Mar 27, 2012
Posted by Admin PSF

Ratna Setyaning Widayanti never believed she would further her studies all the way to the US. She comes from a modest background, her mother is a middle school teacher and her father works for an electric company. This young woman from Tulungagung, East Java was keen on finishing her school in her hometown and continuing her studies at a state university in Malang. But an opportunity struck when she was accepted at Sampoerna Academy in Malang, an international standard high school with dormitory facilities. 

Through the international curriculum employed at Sampoerna Academy, Ratna, was able to apply to universities in Indonesia and abroad. The education that she received there encouraged her to dream big. Upon graduating from high school, she was determined to study abroad and applied to three universities in the US. She was awarded a full scholarship at the University of Kentucky and for cost of living Ratna received financial aid from Putera Sampoerna Foundation. Ratna left for the US, and this marked her very first experience in flying on a plane. 

During the course of her studies at the University of Kentucky majoring in mathematics, Ratna felt many changes inside her. “I am no longer shy, I easily make friends where before I was an introvert and did not have many friends.” The environment that is very different from her hometown of Tulungagung, turned Ratna into a confident young lady. 

In her class, Ratna is known to be a straight “A” student. Mathematics is a subject she chose because she loves it. Since her days at school, she always shined in mathematics.
To overcome being homesick, Ratna is involved in many extracurricular activities. One is the Muslim Student Association where she is the vice president. In this organization, Ratna builds familiarity between Muslim and non-Muslim students. As a member of the Muslim Student Association, Ratna plays an active role in creating peace and tolerance between all religions.
After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Ratna plans to return to Indonesia. She will apply her knowledge and help develop Indonesia as a reliable future leader capable of solving global challenges. “I will begin from a small town”.