Looking at a Perfect World through a Broken Window
“Commitment to nurturing and educating the world’s future generations,” is the tagline for YCIS Beijing’s 25th anniversary. The celebration took off on October 9 with a series of activities that included a spectacular concert and wishes from our alumni who in many ways embody our theme.
Located all across the world, our alumni are true reflections of the school’s commitment to raise competent and compassionate global leaders. We caught up with two of our graduates to reminisce about their time at YCIS Beijing.
Kersi Pastakia, Class of 2019
Kersi Pastakia is a sophomore student at the University of Sheffield, where he is pursuing a Degree in Law. An active member of the YCIS Beijing community, Kersi’s charitable initiatives are well documented. These include his organisation of “Animazing Night” in support of a local animal rescue organisation. He also worked with his then schoolmates to arrange sports days, charity dinners, in-school bazaars, and many other events.
Although this was part of his CAS project, he found great fulfilment in these activities and ranked them top of his experiences at YCIS Beijing.
Among other favourite memories he has of the school are sporting activities that he believes were pivotal in strengthening relationships between teammates and coaches, a central part of our school’s community building efforts.
“After all these years at YCIS Beijing meeting a wide range of students and teachers, has helped me shape into a global citizen,” he says.
One particular teacher who stands out for Kersi is Mr Sean Stitz, whom he considers not only a teacher but a friend. Says Kersi, “He would be there to help us with questions or even anything else not related to school.”
Though scattered across the globe, students have maintained lifelong friendships. And with many attending international universities in a range of countries, interactions have grown with a diverse community of students. This is something Kersi has gladly embraced in ‘Steel City’.
Hovin Wong, Class of 2012
Hovin Wong who now works as the Alumni Relations Officer and Brand Analyst for the YC YW network has remained a close member of our community after 13 years as a student at YCIS Beijing. Hovin brings with him a wealth of experience from his time here and admits picking just a few highlights is tough. Particularly memorable though were the trips he took around the country with his classmates and teachers.
The ‘Experiencing China’ trip just before the IB programme in 2010 and basketball trips to compete in ACAMIS tournaments against some of the country’s elite international schools are standouts. These experiences offered a deeper understanding of rich Chinese heritage and helped him see his role as a fully participating ‘citizen of the world’ through diverse student interactions.
These trips opened his eyes and mind to the world around him and beyond. “I am really glad that Yew Chung provided me with the perfect learning environment and tons of opportunities to explore outside of the classroom,” he says. It has helped shape his interactions with alumni from different campuses in his current role.
How about favourite teachers? Hovin is hesitant to pick one. “It’s like choosing between mom and dad, always hard to pick a favourite,” he shares. All his teachers had a positive impact on him, always giving him a sense of direction and constant support.
Hovin recalls an incident where he broke a window by accident while playing and feeling a great sense of relief when his then teacher, Mr Combes, gave him a hug instead of a rebuke. “I still remember the warmth of that hug today,” he says.
Both alumni were active in leadership roles on the Student Council, which they credit for their involvement in impactful student activities such as charity programmes and volunteer work.
To learn more about our alumni, follow the WeChat account; YCYWAlumni.