May 05, 2021
Polly, tell us a little bit about yourself …
Hi! My name is Polly Peng, I am an international student who came to the US four years ago.
And I am currently a graduating senior studying in Fairmont Prep Academy. I love taking photos
and swimming in my free time. Based on my own experiences, I really want to contribute to the
community and help people get through their hard times with less anxiety and be more mentally
What’s your connection to Orange County?
I studied in Fairmont Prep Academy, a school located in Orange county. I have lived here for
four years. So I had the opportunity to get to know a lot of people and classmates around here
through classes, activities and community services.
Share with us a little bit about your outlook on life.
I believe that everybody is born with a role in this world and has their own values. Each
individual has their own path, either slower or faster. We just need to follow our heart and goals,
keep learning, keep feeling. Have the braveness to face failures and take care of ourselves. If
we have more power to help others and contribute to the rest of the world, then that would be
What’s your favorite book?
By far, 《Hunger》 is my favorite book.
What’s your favorite self-care activity?
I love listening to classical music and watching old movies, it makes me feel really calm and
helps eliminate my anxiety.
What drew you to community mental health work?
As an international student, I have also been through some mental struggles when I first come
to this brand new environment. And with this experience, I get to understand about the
importance of mental health. After this, I have always wanted to use my own experience and
knowledge to help people around me to be more mentally healthy. So me and my group all
wanted to work with MHA-OC in order to contribute to the community.
What have you gained from your experience as an intern for Mental Health Association of Orange COunty (MHA-OC)?
Firstly, from a business aspect, when our team was helping finding donors for the silent auction
event. And it makes me become braver because I have to talk to strangers and figure out a way
to make them willing to donate something. I improved a lot on communication and planning
skills, I also learned to be more flexible when sudden problems arise. Through social media, I
learned more about graphic design and organizing information, thanks to Sara, I learned to think
more thoroughly before posting anything that might have the potential to cause any arguments.
But most importantly, I definitely gained a sense of responsibility and accomplishment by feeling
like contributing to works that could actually help people.
Why attend community mental health events, like those hosted by Connect-OC?
First of all, the activities hosted by Connect-OC could inform people more about how to better
take care of themselves. And also the activities could help people to get to know and bond with
others who live in the same community. It is also easier for them to reach out for help,
assistance and resources to either help themselves or help others.
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