I thank God every day for everything that He has blessed me with, and I thank my CCHS teachers for introducing me to Him! My 13 years at Chinese Christian has laid the foundation of my relationship with my Heavenly Father, given me a solid academic background, and impressed on me many life principles that I try to live by and practice medicine by. Love, honesty, hard-work, education, giving back, going the extra mile–these are all important lessons that I have learned through example from my parents and my teachers. I am grateful for all the support and love that I had during my time there. A few of my favorite teachers and influential people in my life are still at Chinese Christian! I hope that they continue teaching and influencing the next generation, and bringing God all the glory. I know that only because of His Grace, I am where I am today!
At a time when parents around the country are consumed by thoughts of their children’s college education, high school often goes overlooked. Maybe it’s because so many have given up hope. If I pick up a newspaper I can almost guarantee that any mention of American high schools will involve a story of inadequacy and underachievement. We worry that our high schools are unsafe, underfunded, and unable to set kids up for success.
As a graduate of Chinese Christian High School, I was blessed to never have to think in those terms. I can look back on exceptionally-qualified teachers who cared deeply about educating their students. My classmates have gone on to pursue advanced degrees and exciting careers in a variety of fields including science, engineering, law, medicine, and government service. In addition, most of us remain close friends. Proof of this can be seen in the fact that at least two-thirds of my graduating class gathered together at my house this past December to celebrate our annual Christmas party.
How is this all possible? In my mind, two key factors really make CCHS as successful as it is. The first is a teaching and administrative staff that is both highly educated and passionate about teaching students. Many of my teachers were graduates of America’s premier colleges and universities, people who could teach with a level of breadth and depth far beyond that of your average high school teacher. That goes a long way in explaining why, in my small graduating class of 49, we had access to over a dozen AP classes, of which I personally took eight. The other factor is a bit less concrete but perhaps even more important. CCHS had a culture of academic excellence. By that I mean it fostered a special combination of parental involvement, student discipline, and academic curiosity. There was no cynicism about learning; in fact the cool kids were the ones who did well in class. Students helped each other learn and often formed study groups to prepare for major exams. The academic environment at CCHS is a rarity in colleges. Seeing it at the high school level essentially makes CCHS one of a kind.
As a U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer and a graduate of West Point, I can say with certainty that Chinese Christian High School prepared me well for success in my chosen field. At West Point I felt confident and prepared to cope with the rigors of college academics, something I cannot say was the case for all of my fellow cadets. I also emerged from CCHS with a unique experience of the Chinese language and culture that has shaped my life ever since. The semester I spent studying at Beijing University can largely be credited to the language skills I acquired in high school. Most importantly, I have a network of friends around the country who are pursuing their dreams just as I am.
CCHS to me, unlike most high schools for other people, was like a home. Not only because of the circumstances that caused me to see the place as my home physically, but more because of the people, the teachers, the students, even the administration, that made me feel welcomed and loved, a feeling that can only be so real in a family. Of course, the tight knit community had its problems, but even the problems were there because people cared. Without love from all the school, I would not have been able to thrive in high school and attend UCLA. CCHS prepared me for college and my future life. There is a lot more to discover about life and about myself, but CCHS gave me the tools and a good starting point. CCHS will always be the beginning in my heart.
I came to study at CCHS in 2008 as a high school junior. During the two years I studied at CCHS, I received a lot of help and attention from the staff and teachers. They helped me quickly adjusted to life in America, both culturally and academically. I remember when I first arrived at CCHS, I was very warmly welcomed by the superintendent, Mr. Hom and his wife. My host families were very loving and caring people, not only did they provided a comfortable environment for the international students to live in, but they also carried out the responsibilities as our guardians and made sure we were doing well in school. Even though in the beginning I did not speak much English, all of the teachers were very patient with me and tried their best to help me excel in their classes. When I was applying for college in my senior year, the college advisor, Miss Wong, was very helpful in guiding me through the complicated process. Mr. Hom himself proofread my personal statement and gave me his valuable insight.
Overall, it was a very positive experience studying at CCHS as an international student. It was a very good way to start my life in the United States. I am very thankful for all the help I received from the staff and teachers at CCHS and I give them my highest recommendation.