Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing) recently celebrated their graduating class of 2015. Over 300 family members, teachers, and secondary students gathered for the ceremony held in the YCIS Beijing auditorium. Following the ceremony, the graduates took pictures in the park before heading to the Hilton Hotel for graduation luncheon.
The YCIS Beijing family wishes all the graduates the best of luck with their future endeavors as they move on to universities including Imperial College London, KAIST, University of British Columbia and University of California, San Diego to start the next step in their educational journey. Class valedictorian Ted Jin (South Korea), delivered the following speech to his fellow graduating class of 26 students.
Co-principals, teachers, parents, guests and fellow students, good morning.
I’m Ted Jin, but many of you may remember me as the dancing man in the ‘Go with Yew Chung’ video. But more importantly, I’m speaking on behalf of the graduating class of 2015, and I would like to share with you the things we have come through together to get to this auspicious day. Preparing this speech was not easy, as I needed to think of good words and ostentatious phrases. I even looked at speeches from TEDTALK to see how Ted should talk. Then, I just decided to be myself, and reflect on the memories I have had with my fellow pupils at this school. Like many of my classmates, I can remember quite clearly my first day at YCIS Beijing. Many of us can even remember our first time standing on this stage. For me it was when I was a Year 10 student, volunteering as a rotational MC for the daily morning assembly. At that time, I was very nervous as I literally didn’t know what I should do – how to start or how to end an assembly. Luckily, my homeroom teacher Mr. Brown helped me on that day by encouraging me and showing me what to do, just as he had helped and encouraged so many others. The second time standing here was during the YCIS Beijing Challenge the Golden Bell as the organizer and MC of the quiz competition. Today, I stand here as the valedictorian of the graduating class of 2015. Our class of 2015 is unique in a way that we are dynamic but cooperative. Although each of us came to this school in different years we helped and supported each other as though we had always been old friends.
I’ve been lucky to meet many people during the four years I’ve been a part of this school. Throughout this time, I’ve seen the school change, not just the school itself, but also its community and spirit. Although we are not as large as other schools, this has allowed us to have the unique opportunity to develop close relationships between both other students and with teachers. I know that I will remember each of you who have become an important part of my life. Many of you I have met through the various after school activities offered here at the school, friends whom I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet despite being in the same school. I value the time we’ve had together, and even the advice the older students from years past have given to us. As I now look back at all the school activities, the one that sticks out the most is the 2014 Green Couture fashion show. It stands out because it shows how all the different classes could come together as one body and organize the fashion show. Throughout the event, students showed their talents in their performances, and the rest we reunited with the idea of protecting the environment. But it doesn’t stop there, we’ve worked hard together to be able to attend Math competitions, Beijing Model United Nations, the Film Festival and I was also glad to go and cheer on our sports teams that achieved some great accomplishments in many tournaments. In all of these events, we have shown our ability to come together and act as one. As we are about to walk through these doors for the last time, we will be leaving behind many things that we take for granted. The taste of the wonderful cafeteria food, the breaks and memories we had in the playground and all the good friends and mentors who will always be unforgettable. Many of us will be going on to college in just a few months. Hopefully all of us have already decided on which school we will go to. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those. I’m still deciding on which school to go to. Others might be taking a gap year to travel. Some will be going to the military to serve and protect their respective country.
Regardless of our destination, we will be doing a lot of ‘firsts’. It will be our first time going out on our own making our own decisions, our first time living alone, our first time getting a part time job and managing our own money. The choices that we make during this chapter will affect the rest of our lives. I want to take a moment to talk to the upcoming Class of 2016. I want to encourage you to be better than we were, as difficult as that may sound. We were strong, but be stronger. We have gone through the difficult journey of IB. You can endure it with greater results. We worked hard, but work harder. We raised over 30,000 RMB for various charities and campaigns, but you can raise more. We were active, but be more active. Be eager to participate in the school community. I’m not saying we were the best class on earth, but I believe that we were outstanding, not because of any individuals, but because we worked together, and had great teachers and parents who supported us. We have left you our legacy, but go beyond us. In closing, I would like to say thanks again to the teachers, my classmates, and a special thanks to all the parents who supported both myself and the other graduating seniors. You have worked hard to send us to this school, you’ve paid for our extracurricular activities, and you’ve stayed up late to help us with our homework even when it became too difficult. You’ve driven us to our ballgames and picked us up from school, you’ve taken the time to listen to our complaints and have given us advice to help solve our problems about life, problems that we thought were serious at the time, but now we laugh at how small problems really were. You have been by our side since the beginning preparing us for this day, and we say thank you. We as a class and as a school have gone through so much together, we have had great times and we’ve had sad times, but we’ve made it through and become stronger as a school and as a family, persevering till the end. Congratulations to the class of 2015, including myself.
Photos: Courtesy of YCIS