Alumni share life stories at luncheon

By Belle Trevino/reporter

NE Campus celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Second Annual Alumni Luncheon with two TCC alumni — dance instructor Hyun Jung Chang and Amanda Nickerson, who is now Texas Christian University’s director of transfer admissions.

Both gave advice on success through finding their passions during the speech Sept. 20 in Center Corner. 

Chang, a professional dancer, told students “to really never give up.” She had been lost with who she was until she came to TCC, where she got to dance. Her dance professor, Kihyoung Choi, helped provide her with the support she needed to become who she wanted to be. 

“To me, dance was the only creative outlet that truly satisfied my need of expression,” Chang said. “There was something about moving to the music, getting lost in the now, that transported me to a place nowhere found on this earth.” 

Chang herself became a dance professor on NE Campus and has learned everything from jazz to ballet to hip-hop and traditional Korean dance.

Nickerson graduated in 1997 from TCC.

 “I have funny memories because at the time I was expecting,” she said. 

She was pregnant with a baby girl while in school. She said how important it is for students to know who their advisers and teachers are because the more people they know, the more people that can help them get to their purpose in life.

“If you have a passion and you know what it is, I would say definitely follow it,” she said. 

Nickerson, like a lot of the attendees, was a first-generation college student. She didn’t know what her passion was, so she followed in the footsteps of her aunt, who had gone to college and studied accounting. She eventually moved up to do information systems. She now helps numerous TCC students develop a successful transfer plan.

“Graduating and being able to give to students,” she said was her greatest success. 

The attendees ranged from alumni, students and faculty, and though the cake, Italian food and raffle prizes were a plus, the speeches had the spotlight. 

“It was excellent. It was awesome. It was uplifting,” NE student Joanie Torres said. 

She said it was amazing the speakers didn’t give up and let themselves be victimized by what was happening around them. It would’ve been easy for either of them to give up, she said.

NE student Sanjuana Ayala said she found the speech inspirational.

“Gave me motivation to keep going,” Ayala said.