Embrace the Challenge
The mission of the Honors Program is to create an intensive learning community that will foster academic excellence, encourage civic action, and inspire the University’s top students to become strong leaders on campus and in our community.
Lihua Mao is from China and moved to DC four years ago. She is now a senior majoring in Elementary Education at UDC and plans to become a teacher in Washington because “I am passionate about teaching and want to make a difference.” In what little spare time she has, she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, hiking, fishing, and bicycling. She is thrilled to be part of the Honors Program at UDC, where she has enjoyed meeting other students who are from different backgrounds and learning about their cultures. She is glad to see that the Honors Program is expanding each semester and now offers more academic programs to cater to students who excel.
A native of Madrid, Spain, Juan Sarabia came to UDC to learn how to be a great Spanish teacher. "I love teaching Spanish!" he says. "I want to teach high school in the trenches, in D.C. public schools." He is in a hurry to get into the classroom -- he takes six classes per semester because he wants to finish early and start teaching as soon as possible. On top of all his classes, he works full-time, which means he has little spare time to spend with his wife, who is also a teacher. He enjoys taking Honors classes "because you get superb instruction without being elitist."
Growing up in Zimbabwe, Nikola Abdul always knew that she was
going to college. “In my family,” she laughs, “education is not an option, it’s a 'have to'!” Now in her second year at UDC, Nikola is studying Nursing and dreams of working in pediatrics with the United Nations. One day, she hopes to return to Africa to run a health program aimed at improving infant mortality rates.
Nikola enjoys the feeling of community in the Honors Program. “We are all aspiring to do something with our lives,” she says of Honors students. She appreciates the variety of Honors activities, including speakers and off-campus trips. “The more you learn from different people and things, the better you understand the world.”