From primary to high school, Xue Yuli spent 12 years in Huijia, where she grew from a quiet and shy girl to a confident and brave dream chaser. She shines in various activities, takes important roles in student clubs and makes great and solid efforts seeking her own direction of life in the rich land of Huijia where every student is allowed to grow freely.
During this year’s graduation season, she succeeded in meeting all the expectations and won offers from the five most prestigious universities (University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Western Ontario, Queen’s University and University of British Columbia) and University of California, Santa Barbara. Meanwhile, she was also granted a scholarship of 20,000 Canadian dollars.
This change from ordinary to excellence was the result of a series of growth stories that involve sweat, sacrifice and resilience.
Sitting in front of me, Yuli talks and laughs completely at ease. Early on when I saw her in the corridor, she rushed up to me and said hello loudly with a big smile on her face.
It is hard to imagine that she was once a shy and introverted child. ‘She didn’t even dare to look up to your face when she greeted you and would blush after only a few sentences. She was quiet and didn’t really stand out in academic performance’, Yuli’s class teacher Huo in junior high school recalled with a smile.
In order to tap Yuli’s potential, Huo, after careful thoughts, arranged many activities and opportunities for the little girl to explore and present herself, including participating in the MC competition, speaking at the flag-raising ceremony and hosting a number of events. Among these opportunities, the most influential one was working as volunteer in Grand View Garden and explaining to visitors the stories of Dream of the Red Mansion.
As a passionate reader, Yuli read through the classic masterpiece Dream of the Red Mansion when she was little. During this activity, she utilized different ways to explain to different people her understanding of the book and received applause and wide recognition.
The MYP community design in the 9th Grade offered her another opportunity to express herself. By connecting her passion of Dream of the Red Mansion with her volunteering experience in the Grand View Garden, she created a unique WeChat public account dedicated to the book, where she incisively explained her understanding of historic culture and philosophy of life, and vividly described details of the book from story lines to features of the main characters with the purpose to make more people love classics and enjoy reading.
Shouldering the Main Responsibility
The activities of junior high school contributed to Yuli’s transformation in high school, where she bravely took great responsibility and founded Book Lovers’ Club which is now one of the most famous student clubs in the school.
The club set up a book-exchange platform where second-hand books can be shared and exchanged to maximize their values and regular book donations to charity or schools in poverty-stricken areas are also made to benefit more readers.
In Huijia, students are given plenty of freedom to set up clubs and are supported by the school which provides necessary resources. It is under this support that Book Lovers’ Club came into being. However to put the idea into practice means travelling on a bumpy road.
Personal strength is after all limited and will not be powerful enough to engage all students of the school. However the initiative, without a big enough scale, will never achieve its potential or gain great significance.
Facing this obstacle, Yuli came up with a great idea: cooperating with the school library to use it as a platform to enlarge the influence of and engagement with the activity. To her delight and surprise, teachers positively recognized her proposal and her counselor Ms. Li gave her great support.
Book Exchanging Activity
During the book exchanging activity organized by the club, more than 400 books were collected. More than 200 books were bought at half price or exchanged and the rest of the books were donated to the corresponding Hope Project schools, Changping Xinlong School, Yuzhu School, Sun Village Orphanage and other institutions.
‘The so-called pieces of garbage are just misplaced resources. I hope we could place all resources in the right place to benefit more people and help knowledge to spread far,’ Yuli, as the chair of the book club, wrote in the event reflection.
Setting up student club, contacting institutions and engaging in activities did not only exercise Yuli’s leadership ability and communication skills, but also allowed her to see what she is interested in and the direction of her future development.
Therefore, Resources, Environment and Development became the key words in her mind and played an important role in determining her future choice.
Be Confident in Your Choice