Three years ago Marigone Istogu came to the United States from her home country of Kosovo. Today she is an Electrical Technology major at OCC, owner of a perfect 4.0 grade point average and a member of the leadership team with the College’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. How did she do it? “I’m a hard worker. When I want something I work hard for it. I don’t give up.”
Istogu came to the U.S. on a fiancé visa. She had become engaged to an Kosovo-born American citizen and married shortly after arriving here. While adjusting to married life she was also busy learning the English language. “I took a course for ESL (English as Second Language), I watched movies, I only read things that were in English and I practiced with my husband and his family.”
In 2017 Istogu began taking classes at OCC. “I like it here. The people are friendly and I have adapted quickly because of the people around me. Everywhere I go people are friendly and offer help.” Her career goal is to become an engineer. “I like math and I like challenges. As an engineer you face a lot of challenges. I enjoy my labs where I get to build circuits.”
Outside class the 24-year-old participates in Toastmasters, an organization that helps members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. She takes part in Conversation Circles about Race, Gender, Religion, Economic Status and Orientation. Istogu also volunteers regularly. “I like to help people when I can. It feels good. I like to get involved, meet new people and learn new cultures.”
Istogu will earn he degree in December 2018. She plans to transfer to Syracuse University.