Meet the Class of 2016: Amanda Zhou Practices Language Skills as VITA Volunteer

Amanda ZhouMay 14, 2016, Blue Bell, Pa.—Amanda Zhou originally came to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) to improve her command of the English language.

“I moved to the U.S.A. in 2010. In my first few years, I did not understand English. I could only smile when people spoke to me,” she shared.

Zhou enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at MCCC in 2012. As she gained skills and made friends, she transitioned into full-time, college-level courses. This spring, she will graduate from MCCC with an associate’s degree in Business Administration.

“I like accounting. I am good at it and I am good at mathematics,” she said. “I am optimistic about my future.”

Zhou plans to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She also plans to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

She has come a long way since her first ESL class. In April, she was one of 44 students in the Commonwealth named to the All-Pennsylvania Academic Team by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges (PACCC). In partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System), honorees are awarded two-year scholarships to any of the 14 State System institutions.

One reason for her selection was her work with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program over the past two years. Zhou expanded her skills—language and accounting—by helping members of the community complete their income taxes in Norristown.

“I plan to participate in VITA every year,” she said.

On campus, Zhou is a member of MCCC’s Accounting Club, Math Club and Phi Theta Kappa international honor society. She received three scholarships from MCCC’s Foundation to help her complete her associate’s degree.

- Alana J. Mauger

Amanda Zhou

Montgomery County Commuinty College student Amanda Zhou is a member of the 2016 All-Pennsylvania Academic Team. Photo by Sandi Yanisko