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MACEE60: From Sarawak To USA - Viviana Vanessa

Some of the students from SMK Tabuan Jaya who attended
the MACEE 60: From Sarawak To USA at MBKS Auditorium

Hi. My name is Viviana Vanessa. I'm from class 1 Sukma 1. Last week, my friends and I went to the MBKS Auditorium to join a program that called 'From Sarawak To USA.' The program was organized by MACEE. For you guys who do not know what MACEE is, MACEE is an abbreviation for Malaysian American Commission On Educational Exchange.

It was not just our school which attended the program, but other schools such as SMK Batu Lintang, SMK Sungai Tapang, SMK TAHO, SMK Wira Penrissen and many more also joined. We heard some speeches from the people who were selected to go to America. They shared their experiences of studying there.

The most crazy thing about the exchange program was that we don't need to use our own money! All of the scholarships and bills were sponsored and paid for by MACEE. My friends and I were amazed by the stories they had told us. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to go there right then. Lot of speakers told us about what they had experienced in the USA.

At first, I was a little bit nervous and scared about this program because I wasn't that good in English. I was afraid if I mispronounced words, people would judge me. But, Mr Jarod told me that I didn't need to be afraid. The speakers also told us not to be afraid of mistakes. People make mistakes, right? Not all people were perfect. Mr Jarod also told me that if I was afraid, then I would lose this good opportunity. Not all people can be at this level.

Then I realized why we shouldn't be afraid of what people say. All of the speakers motivated me to join this program, but sadly, I am too young. But, that won't stop me. I could always join this program in the future.

I always dreamed about studying abroad and making my parents happy. I know when the time comes, I can make my dreams come true. It's not wrong if we want to plan from now. All of their stories were different but they still made me amazed.

The program was really amazing and very motivating. I did not have a single regret for joining. I felt a bit sad because I had to skip my training but it is okay! I hope I can join this program again next year and improve more!

Mr Curtis Johnson, executive director of MACEE, delivers his opening speech.


Viviana Vanessa is 13 and likes to read novels when she's bored. The first daughter of 4, she's her father treasure and likes to help her sisters and brothers with their homework. Her previous school was SK Satria Jaya and she likes to help her friends when they needed help. Although she's struggling with her mental health & often gets body-shamed, she's one of the top students in class.



  1. Wow. I'm so glad that you had a epiphany during the event. You're in form 1 & if you start preparing today, I have no doubt you'll be selected for an exchange program one day!
    - Mr Jarod


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