My name is Chyson. I grew up in the middle of the ocean, on Oahu, a tiny island with a population of a million people, surrounded by miles of ocean and the best beaches in the world. My life was great and being raised one of the islands of Hawai‘i is more than a privilege, it’s a blessing.

Before attending UNC, I was scared to leave my secluded paradise. Being a first-generation student, the odds were stacked up against me. The life I had known was about to be shifted dramatically and I had no idea how I was going to cope with it. I was all alone, living by myself. It was a tough transition. Balancing school, lifestyle changes and making friends while doing it alone wasn’t a task I was prepared for.

It wasn’t until I came across the Asian Pacific Student Services (APASS), when I finally busted out of my comfort zone and started to create those lifetime friendships with people. This resource on campus helped me dramatically. It was truly amazing! From then on, APASS introduced me to the Hawai‘i Club. This club has made an impact on my life here at UNC - being able to meet multiple different people, who were all coming from that same secluded paradise as me is what I needed to jumpstart my college experience. Without these experiences, I don’t know where I would be. I am so grateful for APASS and Hawai‘i Club for helping me grow into the best version of myself. I have grown into a better professional while also being a leader within the club. These two campus resources have ultimately made me who I am today.

Learn more about Asian Pacific Student Services (APASS)