In a few short years, Daryna Doroshenko has perfected her English, earned her Associate Degree in Accounting, and has now been named as valedictorian for Harold Washington College for the Class of 2020.

When Daryna moved to the United States in 2015, she already had a solid foundation of the English language. After working in the restaurant industry in Florida, then Atlanta, she moved to Chicago and took an English class at Harold Washington College. After one semester, she was ready to focus on her associate degree.

She knew that accounting was an in-demand job and that she would be able to have her own business, so it was the perfect fit for her.

This past semester has been challenging, but she was already taking online classes so the transition was pretty smooth. Because of the pandemic, the restaurants she works for are closed for now, but she is looking forward to when she can start earning again and begin making plans for earning her bachelor’s degree. And a silver lining may be that her family back in Ukraine will be able to watch her read her speech online at the virtual graduation ceremony on June 27.

Learn more about the accounting program at City Colleges of Chicago here.