Seeking political asylum from China, Emily Thao moved to the US eight years ago to seek a new life. After spending years learning English and working towards her GED, Emily took the next big step and enrolled in Saint Paul College to pursue a Medical Laboratory Technician Degree.

Feeling the acceptance of friendly faculty and classmates who accepted her with open arms with no barriers or judgment, Emily loves having a new-found confidence while continuing to grow, enthusiastically sharing:

“Attending Saint Paul College is one of the best choices I have made in my life!”

Emily enrolled in Saint Paul College because of its track record of success and diversity and the high Medical Laboratory Technician program graduation rate. She warmly welcomed the friendly advice from faculty who often encouraged her to do more beyond the classroom, such as volunteering and pursuing scholarships. Following painful and expensive foot surgery for pre-cancerous growth, Emily was faced with another obstacle to overcome. Encouraged by her teacher to apply for a COLA Scholarship, she was ecstatic when she was awarded financial support, which helped her continue her studies. Beyond the financial support, Emily viewed the scholarship process as a positive step in her mental health as she was able to reflect on her educational journey and accomplishments while writing her essay.

Saint Paul College has partnered strongly with Allina Health, providing clinical rotation internship opportunities for over 200 medical field students since 2019. Emily currently interns at Allina Health, working four full days each week. She is learning many aspects of her profession as she rotates between six departments in her clinical setting: blood bank, microbiology, hematology, chemistry, urinalysis, and phlebotomy.

Emily beams with excitement as she shares that she passed US citizenship a few months ago. She is excited about her future in the Medical Laboratory field after she graduates in May. But, before starting her career, she hopes to celebrate her accomplishments by traveling to the United Kingdom and coming home refreshed and ready to work in the all-important medical field.