What It Means To Be More Than a Name

Magali in front of sign about being yourself
By Magali Ngouabou ‘22 The American government knows me as Magali Astride Cyrielle Leslie Ngouabou Noubissi. The first four are all my first names, and the last one is supposed to be my middle name, but the guy at the social security office (who was somehow in charge of typing out the name I’d have to live with) messed up. As a result, I now have to squeeze even more of my n...
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Small-Town Roots and the Whirlwind of Disaster

sunset among clouds
By Calder Hollond ‘21 When I was a young child, my mom taught me my address, one of the first pieces of information I ever memorized. If you put this address into a GPS, it would lead you to an old farmstead in the countryside in Linwood, Kansas, on a sprawling 40 acres of fields where I spent my childhood roaming around. Linwood itself is a small town of 400 people, and sur...
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Service, Sun and Sagehen Fun

students on Alternabreak
By Daniel Garcia '21 There aren’t many colleges that will cover your spring break trip, much less a spring break trip back to the place where you grew up, but Pomona’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships did just that for Spring Break 2019. Through a set of programs called “Alternabreak,” Pomona sent me and nine other students to New Orleans to do community service and ...
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Alternabreak Oakland: An Empowering Journey

Alternabreak group with large balloon creatures
By Marie Tano ‘21 This past spring break, I spent time as a Student Coordinator for the Oakland Black Alternabreak trip. I co-led this trip with Katlyn Young ’21, and we spent an entire week in Northern California where we partook in community engagement, volunteerism and self-reflection. All of the students involved with the trip labeled it as an impactful and eye-opening e...
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Grades at Pomona

sunset at the beach
By Daphne Chapline ‘22 In high school, I used to obsessively check my PowerSchool app to see my grades. I put so much pressure on myself to get perfect grades. It’s safe to say that the relationship between my self-esteem and my grades was not exactly helping my confidence. My feelings of self-worth were too contingent on how I was doing in school; if I received what I...
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Failure at Pomona

Danny with challah dough
By Danny DeBare ‘22 Failure is both the most and least talked about phenomenon at Pomona. Students at Pomona throw it into casual conversations: “Oh my gosh, I totally just failed that midterm!” Yet this over-exaggerated comment–dare I say joke­–almost rarely equates to a D or F grade. On the other hand, when not getting cast in theater productions, or not receiving specifi...
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Looking for Paradise and Finding Peanuts

Paul Kiefer in Morocco
By Paul Kiefer ’20 In a few important ways, Morocco did not feel especially foreign to me. It is a Muslim country, and I am a Muslim. It is largely an Arabic-speaking country, and I speak enough Arabic to navigate comfortably. Moroccan cities are dense, but I have spent enough time living in college dorms to feel comfortable in close quarters. I went to Morocco expecting to ...
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Building Friendships with Sweet Treats

David Song in rain in Hong Kong
By David Song ’20 In the fall semester of 2018, I studied abroad in Hong Kong through Syracuse University and their partnership with the City University of Hong Kong’s SCOPE (School of Continuing and Professional Education) program. Through this program, I spent much of my time with the fellow participants of the Syracuse & SCOPE joint-program: I lived with them in the s...
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My First Summer As a Lab Assistant

looking at slide in chem lab
By Myles Ashitey ‘22 My father would constantly drone on about my “untapped potential.” You could imagine his astonishment to discover that I was granted the opportunity to intern through a program called STEMPrep after my first year of high school. The program seeks out high-achieving, minority students with STEM interests and grants them laboratory experience by pairing...
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Good Weather Is a Good Basis for Making Your College Decision

Sarah and Leah in the pool
By Sarah Binau '19 My personal weather-related nightmare: feeling my snot freeze into icy boogers inside my nose in the 7 a.m. darkness as I unsuccessfully scrape an inch of ice from the windshield of the car with my icicle fingers, exhaust fumes adding to the gray sky’s clouds, wondering how far away June is. Except this isn’t a nightmare; it was my reality growing up in th...
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