Attending college a world away from home

Jennifer Immingan - photo courtesy of the Newberg GraphicTo say Jennifer Immingan “left home” to attend college would be an understatement.

Immingan, 18, is a native of Savoonga, Alaska, one of two towns on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. The island is closer to Russia than the United States, and the primary economy is subsistence walrus and whale hunting.

Immingan left her native Eskimo culture to attend college in the “Western” world. Her friends chipped in to buy her a plane ticket so she could tour Northwest colleges, and she chose George Fox. She is now attending the university through the Gates Millennium Scholars program.

“I didn’t think the Christian thing would (matter much), but having professors whose faith is so strong ... they’re not pastors, but they’re living in the real world, and they’ve faced such challenges and come out stronger,” she said of George Fox to The Newberg Graphic. “They’re blunt, and they challenge me. It’s a life-changing factor that I didn’t anticipate.”

The Newberg Graphic recently published a profile of Immingan. To read it, visit the newspaper's website.