Mei Zhen

Possibilities Made Possible

Mei Zhen
Burton High School, 2007
CSU Long Beach, 2011 – Social Work

At the age of five, I immigrated to the United States with my parents and older sister. With the many new adjustments in a different country, I had to learn how to be independent including trying to achieve in school where language was a barrier. My parents both worked full-time. We lived in a one-room boarding house with a communal kitchen and bathroom. My sister struggled with school, and within the first year, became a high school dropout.

My parents made sure that even if we did not have anything that at least one of their children would go to college. Six years ago, that vision came true. I was accepted to my top college choice, Cal State Long Beach. Far from home, m parents were not financially stable to send me away.

Meritus made it possible for me to go to my top choice college by supporting our family financially and mentally. I had no mentors or anyone to turn to when I needed guidance, but Meritus provided a mentor I could turn to when I needed advice. Even when I changed my major, they continued to give me the support they always have. Now a college graduate, I feel confident in my career aspirations. Meritus has empowered me to become a social worker. Without support from my mentor, donor, and Meritus staff, i would not have explored such possibilities, and for that, I am grateful to be a part of Meritus.