Sorya Grace:
Business &

How Sorya Grace embraced change to move from healthcare into accounting

When Sorya Grace immigrated to the United States in 2017 she had no idea that the career she spent a decade building in Cambodia wouldn’t come with her. She was a doctor there and after settling in Elyria, Grace enrolled in Lorain County Community College’s registered nursing program to continue her healthcare career. Three months was all it took to realize the pathway wasn’t right. 

“I found out the healthcare system here is very different than in Cambodia,” she says. “It was really stressful and disappointing. I invested in my education, but I cannot apply it here.” 

Beyond the healthcare system hurdles, Grace says her short-lived time in a U.S. based patient environment magnified the language barrier she faced. She didn’t feel confident interacting with patients.  

As a past dream began to fade, another came into focus – being a good provider for her two young sons.  

“My family is why I keep pushing the boundaries and moving forward,” she says. “I do not want my past holding me still.” 

So, Grace pivoted and began taking courses to earn an Associate of Science degree, with plans to also earn an Associate of Applied Business degree in the fall and become a Certified Public Accountant. To Grace, math is a universal language.  

“Accounts mostly work with numbers, and numbers do not lie,” she says. 

Staying at LCCC to earn her accounting degree was an easy choice. The college was close to home, affordable, and had the student-focused services she needed, including taking English as a Second Language courses.  

As Grace’s confidence grew, so did her desire to help other students. Since 2022 she’s worked as a student assistant in the tutoring center. The student interaction has helped build her confidence. And while Grace says she has always felt surrounded by support at LCCC, earning her degree still took a push from within. 

“It is hard as a mom and a wife and being a student, but I always keep my eyes on the goal,” she says.  

And now, as Grace completes her internship at Levis Sequin CPAs in Elyria and graduates with a degree she never expected, she has one message for anyone who wants to go back to school but considers their obstacles too great: you got this.  

“Just keep pushing forward,” she says. “One step at the time it is better than standing still.” 

She also has a hope for her sons, who fuel every bit of her fire to achieve.  

“Never let your past hold you back. Life is too short.”  

“My family is why I keep pushing the boundaries and moving forward. I do not want my past holding me still.” 

Sorya Grace, 2023 LCCC graduate