Community service has become a way of life for Jiahuan Lin. She began volunteering in high school and has no intention of slowing down.

“Community service benefits not just the one who receives the service, but also the one who does it,” she said. “It is also a way to connect with others and gain enormous amounts of knowledge that you could not learn in school.”

Jiahuan, 18,  is the 2022 recipient of the Tidewater Community Colleges Martin Luther King Jr. student scholarship, which will be presented during a virtual ceremony on Feb. 25. The award, now in its 20th year, is designed to recognize a student who best exemplifies Dr. King’s vision and philosophy in his call for unity and equality for all.

Jiahuan holds a 4.0 GPA and is working on an associate degree in general studies.

An Outstanding High School Scholar, Jiahuan serves as a TCC student ambassador and represents the college at open houses and other events for new and prospective students. She is also vice president of TCC CARES, a student engagement club designed to help others and the environment through service projects. Additionally, she serves the Virginia Beach Campus as vice president of the Student Government Association.

Jiahuan Lin at TCC's Virginia Beach Campus.

Jiahuan has also been active in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic working with Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps during pop-up vaccination clinics. While there, she helped with medical records and monitoring patients.

Through her participation in community service, she feels that there is a bigger picture than just giving her time. “I think I gain just not more friends and knowledge, but also bonds with the community and the society as a whole,” Jiahuan said.

Jiahuan lives in Virginia Beach with her family and her eight-month-old adopted kitten, Xiao Yu.  She faced a good deal of culture shock after coming to the United States from China in 5th grade, but now enjoys the mix of the two cultures.

Like other college students, she enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new foods and playing video games in her free time. Don’t be surprised if she offers you an opportunity to give back. “Now that I understand how important it is to volunteer, I always encourage people around me to do so as well,” she said.

Jiahuan is confident that community service will always be a part of her life. “I believe that volunteering has changed me a lot and I am certain I will still be doing it after I graduate from TCC,” Jiahuan added.  “By volunteering, it feels like my community and society in general, are unbreakable.”