Although he had big dreams for his future, Keng Xiong didn’t feel prepared for the next step after high school.
With a friend’s encouragement, Keng applied for College Possible. He became part of the Navigate program, which uses a virtual model to connect students across Minnesota with coaches to help with the college process.
“I was very nervous for the ACT,” said Keng. “I was not prepared at all and, my first coach, she helped me. She set up meeting with me every Wednesday to get on top of everything.”
Keng’s coach during his senior year, Allison, assisted Keng with the college application and financial aid process, especially the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
“Allison helped me last fall and then this year when I applied [for the FAFSA], I did it by myself,” said Keng. “Allison helped me understand more of the process, like how to do things by myself.”
Keng now attends Century College, a two-year college located in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He plans to complete his general education requirements at Century and then transfer to a four-year institution to earn his bachelor’s degree.
His first year of college was challenging, but Keng says he learned a lot from the experience. He credits his college coach, Patrick, with helping him navigate on-campus and off-campus issues, from registering for classes and dealing with financial aid, to just being “that one person who always listens.”
Keng has a passion for helping others, which is why he decided to major in political science. He currently serves on the Century College Student Senate and took a trip to Washington, D.C. last spring to advocate on behalf of college students.
When asked about his dreams for the future, Keng doesn’t hesitate to share his biggest aspiration: to be a United States Senator for the State of Minnesota.
“I want to be that voice for the people who truly don’t have a voice,” said Keng.
Keng is thankful for his College Possible coaches and the empowerment and encouragement they provided to him on his path to college. And he will continue to have the support of College Possible as he continues to succeed at Century College and plans his next steps toward a bachelor’s degree.
“If it wasn’t for College Possible, I know for sure that I wouldn’t be here,” said Keng. “I’d probably be stuck, still in high school. It was through their encouragement, their pushing me out of my comfort zone… it got me to where I am right now.”