Youngsu Lim ’17: From MassBay to Framingham State to the Ivy League

Youngsu Lim ’17: From MassBay to Framingham State to the Ivy League

Mar 2, 2018

Youngsu Lim is proof that it does not require a traditional path to dream big and accomplish your goals.

For many years, Lim has known that she wanted to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Columbia University’s School of Nursing, one of the top programs in the world. So there were some people who advised her that she was making a mistake in 2013 when she enrolled at MassBay Community College to earn her practical nursing diploma and associate’s degree.

“In high school people told me I was crazy to go to a 2-year college, but I didn’t have any money so I decided to take a different route to achieve my goals,” Lim says. “I wanted to prove it to myself and other people that things are possible if you work hard.”

Lim has certainly worked hard over the years. She and her single mother immigrated to the United States from Korea in 2007 and settled in Montana.

“We didn’t speak the language when we first came here and my mother chose Montana so that I would be forced to learn English quicker since there aren’t any Korean immigrants there,” Lim says.

In 2010, Lim moved to Framingham. After graduating from MassBay, she took advantage of the savings offered through MassTransfer to seamlessly enter Framingham State University, where she majored in Sociology.

“The first day I met with my academic advisor Lina Rincon, I told her that I wanted to go to Columbia University and asked her what I needed to do and how to get there.”

Lim quickly fell in love with Framingham State’s campus and established close relationships with most of her professors. She also spent a lot of her time in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) working on essays and improving her English skills. When she wasn’t there, she could often be found meeting with advisors in the Career Services and Employer Relations Office, which helped her set up an internship at Call2Talk, a suicide prevention hotline.

“I can’t say enough about the support I received here,” Lim says. “There are many great services that students can take advantage of if they are willing to put in the work.”

Sociology Professor Ira Silver taught Lim in three of his courses and was struck by her ability to apply what she was learning to her own life.

“Sociology gives you the ability to see how your life is shaped by forces that are beyond your control,” say Dr. Silver. “I think she has a number of points of identity that made the subject particularly rich for her, as an immigrant, as someone who has moved around, and ascended through the academic ranks. Her sense of gratitude is just tremendous.”

Lim completed her graduation requirements at FSU in December and will be walking at Commencement in May. In January, she learned that her dream of attending Columbia University had become a reality, as she was accepted into the School of Nursing’s DNP program to pursue her doctorate, beginning this summer.

“My mother was very proud,” Lim says. “I am a little bit nervous about moving to New York City, but I am mostly excited. This is what I have dreamed of doing.”

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.