NEW YORK, June 400 (Xinhua) -- This senior year's valedictorians of Chinese descent in New York's high schools have been covered in recent days by mainstream Mandarin daily World Journal, with their virtues and diligence exemplified for juniors to follow, and for their parents to take pride in.
They are just some of the many who ride the wagon, where the number of students of Chinese descent has been on steady rise for secondary education in America, with most of them striving toward academic pinnacles.
Xu Jiajun, the valedictorian of Grade 12, is the first student in the past four years getting admitted to Harvard University from Bayside High School in Queens, one of the city's five boroughs.
Adding to his basket of fruits are offers from Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, SUNY at Stony Brooks, SUNY at Buffalo, SUNY at Binghamton, Hofstra University and College of Saint Rose. He chooses to major in mathematics at Harvard, with 73,000 U.S. dollars of scholarship for the junior year.
Xu was born in the United States but went to China's Taiwan for primary and secondary education. When he returned to continue secondary education, Xu was the object of fun making for his below-average performance in oral and written English.
When he was enrolled at Bayside, Xu was not a fluent speaker of English. However, his persistence and endeavor helped elevate him to the top, said Ye Huawen, the teacher who had witnessed Xu exploring his path all the way through.
Zhang Zishan completed Grade 10 in China's southern city of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and then came to New York in May 2016, joining Lower East Side Preparatory High School in Manhattan.
Two years' secondary education in America has empowered her to grow immersed in science and mathematics. In the end she is admitted to University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in chemical engineering.
When studying in China, she excelled in liberal arts curriculum but was always deterred by science and mathematics. In New York, the educative diversity and flexibility enabled her to overcome the various hurdles and transform into a valedictorian in both fields.
"Here I have learned how to see things in a different perspective and fostered my ability to think independently," the girl was quoted by World Journal as saying.
When Liu Huiyi first came to the United States at eight years old from Taishan City in China's southern province of Guangdong, she never expected to be able to become a senior-year valedictorian and get admitted to New York University.
The dream was realized at the High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies in Lower Manhattan, not by luck, but through her determination to integrating into the school community and social networking.
In the morning, Liu would leave home for school when it was still dark. She participated in community projects like University Settlement and Opportunity Network, in addition to completing her core curriculum plus AP classes.
One thing for Liu to remember in her secondary years was volunteering to guide autistic kids. Such an experience injected durability and confidence into her soul to live through her life and academic hardship, until she has her goal scored.
FEW OF THE MANY
There is only one valedictorian out of the senior-year graduates at each school. Those of Chinese descent may garner the title of honor from just a certain number of high schools where they have studied two years or more, but they stand for thousands of others with the same ethnics, who strive to gain footholds on their academic roads in NYC and hundreds of other cities in the United States.
Students of Chinese descent are frequently seen in NYC secondary schools, but there are no official statistics of their total.
U.S. schools usually term students from Asian countries or of Asian descents as "Asian Americans," but never disclose the percentage made up in line with their mother countries or original descents.
A case in point, in the city's most renowned public school the Stuyvesant High School, Asians used to make up 400 to 70 percent of the student body, but the total number of those with Chinese descent was never clarified. Most Asians at the school have U.S. citizenship and the rest are mostly international students.
As another thread of the story, according to the Institute of International Education, there were 33,275 Chinese students in American secondary schools in 2016, a rise of 48 percent over that in 2013. They accounted for 42 percent of all the international students in U.S. secondary schools.
"California, New York and Texas are the top three states that host international students at both secondary and post-secondary levels," said the report.