Have you wondered what happened to those high school students featured in The Spokesman Review’s graduation issues?
Well, one such student, Samson “Sam” Lim, a member of the Mead High School class of 2006, recently completed his freshman year at the University of Washington. While there, he discovered a new dream.
“I came to the university intent on owning my own business,” said Lim. “I wanted to be a CEO. But now, my friends say the Dream Project is my life.”
According to its Web site, the Dream Project is a student-initiated high school outreach program that operates as a University of Washington course. It partners UW students with first-generation and low-income high school students to help them achieve the dream of attending college.
“The Dream Project showed me there’s so much I can do to help others. That’s more rewarding to me than being a CEO,” Lim said.
Lim served as Scholarship Committee chairman and helped create the guidelines for awarding the scholarships. He participated in the selection of the six winners and also conducted several scholarship workshops at high schools in the Seattle area.
The busy student recently returned from Los Angeles, where he attended the Monster Diversity Leadership Program, sponsored by Monster.com. The focus was learning through entertainment.
“It was a great experience but very challenging,” Lim said. “I had to step out of my comfort zone. I expected a formal leadership workshop, but they really believe in having fun.”
Not bad for a young man who once thought his life might be defined by his physical limitations. When Lim was 9, he was diagnosed with dystonia, a rare neurological movement disorder.
Two years ago, he underwent risky brain surgery in San Francisco. The operation was a success.
“I brought my wheelchair with me to college but didn’t need to use it once,” Lim said proudly. “I only use a cane part time for support.”
He said his stamina and endurance continue to improve.
In August, Lim will travel to Berlin to study at Humboldt University as part of UW’s Exploration Seminar program.
His involvement with the Dream Project has shifted his career goals from commerce to service.
As the recipient of 15 scholarships, Lim wants to use his expertise to create a small scholarship fund. He already has begun work on his new project.
Lim advises students to “seek the challenge that inspires your passion,” adding, “Never underestimate your story or your ability to impact others.”
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