BWYA’s 41-member graduating class
May and June is graduation time and Beijing’s international high schools are underway all over Beijing. We are covering all of them every weekday in June. We’ve started with the Dulwich and BISS graduations and today we bring you another, this one particularly close to my heart, as I was one of the graduates!
BWYA (Beijing World Youth Academy)
On May 27th 41 students from 15 countries graduated from high school at Beijing World Youth Academy. In their green robes, black caps, and yellow tassels they were dressed for success.
On graduation day they carried themselves proudly, through all the assignments and exams they could now see the silver lining of hope, their hard work had opened doors they never thought possible.
The ceremony took place at the 21st Century Hotel, streams of family and friends came to congratulate fellow graduates. Daniel Jung was the faculty voted valedictorian. Miyo Endo received the outstanding graduate award in the Chinese High School, Haein Jung was the recipient of the outstanding graduate award from the IB Diploma Programme, Zhi Wei Ngion received the award for intellectual curiosity, Darius Audryc Mulia received the award for principled character, and Amelia Zhang and myself, Elizabeth Wu, were both honored with the award for intercultural understanding.
BWYA’s graduation celebrations also included prom night at Italian restaurant Invito beside the lake in Solana, where students and teachers danced the night away to music provided by their in school band and other student performances. It was the perfect ending to four years of high school.
Find more pictures of the graduation here!
Valedictorian Daniel Jung
Daniel Jung from Seoul, Korea gave the graduating class speech. Daniel has been living in Beijing for four years, before which he lived in Shanghai for seven. He says for now China feels more like home than Korea. After graduation he plans on going back to Korean to pursue his education there, but plans to come back to China occasionally to see friends. His goal is to become a lawyer.
Here is his speech:
Members of the faculty, parents, guests, and graduates, I am well aware that on a day of such honor and high excitement, what you require first and foremost of any speaker is brevity. Hence, I shall not fail you in this respect. There are exactly 38 sentences in my commencement speech, 4 of which you have just heard. It will not take very long and I must tell you that such economy was not easy for me to arrange. Once again, I’d like to begin by emphasizing that I am honored to stand and speak on behalf of each and every graduate on this podium.
My name is Daniel Jung and as a part of the Class of 2011, I’ve been asked to get up here and say a few words about this occasion and what it all means. Tonight we will not only celebrate our success but will also honor those who have worked hard behind the stage. On behalf of the graduating class, I’d like to express my earnest appreciation to our teachers who have been like our friend and worked hard to get us prepared for our IB Diploma. And as a son, I’d like to appreciate my mom and dad for their sacrifices and unstinting support and love, which I am forever grateful. Graduates, your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money.
Obviously, this commencement is an event in which we gather around to celebrate our upcoming new life. Because we all have different dreams and thoughts, we will head off to different places after today. For some of us, tonight will be the last day we even see each other. However, wherever we go, be aware that life is a wonderful journey. A course that you set and determine by the choices you make each day. Now we are no longer young children who need our parents to arrange things for us and shelter us from the difficulties of life. This occasion is not only an event to celebrate our accomplishment so far but also an event to commemorate our maturity and the start of our ‘real’ life. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” So as you step out to meet the world with an enthusiasm of an avid explorer, I urge you to set your direction with a positive attitude and strong spirit.
Having completed the infamous IB Diploma, we are prepared and equipped to confront the upcoming challenge. There is no doubt that we have built a strong foundation for the future. Now, it is entirely up to us to design and build what will be on that foundation. Don’t be afraid to take a challenge. You must knock on doors until your knuckles bleed. Doors will slam in your face. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and knock again. Our dreams are not far away from us however distant they may seem. They are here. It’s in us, right at this moment. Thank you.