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Student Story

Jessica Huang '25, B.A., Psychology

Jessica Huang

In her LinkedIn profile, Jessica Huang asserts she dreams of a future serving others. A sophomore majoring in psychology and minoring in media and communication, she aspires to be a school psychologist or a lawyer. Jessica is a graduate of the Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences, located on the campus of Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn.

Jessica Huang
Photo by AnnaMaria Leal

Why did you choose to enroll at St. Francis College (SFC)?
Since I take Access-a-Ride to get to school, which operates only in the five boroughs, I knew I would end up going to college in New York City. An acquaintance who attended SFC thought it might be a good fit for me because of its small size and close-knit environment. I went to a small high school, where I was the first student in a wheelchair many of the staff had encountered. Whenever I brought up a concern, it was usually being addressed within 24 hours, just like it is at SFC.

I applied here and got accepted into the honors program. The fact that I received a generous scholarship and financial aid helped my parents, as I am the youngest of three children they have in college at the moment. I enjoyed my first year at SFC so much that I asked a friend to apply. She is now a freshman here.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at SFC?
I am the vice-president of the Psychology Club this year, as well as a member of the Fashion Club. Last year, I modeled in the first-ever SFC student fashion show and contributed an article on adaptive fashion to Couture, the Fashion Club’s magazine.

Outside of school, I am completing a social-justice internship remotely at the Jacksonville Urban League, and next summer I will be interning with Runway of Dreams, where I will be doing marketing and helping to put together a virtual adaptive-fashion show. This internship also will be 100% remote. Zoom has opened up a new world and many possibilities for me.

How is SFC helping you to achieve your career goals?
No matter what I end up doing career-wise, I want to advocate for people with disabilities. There are a lot of opportunities here to gain experience and get your foot in the door. Psychology and law are both very interdisciplinary, so all of these opportunities are valuable.

How much more accessible is SFC’s new campus?
Moving to the new campus was like a Christmas present! Although the old campus was contained in one building, which is ideal for me, the elevators were tiny. At peak class times, my aide and I would sometimes wait up to 15 minutes for one. Also, because they tended to be larger and single-occupancy, I preferred using the gender-neutral restrooms at the old campus, but these were few and far between and often out of commission. The simple fact that things are bigger and brand-new at the new campus, I appreciate so much.

What are some of the challenges you continue to face?
The physical environment is just one piece of the puzzle. At the start of a semester, there might be a professor who has no prior experience with a student who has a physical disability. Then there are indirect barriers people are not always aware of or barriers that are not obvious — until we have a conversation. I’m always educating people. This is something I don’t mind, as I know doing so benefits future Terriers. Everyone at SFC is very receptive.

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