For my junior year community service hours, I got most of my
hours from volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at my local Chinese
school. Every Sunday, I went in for two hours to help teach the second
grade class. Each class mainly consisted of taking a quiz on the
previous week’s vocab words, and then learning new words and phrases
after. As a teacher’s assistant, I mainly walked around, ensuring all
the children behaved, and helped the teacher teach and pass out
The main thing I learned from this was how to interact and teach younger children. Since it can be hard to keep the attention of younger children, I learned a lot about strategies to keep them engaged, as well as patience. A lot of patience was required to teach these second graders, but I feel that it was worth it. Overall, I’m glad I volunteered here, since this school made up nine years of my Sunday afternoons, and now that I have finally realized how important it is to learn a second language and about my culture, I can help younger kids come to that realization as well.
Another activity I did for volunteering was helping out at the Nativity School of Worcester to run some STEM themed activities. This opportunity was arranged by Mass Academy, and I worked with a group of MAMS students, both juniors and seniors, to plan and teach an activity about building windmills. We brought in supplies and crafts and taught a class of 5th graders and a class of 8th graders. We started by giving a demonstration, and then allowing students to gather in groups and try to create windmills themselves. I really enjoyed this experience as the students were so engaged and interested in learning, so it made for a really fun experience.
My family consists of me, my younger sister, my mom and my dad.
We also have a cat! Her name is Phibbit.
Both my parents are from China, but my sister and I were born in the United States. Growing up, I have been lucky enough to be immersed in both Chinese and American culture. I have taken Mandarin classes since I was six, and last year, I was able to take the AP Mandarin test, achieving a score of 5! In fact, I have been lucky enough be a volunteer teacher's assistant at my local Chinese school. Not only is it great to interact and teach little kids, but it's also a great way to get community service hours!
Right before the pandemic, my dad left to go work in China. He did it so that my sister and I would be able to go to any college of our choosing, regardless of cost. This inspired me to work harder than before and really focus on my future. Although I am still undecided on what I want to study in college, getting accepted into Mass Academy really gave me a path. Being accepted really meant a lot to me because better education meant I had higher chances of being accepted into better colleges, which would justify the sacrifices my parents made to send me through school. Both of their stories, how they raised a child while working and going to school, inspire me to work hard to be the best I can be. Though I worked hard before, I will work even harder now.
When not studying or doing homework, I love the music and arts. I used to play the piano, and I currently play the viola. Music is very important to me, and I have participated in many ensembles from the pit orchestra for a school production of Les Misérables, to the MMEA (Massachusetts Music Educators Association) All State Festival. Here’s a recording of my school quartet performance:
In addition, I love listening to music. Some of my favorite artists are Porter Robinson, Cavetown, and Aurora!
I also love to draw! I recently started taking an oil painting class at Gallery in the Pines in Hudson, MA. In addition to that, I like to do digital art in my free time. I am mostly self-taught and I love to explore with programs such as Blender (for 3D modeling) and Live2D (a way to do 2D animation.) In fact, the homepage background image and animation were both drawn by me. Some examples of my art are here. I do a little bit of everything, but I love designing characters. Here is one of my most recent drawings:
In addition, I also love videogames. I find that videogames are a fun way to connect with others online, without having to coordinate a place to meetup. I especially love co-op games as everything is always better with a friend. I also love strategy and RPG games. My current goal for the next few years is to learn RPG maker and maybe make my own. Some of my favorite games include: Raft, Don’t Starve Together, Omori, Stardew Valley, and Teamfight Tactics.
What's even better than drawing and videogames? Combining drawing and videogames! Here's a comic I drew of the adventures of me and my friends in the videogame: Raft.
In addition, my family also likes to travel a lot. In 2019, we visited relatives in China, but also did a lot of sight-seeing. I loved experiencing China. We went to notable locations such as the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall, but also visited other scenic spots such as the springs in Jinan. My favorite part of the trip was eating all the delicious food! In the past year, we have been all over the country, visiting many national parks. In December of 2021, we visited the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest National Park, Zion National Park, and other interesting destinations along the way. In the summer of 2022, we visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. We are also planning to go to the Everglades this winter (2022)! I love traveling with my family and some friends because we get to experience different places, as well as admire nature. The beauty of nature is amazing, and I love having the opportunity to spend more time with my family!
Petrified trees, thermal springs, and hikes in nature are amazing.