Micah Pascual is a graduating senior from the Philippines. Growing up, he recognized those with a college education had more opportunities at jobs that yielded better working conditions and pay. Conscious of the financial burden it would cost his parents, Micah always worked hard and saved up for expenses related to seeking a degree. It wasn't until serving a full-time mission he learned about BYU–Hawaii from a companion. Although Micah was admitted upon completing his mission, he stayed back with his mother in Taiwan for two years per her request. But during that time, the urge to seek higher education continued to dwell within. He's now about to graduate with a bachelor's in business management, with an emphasis in human resources.
Overwhelmed with gratitude, he urges students to take nothing for granted, stating, "if you're here, you need to do your best and do your part. There are a lot of students who want to be here but don't have the opportunity. Do everything you can to make your family and country proud of your efforts." He also encourages students to be hungry for what they want to learn in life and trust their ability to accomplish these things. It took Micah eight years to achieve this goal, and come graduation; he will be the first person in his family to have obtained a college degree.
During his time here, Micah has had the opportunity to work under Tai Vuniwai, vice president of human resources at the Polynesian Cultural Center. In speaking of Tai, he mentions, "he's always been trusting in what I can contribute to the team and wants me to be the best I can be." Additionally, he thanked Derek Whetten as another figure in his college career who always encouraged students and trusted Micah's capabilities to succeed. Many others have helped contribute to his overall experience and growth as a student.
Upon graduating, Micah plans to do his academic training in the human resources department at the Polynesian Cultural Center as he awaits his wife's completion of her degree. Looking back, Micah could have never imagined this incredible journey of studying at BYU–Hawaii. He hopes that his example inspires others in similar situations and advises them to put God first, as "Heavenly Father has a plan for us all, he has a timetable, and if something is for us, it will work out."
We share in the excitement Micah has for his next chapter in life. Congratulations on all you've accomplished.