's Degree at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She advises "Don't let the paperwork stand in the way of your success!"
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