F&M Stories

Lancaster Native Embarks on a Personal Journey Close to Home

Quyen Hoang didn't need to travel far to find herself. Like Franklin & Marshall College, this sophomore calls Lancaster, Pa., her home.

Hoang graduated from J.P. McCaskey High School, a public high school in Lancaster, in 2020 and is the first in her family to attend college. After immigrating from Vietnam to the U.S. as a child, Hoang was hoping to stay close to what she considers her hometown for college. But she was concerned the decision would hinder her opportunities for growth.

"I was nervous I wouldn't grow as a person if I went to college so close to home," she said. "But while it's still in Lancaster, and it's still 10 minutes from home, F&M is a completely different environment, and I'm still growing as a person."

Since arriving, Hoang has been exploring the plethora of opportunities the F&M experience offers. She's a member of Kappa Delta; First Generation Diplomats, a student organization that provides support and advocacy to first-generation students attending F&M; a sophomore representative for Club Council; and is a member of the executive board of Asian American Alliance. Hoang has also learned a new lesson in how to approach her F&M courses. She described originally attending F&M classes with a preconceived notion that her only duty was to pass and get the required credit. Now, she views them—and her activities on campus—as opportunities to explore her interests and discover who she is as an individual.

"The whole journey is about finding myself and finding my likes and dislikes," she said.

Hoang is intending to declare a joint major in biology and business, organizations and society, with a minor in chemistry. Hoang is hoping to combine these interests and become a pharmacist, a passion she discovered while shadowing in the pharmacy during her ongoing Wegmans management internship.

"Being a pharmacist, you get that one-to-one interaction with a patient and have an impact that could change their lives," she said.

Hoang felt confident in her transition from McCaskey to F&M, taking note from many McCaskey-F&M alumni before her. But she's learned that, to find the growth she seeks, she must take a step outside her comfort zone—even if that step is just 10 minutes from home.

"I learned I have to be in a few uncomfortable situations for my personal growth," she said. "Although I am very uncomfortable with taking a step forward blindly, I should because it's the only way I'll grow."

"...While it's still in Lancaster, and it's still 10 minutes from home, F&M is a completely different environment, and I'm still growing as a person."

– Quyen Hoang

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