Clark College students were given the opportunity to enter their idea, invention, and/or product to the Clark College Entrepreneur Club this quarter. Students emailed a document answering questions about their idea. Club officers read through each entry and the first round of pitch fest students was selected!
The next step was the Trade Show! These students were seen bringing in boxes of products to showcase, feel, and even taste! Nervously pitch fest students set up their booths and uniquely displayed their products for all too see. Many local business owners gathered outside Gaiser Student center clutching their coffees and curiously peering through the double doors as students set up. They were nominated to be judges for this event, we are so lucky that they volunteered their time to mentor our students!
Finally, our Clark College Pitch Fest trade show was open. The judges glided in, excited to see these new ideas and here the stories of passion from each of these dedicated entrepreneurs. Our very own Vita Blanco, Clark College Student Ambassador set up her booth prominently displaying her information. Plates of Verde salsa and Rojo salsa with chips were in abundance at her table. Minutes later the judges surrounded her table all chomping at the bit (literally) to eat Vita’s salsa!
If you are interested in keeping up with what many participants are calling our own Clark College version of Shark Tank, you can follow along on Facebook at Clark Entrepreneur Club and Twitter at Clark Entrepreneur Club @club_clark.
It’s so exciting to see which of our Clark College students will make it to the next round! The Clark College Entrepreneur Club will take one pitch fest team to compete at University of Washington’s Pitch Fest!
Posted by Ambassador Angela
Hello, my name is Vuochlang Chang (Anna). I come from Cambodia and I am an International Student at Clark College. My major is Computer Science. I chose this major because I like programming. I used to take basic programming classes in high school and I loved it.
I come from a middle-class family, and I have one younger brother. He is now 15 years old but he is getting taller than me. I wish I could keep growing, but unfortunately, I have been the exact same height for several years, so I guess this is my limit. Anyway, on the weekends, I like to relax and sleep a lot! I wake up in the afternoon, eat and then take an afternoon nap. I also enjoy watching anime, Korean or Chinese dramas, listen to music and play games.
Growing up, I studied Chinese and Khmer for 8 years. Then I transferred to an international school to study both Khmer and English full-time. I can still speak and listen to Mandarin Chinese, but I cannot write anymore. In my free time, I try to watch Chinese dramas which keep my language skills current.
I tend to be the most silent person in group settings. I am an introvert and prefer to be a listener, rather than a speaker. However, studying at Clark College has pushed me forward to me more open and more active than before.
Being an international student is very challenging but fun. Fall 2018 is just my third quarter, but I have encountered many different things. When I first moved to Vancouver, I used the Homestay program. It was a completely different environment for me, because I got to live with another family whose culture is very diverse from mine. My host family was really kind and caring and I especially loved their food!
I also had the opportunity to work in Child and Family Studies as a teacher assistant. It was one of the great moments I have had at Clark. I really love kids. While I was very busy with my studies, being with them during work made me feel relaxed and happy. It made me feel like a kid again.
Another new experience for me was taking online classes. Generally online classes are considered risky for international students because of the language barrier and the unfamiliarity of the American education system, but I survived!
Finally, my most current experience is being one of the student ambassadors at Clark College this year. I’m excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to meet new students. Stop by to visit me the next time you’re around Gaiser Hall!
Posted by Ambassador Anna
My name is Darciane Barbieri Eltz, but you can call me Darci.
I was born and raised in Brazil, in a small town with less than 5 thousand inhabitants. That kind of town where everyone knows each other. When I was 18, I moved to a neighbor city, which was little bit bigger: 20 thousand people. My dad owns a company there and all my family was working with him, so we decided to live closer to work. Our family used to work and live together, and that is one of the things that I miss the most from Brazil. Since I moved to US, I’ve been visiting them once a year.
Back in Brazil, my focus was on our company and I started studying public relations at a local university. The idea of working with people made me happy and I thought it would be a good fit not only for my career, but for our family business. At that point, I could never imagine that someday I would be living in another country. Life moved on, I met my husband, and after 2 years together he was invited to attend a company event in Vancouver, WA. I decided to join him and after spending 2 weeks in the US, we started to think about moving here.
Things went really fast and after 10 months of our first trip to US, we got an offer to move here. So, on the 21th of November 2016 we arrived in Vancouver, WA. It was a huge move. It’s hard to leave your comfort zone, move to a different country, learn a new language and get used to a different culture.
My immediate goal when I arrived here was to learn the language, so I enrolled at Clark College as a ESL student in winter 2017. When I start my journey here at Clark I thought would be much easier, but took me more than 5 terms to improve my English skills (I am very critical with myself, that’s why I was expecting something faster). It was frustrating and exciting at the same time, through this time I had the chance to met awesome people that helped me through the process of learning. The tutoring center was my second home, I got help for writing, speaking, and listening.
As soon as I started to feel more comfortable about my communication skills, I took I-BEST program. As a result, I received English 101 credit and that was really exciting to me. Right now, my goal at Clark is to conclude my AA transfer degree. In addition to that, be involved in the campus, make new friends and get more experiences. I got this awesome job as student ambassador which gave me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I still have two more years at Clark, and after that, my goal is to transfer to a University and start my career as a dietitian. Yes, I have changed my major and that was a consequence of all my recent life changes. The move to US, not having my family business here, all of that made me reflect on what I really want to do for the rest of my life.
I’ve been interested and involved in a lot of kinds of sports for my entire life. I really enjoy spending my free time at CrossFit or just exercising. There is nothing in the world that I love more, it helps to keep both my mind and body healthy. I do love to challenge myself with sports and I’m currently training to run Hood to Coast in 2019. Being healthy and having an active lifestyle is part of who I am, so I also like to cook and try different healthy and yummy recipes.
Another passion of mine is to travel and learn about different cultures, people, food, places, and that is one of the reasons which makes me love this whole experience of living here. I love to meet people from all different places, so please stop by to the Gaiser Hall at the Information desk and the Welcome Center to say hi and share your history with us.
Posted by Ambassador Darci
My name is Jhovanna and I am one of the new student Ambassadors for the 2018-2019 school year.
I’ve been a part-time student here at Clark College for the past two years, working on my AA-General Transfer degree. Once I complete this degree, I am continuing my education and transferring to WSU-Vancouver to obtain my Bachelor’s in Human Development with an Early Childhood Certificate to be able to teach as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.
I honestly enjoy helping people and working along with children. Also having been part of the ESL program after moving here to the States when I was seven, I have built a close connection and understanding of what ESL programs can do and mean for someone. This reason in particular is why I believe I have chosen the right career path for myself.
As I mentioned, I moved here to Vancouver, Washington when I was seven. My family and I are from Hidalgo, a small town in Mexico. My family consists of my mom, dad, and two sisters. We have always been pretty close; and to say the least, we are a pretty happy dysfunctional family 🙂
On another note, I also really enjoy the beauty and cosmetic industry. As a matter of fact, I was originally interested on going to school and getting my cosmetology license. However, as I started working at Ulta, I quickly learned that it wasn’t my passion but instead a hobby. With that said, I have worked for Ulta for what will now be five years as a lead, which has been an experience to say the least. Ulta was my first official job and until this day it is still teaching me many skills that have become of good use in other parts of my life.
I am looking forward to this new school year, and I am excited for all the new experiences I will be able to have and share as a student ambassador.
Posted by Ambassador Jhovanna
Hi Everyone! Hola a todos!
My name is Vita Blanco. Nice to meet you! I’m bi-lingual in Spanish and English.
This fall quarter I’m in full-time classes and I’m excited to be one of the Ambassadors this year. I was born and raised in California and moved to the beautiful Northwest at the age of 15. I come from a big family and am the baby of 27 siblings.
I love people and one of my passions is helping people find the resources they need. I’m grateful for each day and even for the tough days that life throws at me. I am a single mother of two beautiful daughters. On my free time I enjoy spending quality time with my daughters – they love to talk! Being a full-time student has allowed me to spend quality time with them, and influence them to reach for higher education which, has been a huge blessing to me! We also enjoy taking nature walks on different trails. I love watching breathtaking sunrises and sunsets! One of my other passions is cooking. I love making homemade Mexican food and different salsas for family and friends.
I have been at Clark College for a little over 2 years now. I’m a first generation student to go to college. In January 2016, after taking a leap of faith to leave my job, I started the High School 21+ program to complete my high school diploma at Clark College. On my third day of class I wanted to quit because I didn’t think I could do it. However, my teacher motivated me and encouraged me every day to keep going. In June 2016, and at the age 37, I had the privilege of crossing the stage after earning my high school diploma. I was given the honor to speak and share my story with over 6,000 people who attended the graduation ceremony.
Clark College has given me the confidence to believe that no matter what life throws at me. My education cannot be taken away. As a student I have many financial challenges and having the generous help of scholarships has been an inspiration to continue to reach my educational goals. There are many scholarships that available to all Clark College students. So please don’t be afraid to apply, apply for scholarships! I am now currently working on my Associates Degree in Business Administration. The Clark College community has been my backbone in my educational journey.
My goal once I graduate from Clark College in June 2019 is to transfer for my bachelors at Washington State University Vancouver. I hope to pursue public speaking as a career path. Clark College has awakened my dreams, which are now becoming a reality. This journey is not just for me; it is for my daughters and future generations. My hope is to sever my family roots of settling for less. I am working hard to accomplish this and to face all the challenges that are in front of me. One piece of advice is it’s never too late or you’re never too old to go to college!
If you have any questions or need help please feel free to stop by to the Gaiser Hall at the Information desk and the Welcome Center. We are here for you!
Posted by Ambassador Vita
My name is Ngawang Choephel and I am one of eight 2018-19 Student Ambassadors. I have been at Clark for less than a year figuring out whether or not I want to get my MBA or apply to Law School. With that being said, I received my bachelor of science in Environmental Science & Resource Management from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs)!
I was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington and lived here my whole life until I attended college in Seattle. After graduating I came back to Vancouver with a goal to study and learn even more because knowledge is power. I have one older brother who lives in Seattle and both my parents still reside in Vancouver. I am a proud Tibetan-American. My parents immigrated from India to the U.S. because of Chinese occupation in Tibet. Both my parents are quad-lingual (Tibetan, English, Nepalese, Hindi). Currently I can only speak two languages (English & Tibetan) so I have a lot of catching up to do.
I have a deep passion for sports (especially soccer and basketball). I have played soccer and basketball competitively my whole life with an array of accolades in soccer specifically. When I’m not playing sports, I am discussing about it. My favorite team of all time is the Portland TrailBlazers. If you want to hear about basketball and more specifically Portland basketball, you can follow BlazerGang on any social media platform. My current position is on the social media, podcast, and writing team.
Aside from sports, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I like to go out to different restaurants and try all sorts of new food and drinks. Aside from eating, my friends and family like to sit down and play board games in our spare time.
I’m very excited for this coming year taking classes I didn’t take at the university. I am also very excited to meet all sorts of people from different backgrounds attending Clark. If you have any questions you know where to find me! Good luck to everyone and have a great year! Go Penguins!
Posted by Ambassador Ngawang
My Name is Niza Rochelle Matzick and I’m a Student Ambassador at Clark College. I was born and raised in Mazatlán, Mexico. I love being from Mazatlán, Mexico and still have close relationships with my friends from home. I went to a private school where I was in the same class with the same students from kindergarten all the way to high school graduation. The tropical weather and the beautiful beaches made me feel like I was on vacation every day, but I came to Vancouver, WA because my parents decided to move to the United States two years ago, and I love it! The incredible outdoors and welcoming people make me feel like I’m at home.
My family is a big part of my life. I am a middle child and have two sisters, one who is 24 years old and a little sister who is 14 years old. Originally my dad is from Washington and my mom is from my hometown of Mazatlán. I also have the cutest dog in the world, her name is Tontis and she is 12 years old. Tontis is a mix between a wiener dog and poodle, which my family and I rescued in Mexico.
I’ve been at Clark for almost a year and I feel lucky for all the amazing students, staff and professors that I have met here. I am studying to earn a biology DTA degree at Clark. From there, I want to get a bachelor’s degree in microbiology or medical laboratory science. I’ve always been fascinated with science and technology.
When I’m not at Clark studying or working, I have several hobbies and interests. I love cooking and eating Mexican food, especially chilaquiles, enchiladas, ceviche and of course authentic Mexican tacos. I also LOVE SUSHI and Thai food.
During my free time, I enjoy the outdoors including hiking and extreme sports. I’m currently in the Outdoor and Recreation program at Clark College. In spring 2018, the program took Clark students to Indoor Skydiving and that was a really amazing experience for me. Additionally, I used to surf in Mazatlán and had my own surfing coach. It was such a big part of my life, that I usually practiced at least two times a week and on the weekends. A more recent hobby of mine is music. I’ve taken piano classes for a year and I plan to keep continuing that hobby by enrolling at a piano class at Clark this winter.
I hope to keep growing as a student and as a person while getting my education here at Clark College. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of the Clark College community. I love to make new friends, so never be afraid to say hi to me at the info desk or welcome center and share your hobbies and experiences!
Posted by Ambassador Niza