Monica English, B.A. Philosophy
Monica Xu English was 14 when she escaped her abusive home, but her problems did not end there. Over the next year, she dropped out of high school and bounced around hospitals, an emergency shelter and foster homes, only staying in one place for weeks at a time. Eventually, she was reunited with her Chinese mother, and her life stabilized – though the early trauma has taken a mental and physical toll. These days, as English graduates with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, she reflects on how her multicultural identity (her father is Irish American) and exposure to different languages and cultures while in foster care sparked her love of the humanities. English is co-president of the philosophy club at UCI and an active member of the campus’s Foster Youth Resilience in Education program. She is literate in four languages and in 2018 alone traveled to 15 countries. Her biggest goal, English says, is to be a humanitarian. As a professional model and mentor – as well as an avid writer and public speaker – she wants to use her platform to raise awareness of foster care and mental health issues.
– Lilibeth Garcia, UCI
Countries she’d most like to visit: