A CEBUANA working student will graduate with flying colors as summa cum laude with a degree in accountancy at Kean University in New Jersey, USA.

Wynell Omaña Morga, 22, of Green Village, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, will receive the highest academic honor an institution can give for an undergraduate course during the university’s commencement exercise on May 19, 2022.

“It was very unexpected, but it’s my ultimate goal. I just tried my best so that regardless of what the results were, I had no regrets,” said Morga.

For a working student in a foreign land like her, achieving such a feat takes a whole lot of hard work and dedication. She burned the midnight oil to complete schoolwork and maintain straight A+ grades.

Morga worked an average of eight hours per day on weekdays and 12 hours per day on weekends as a food service worker at Roosevelt Care Center, while enrolled as a full-time student at Kean University.

“I paid for my tuition fees and books so I had to ensure that I had enough work hours to afford my bills. To do so, I had to stack my classes on certain days and make sure that I had days off on the weekdays. These days off and the weekends were basically my workdays. I worked 12-hour shifts and then I would do my school work as soon as I got home,” said Morga.

All that hard work and sacrifices paid off when she earned a degree on Bachelor of Science in Accountancy minor in Finance as a Summa Cum Laude, and was even one semester ahead of her batchmates.

Growing up in Cebu, Morga needed to adjust to a totally different culture when she and her mother, Milagrosa, moved to the US six years ago.

Morga completed 10th Grade at the University of Cebu Main Campus, and enrolled at the John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in New Jersey for Senior High School.

“I got here in the US when I was in my junior year of high school (Grade 11) and I had this perception that high schools in the US can be very intimidating. So, the first few days of school, I was very nervous because I had no idea how everything worked. In fact, I couldn’t sleep the night before the first day of class,” she said.

With the help of her new friends, Morga was quick to adapt to the new culture.

After senior high school, Morga took and passed the entrance exam at Kean University.

“Meeting new friends and getting to know more people was definitely the main thing that helped me adjust. They taught me how things work which is also why culture shock wasn’t really an issue for me,” she said.

Her family’s support gave Morga the fuel and desire to dream. “I dedicate this one to my family,” she said.

Morga still works at Roosevelt Care Center while doing a tax internship for 1-800Accountant. She even got a full-time offer from an accounting firm.

She plans to take up a master’s degree in Accountancy and take the Certified Public Accountant licensure exam in the US this year.