Shenendehowa High School
PARENTS: Zhumin Cheng and Haigou Huang
COLLEGE OR OTHER PLANS: I plan on majoring in computer science and minoring in math at MIT. I am still just scratching the surface of knowledge, so I want to remain flexible and keep an open mind to all the different possibilities. I am not one to worry too much about the future so I guess I will just enjoy the present in the meantime.
WHAT DOES BEING NAMED SALLUTATORIAN MEAN TO YOU: It certainly means a lot to receive this honor. It is a nice testament to all the hard work and effort I have invested these past few years.
WHO OR WHAT MOTIVATES YOU: My dad is a massive inspiration to me. Like many immigrant parents, he came from very humble beginnings. It was through his perseverance and determination that he was able to not only be the first person to go to college in his village but also the first to leave the country and immigrate to America. I greatly value my education because I am aware of the hurdles my dad had to overcome so I could learn in this land of opportunity. My personal motivation has always been fueled by an innate desire to surpass my own limits rather than external rewards. It’s easy to lose motivation after reaching a specific threshold or receiving some award, whereas the pursuit of self-improvement is a continuous process so motivation never ceases.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO YOUR FELLOW CLASSMATES: Treasure the moments. Graduation is bittersweet in that we are starting an exciting new chapter of our lives, but we are also going to seldom, and perhaps never again, see many of the friends who have been integral parts of our lives up until this point. The future will come soon enough so enjoy the present while you still can.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT SHENENDEHOWA: The people I’ve met and the friends that I made along the way. Whether it be near decade long friends or friends just recently made, it was ultimately the people that illuminated my school days. The teachers and faculty have also been excellent — my counselor Ms. Lynch, my physics teacher Mr. Tymeson, my chemistry teacher Mrs. Masten, my computer science teacher Mr. Hanley, and my 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Horton. There are many more teachers I’ve had who are outstanding but were not specifically mentioned due to limited space.