Before arriving at Simon’s Rock in 2014, Laël Ngangmeni was better prepared than most
for the changes that greet first-year college students. A native of Cameroon, Laël
grew up speaking French before she and her parents immigrated to suburban Maryland
when she was nine. She adapted, learning English and plunging into the academic and
social life of her middle school and high school.
Yet Simon’s Rock jolted Laël. “The education here is very intense,” she said. “To
counter it was the kindness of everyone here. It’s a nurturing environment that has
helped me grow.” Kindness, she said, extended to the Simon’s Rock staff charged with
helping students find their way. Laël knew she wanted to pursue pre-med and psychology,
but she had no idea what that entailed beyond studying hard—notably, discovering the
sequence and requirements of the course load, writing a résumé, finding and applying
to internships, and preparing for the MCAT exam. Consulting with the Academic Transitions
and Career Development team helped her find her path forward.
Laël had an internship in Cuzco, Peru, where she studied Spanish and shadowed doctors
in the local hospital. She also became a tutor for Academy and College students.