Lauren Yang

The daughter of a Winchester Medical Center emergency room doctor, Lauren Yang could’ve gone straight to a four-year university following her graduation from Handley High School in 2015.

The health professions student actually finished all her high school classes a semester early, and had 27 credits when she came to LFCC 2 ½ years ago, thanks to the dual enrollment program.
In May, Yang will receive her associate degree and then head on to James Madison University, before eventually becoming a physician assistant.

“That’s been my goal since I was 12,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field. Before that, I was kind of stuck between being a doctor or being a nurse, and physician assistant just seemed like it was right down the middle, seemed kind of perfect.”

Yang’s mother worked as a nurse, although she hasn’t worked since having Yang because her husband, Dr. Leonard Yang, has such a busy schedule. The couple also has two older sons, Adam and Benton. Adam Yang also attended LFCC.

Yang, who works as a scribe in the emergency department at WMC and volunteers with the Student Ambassadors, is used to being asked about her decision to attend LFCC before going on to a university.

“A lot of people questioned me,” she said. “I think people have a misconception about community college. They think it’s for the people who don’t do well in high school, or it’s kind of easier than a four-year institution.”

If classes at LFCC seem easier, it’s because the student-teacher ratio is so much lower than at a university, Yang said. Professors are always willing to help students, and there’s also the tutoring center, she said.

One of her favorite professors is Professor James Crowley, who taught her microbiology.
“He could always make us laugh,” Yang said.

She also had praise for LFCC community outreach specialist Kelli Dayrit, who leads the Student Ambassador program.

“She was pretty influential,” Yang said. “She got me involved in Student Ambassadors, which was a great experience. I met some pretty great people there.”

LFCC is especially good for those students who aren’t sure what they want to study, she said. And, it’s good for those who do know what they want to pursue, but want to get their core credits done for less money.

“If you don’t know what you’re going to do, this is the perfect place to take a few class in the things you might be interested in, or you can work at the same time,” Yang said.

LFCC boasts another advantage.

“You can build a sense of community as well,” Yang said. “There are a lot of fun options rather than just coming here and going home.”

She cited the Student Union, fitness classes and clubs as some of those options.

Those considering attending LFCC should come and enquire about what is available to them, according to Yang.

“People are very helpful here,” she said. “If you’re in high school, dual enroll. It really helps.”

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