At the age of 13, Cacin was living alone and had already experienced a difficult upbringing. When she was 14, Cacin worked a part-time job, while her school principal and teachers helped cover tuition and meals. Simultaneously, Cacin was battling bouts of depression. At the encouragement of her secondary school teacher, Cacin joined Summerbridge during this most challenging time of her youth.
What she found was a place where she was able to forget her hardships. The support given to her at Summerbridge gave Cacin hope that life could be different. To Cacin, Summerbridge was family. It was at Summerbridge that she truly began to love learning, both in and out of the classroom. With exposure to teachers from around the world, Cacin had her eyes opened to various cultures and perspectives she never knew. The program helped shape her personality – to find her voice, to be confident, and to become a person who loves and embraces diversity. Her Summerbridge teachers and peers encouraged Cacin not to give up on life. With this new motivation, Cacin sought opportunities to fulfill her potential, and Cacin began overcoming her life’s challenges one at a time.
A few years ago, Cacin graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Structural Engineering from the City University of Hong Kong. During her time there, Cacin was also the recipient of the top prize at the Young Structural Engineers’ International Design Competition. Following her graduation, Cacin began work as a Graduate Engineer at Golder Associates, a place she chose for its diverse environment – a trait she learned to value at Summerbridge. Just recently, Cacin began pursuing a PhD in Soil Mechanics at University College London on a full scholarship, looking to provide safe usage of soil for people around the world. As she reaches for her dreams, her journey of turning hope and perseverance into reality is an inspiration to us all.