Dora Situmorang grew up in Medan Indonesia, where as a young girl she dreamed of a good life with purpose. When Dora was 15, she was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Jenny Sihombing. “I went to the church building to take missionary lessons,” she said. “I wanted to become a member, but my parents did not give their authorization until I turned 18.”
Shortly after her baptism, Dora decided she wanted to serve a full-time mission. She worked extra hard and saved all she could before being called to Indonesia Jakarta Mission. “During my mission, I learned that Heavenly Father loves me with all His heart,” she said. “He wants me to be successful, and all I need to do is to trust Him and follow His directions.” She served diligently and well.
Her lesson in trust would be put to the test upon her return. Schooling was important to Dora, but only after trial and error would she find the right educational experience for her.
Dora applied to different universities in the United States while working full-time to pay for school. When she was offered an 80% scholarship to a renowned school in Pennsylvania, she accepted and planned her move to America.
The Pennsylvania campus proved a poor fit. “I experienced culture shock,” confessed Dora. “As the only Church member on campus, I struggled a lot with the college culture there.” She did not enjoy studying, living and working on the 300-acre campus. Although she tried to get involved in school activities, she felt lonely and lost. “I wasn’t happy,” she said.
Dora discussed her discontent with friends from Indonesia, and they mentioned LDS Business College. “I immediately felt that a Church school would be a better fit for me,” she said. “I also liked the skills-based education where I would learn multiple aspects of how to excel in my field.”
Dora applied to LDSBC and was accepted before she finished her freshman year in Pennsylvania. “I decided to drop my scholarship and transfer to the BC, and I don’t regret it,” said Dora. She calls it one of the best decisions she has ever made.
“I transferred as an international student and have felt so welcome in the BC community,” she said. “The friendships I have gained are helping me grow in all aspects. As I work toward my associate degree in accounting, I appreciate how different the educational experience is here. One of my favorite things is that we invite the Spirit every time we study.”
Dora feels she has found the right fit at last. She is surrounded by supportive friends and teachers, and she feels blessed by the school honor code. “It makes a lot of difference having standards,” she said. “It helps you feel the Spirit more.”
Because the Savior has changed the world for Dora, she is working to develop the most Christ-like attributes she can. She will change the world by continuing to trust in God and make right choices.