Ji Eun, A True Leader with a Servant's Heart
Earlier this month, we bid farewell to the YCIS Beijing’s Class of 2020 during a much anticipated graduation ceremony where students were handed awards of excellence in a variety of subjects. One such student was Korean born Ji Eun Chang. The 17 year old was awarded the Madam Tsang Chor-hang Award, named after our Founders, which recognises students who have contributed the most to Yew Chung ethos over the past 12 months.
Serving the Community
Ji Eun’s active participation in the school’s CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) programmes contributed to her receiving the accolade, she believes. Her and her group of friends founded several projects that were beneficial to the school community and the community at large. Two of the projects they participated in and which resulted in great success, were “The Mentoring Effect” and “The Period Project”.
The Mentoring Effect
This school based project was “created to lend a helping hand to any student who needed it, whether it be social or study-related. We acted as mentors who helped students fit in to the school community and were there to always support anyone feeling a little down or left out of whatever it could be.” she said. This project’s effects can be seen around our campus where blue “buddy benches” are placed for students to make friends with one another.
The Period Project
The Period Project was a project we created to raise awareness about global period poverty as well as to provide pads for the girl’s bathroom at school. Often considered a taboo topic, Ji Eun and her classmates tackled the topic head-on, hosting assemblies and raising funds during school events. As a result, “We not only managed to supply our bathrooms with pads, but also managed to raise enough funds to donate to those suffering from period poverty.” she stated proudly.
The above-mentioned projects are the tangible outcome of one of YCIS-Beijing’s Mission which seeks to “raise globally competent and compassionate leaders with a servant’s heart, who aspire to, and act for, a better world.”
The award came as a surprise to Ji Eun, who although invested a lot of effort into her CAS projects, still did not anticipate this celebration of her work.
However, “Receiving the award gave me so much pride.” she said “It felt as though all the hard work I had put into all the projects and other services was being acknowledged and this fact alone made me so grateful. This was another memory from YCIS I would never be able to forget! Thank you!”
Graduating Secondary School.
Having just experienced graduation, Ji Eun is still in disbelief. “Nothing feels real. One part of my mind is telling me to be happy now that everything is over and I am ‘free’, yet another part of my mind brings all sorts of worries about facing the ‘real world’.” Justifiably, since a lot of uncertainty has been taking place lately.
YCIS Beijing is a tight knit community where everyone is familiar with each other and this is what she is going to miss. Since Ji Eun’s first day at school she appreciated the closeness of the student and teacher body. “Although we were all from different nationalities, believed different religions, had different hobbies and interests, everyone knew how to respect one another, and we got along so well”.
Her experience with the teachers was as pleasant. “The teachers gave so much care and attention to their students and through creating these bonds, class times were all-the-more exciting”, she added.
Having worked hard to receive entry to one of the renowned universities, she also credits her experience at YCIS Beijing to being university ready. She explains that the CAS programme played a significant role in teaching her about soft skills she will utilize in future. “YCIS and the CAS programme really pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone”.
The Next Chapter
Since a young age she had an interest in human behaviour, which prompted her interest in Psychology, a major she will be pursuing at the University of British Colombia, in Canada. "I would always find myself trying to analyse the way people behaved or talked. I would try to read their expressions, body language and their habits to figure out what they were feeling or what they were truly trying to portray.”
Therefore when she discovered that she could choose psychology during her IB course she immersed herself in the subject which will later become her profession.
When asked what she is looking forward to the most about the university life she said “probably the fact that I will be able to focus on my interests and my hobbies” which include drawing and crafting. Ji Eun has found these hobbies to be therapeutic. Consequently with the pressure tertiary can bring, these will be beneficial to her.
The next coming weeks will be dedicated to preparing for the transition to university and spending as much time with family and friends as possible, despite the current circumstances dictating restrictions. But Ji Eun is positive that she and the rest of the Class of 2020 will reunite, and until then she says “It has been an absolute pleasure to have spent the rest of my high school years with a bunch like you. I am so blessed to have friends like all of you and I wish the absolute best for all your future studies. I will miss every single one of you and hope we keep in touch! Goodbye, my SALT-y friends, and see you again!”