From a dream of dancing to a passion for engineering, Casey Tan’s journey is an inspiring one.

Hailing from the Philippines, Casey and her family made a life-changing move to Chicago in 2011. Although she attended an arts high school where she focused on dance, Casey has always had an interest in STEM and knew that a career in engineering would lead to a world of opportunities. Due to her artistic background, she had some hesitations about pursuing engineering, but they didn’t stop her from taking steps towards earning an Associate in Engineering Science degree from Wright College.

In high school, Casey was a recipient of the Posse scholarship, which provides students with a full ride to a select number of colleges and universities. However, with encouragement from her parents, she decided to follow in her brother’s footsteps to attend Wright.

Casey admits that she had reservations about attending a community college, but her perspective completely changed when she became a student. She had the incredible support of faculty and mentor Dr. Doris Espiritu, and she was surrounded by supportive peers who shared the same brightness, ambitions, and enthusiasm about the engineering field. Casey found community at Wright within her engineering cohort and joined student organizations such as the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and the Society of Women Engineers.

“Don’t limit your own potential,” she emphasized when asked what advice she would give new students. “If you think you’re capable, don’t be afraid to ask for support.”

Casey was also involved in research and tutoring opportunities at the college, which led to her securing an internship at Northwestern University’s Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE). As an intern at Northwestern, she’s focusing on 3D-printing vascular scaffolds and biomedical engineering, which she says is the perfect opportunity to build skills for the future.

This fall, Casey will be transferring to Northwestern to study biomedical engineering. She believes the engineering program at Wright and her summer internship have truly prepared her for her next steps towards a successful career.

Reflecting on her experience at Wright College, Casey expressed, “I will never shut up about the engineering program for the rest of my life.”