Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

VCCS BlogBorn in Burma (now known as Myanmar), Asein (pronounced ah-seen) Ta was orphaned as a child and spent four years living in refugee camps. In 2008, he was brought to the U.S. to begin a new life in Virginia.

His foster parents spoke only English. But that’s what Ta wanted. Being surrounded by a language not his own, he figured, would help him learn faster.

Now into his second-year at JTCC, Ta feels he’s become part of a family.

“It’s been great. When I first got to John Tyler, one of the first things I recognized was the classroom size and the other thing is the environment. It is a nice place where you can study – especially the library where there are not a lot of distractions.”

Aiseen Ta - JTCCTa is also in the college’s Great Expectation’s (GE) program. “It’s one of the greatest programs that have ever happened to me and all the other students who need it,” he said.

Ta is especially fond of his GE coach Vicki Muenstermann whom he describes as “awesome.”

“She does pretty much every single thing that helps us including coordinating all the schedules, helping us find the tutors we need and making sure we stay on the tasks that we’re required to do.”

Ta says he spends a lot of time preparing for tests and trying to keep his work done. Suffice it to say, it’s a hectic schedule.

“Especially for me because I work part-time. A lot of students that I know from John Tyler also go to school full-time and work part-time jobs or they go to school part-time and work full-time jobs. A lot of students are trying to support themselves while going to school full-time.”

After finishing his General Studies degree, Ta says he hopes to transfer to VCU.

“I’m picking a degree for teaching. Supporting education is very important.”

So important, in fact, that Ta plans to one day give back to the college that gave him the opportunity to explore his potential.

“Hopefully, when I qualify for my teaching degree, John Tyler will become the place I will go to become a professional.”

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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