Florida Cishesa from the Democratic Republic of Congo began her academic journey at BC.
My name is Florida Cishesa and I am from Bukavu, a city in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2015, my family moved to Lubumbashi (in southeastern DRC), and they enrolled me in a high school there named Complexe Scolaire Bellevue, which has a partnership with Bellevue College in Washington State, USA.
Bellevue College Programs
During my junior year in high school, I received a scholarship to attend a three-week-long summer program on leadership and sustainability at Bellevue College (BC). In addition, I was selected to join BC’s International High School Completion Program. In August 2019, I started my journey at Bellevue College and began pursuing my associate degree in Science Track II.
As I am passionate about STEM (science, technology engineering, and mathematics), I have always dreamed of studying at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). In the spring of 2022, I was humbled to be admitted to the MIT class of 2026. I applied as a first-year student because I was in a high school program, but my college credits were transferrable.
I like MIT not only because of the academic opportunities they offer to students but also because of their generous financial aid packages, which meet 100% of the student’s financial needs. This is one of the most important reasons I chose to commit to MIT because of the incredible scholarship they offered me.
Thriving at Bellevue College
I spent the majority of my studies at Bellevue College in an online setting — it was an amazing experience that prepared me for my next academic journey. While in the remote setting at Bellevue College, I got the chance to join the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and to become Vice President of Fellowship for the BC chapter, Alpha Epsilon Rho. We organized volunteering activities like recycling plastic bags by crocheting them into bedrolls that will be distributed to the homeless.
I also got the chance to connect with my professors and work on several projects together. They wrote me strong recommendation letters that contributed to my admission into MIT.
During my application process, I used several resources that BC provides to students, such as the Academic Success Center, where I received help with the grammatical aspect of my personal statement. I also received assistance from my mentor, my advisor, and my professors. At Bellevue College I met wonderful people, from students to staff, who taught me not to set limits to my capabilities, to embrace challenges, and to learn from failure.
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