Student from India discovers STC ‘family’
Student of the Week: Soumya Jayaraj
Initially faced with the daunting task of moving to the United States alone, Soumya Jayaraj credits South Texas College and its faculty for providing her with the support to start a new life half a world away from her home in India.
Originally from Calicut which is a town in Kerala, the southern-most state of India, Soumya later moved to Mumbai where she worked in the healthcare field for many years before she began looking for colleges to attend in the United States to enhance her knowledge of the healthcare field.
“When I was trying for colleges, I kind of randomly called up a physician in the Valley, an Indian physician, and told him that I was looking for colleges and I wanted to know how the Valley was,” Soumya said. “He was kind enough to call me back and explain things about the Valley and the people here, and he would also put me in touch with the Rio Grande Valley Indian Association president.”
The Association president, Hari Namboodiri, explained to her that South Texas College was the ideal place for her educational needs and convinced her to begin attending classes.
Soumya began at STC in the spring of 2015 and graduated summa cum laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology in 2017. She is currently studying for her Bachelor of Applied Technology in Medical and Health Services Management.
“You lose only when you give up. As long as you get up and keep fighting, you don't lose. We each have two choices, we can either give up or we can keep trying.”
She continues onward to pursue her degree despite many serious obstacles. Diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia in 2017, a debilitating nerve disorder, Soumya says the support of faculty continues to inspire her to persist and succeed.
“I have had professors who have been very helpful even after I was diagnosed with the disease,” she said. “If it hadn't been for people who went out of their way to help me, and give me the leeway to work around my situation I don't think I would have been able to continue my studies. Every professor that I have worked with, have gone out of their way to treat me like family.”
Faced with many challenges, Soumya says she hopes her story can inspire students to persevere even when things seem their bleakest.
“You lose only when you give up,” she said. “As long as you get up and keep fighting, you don't lose. We each have two choices, we can either give up or we can keep trying.”
That never say die attitude is what has reached her so far. And that is the message that Soumya would like to pass on to her fellow students, “There is nothing that is impossible in life. Whatever life throws your way never give up on your dreams. Be willing to work hard and be persistent and success will follow.”