Our next interviewee will be Jane Kwan, a beautiful and talented student with a big heart. "I think my biggest achievement is that I know myself better, and I am more aware of what I really want, I am willing to work hard for my goals, and I met my best friends,” Jane described her high school life for the past four years.
Jane was born in Hong Kong, China and has lived in Dalian since she was a child. She joined DAIS in ninth grade, and before that she attended a public middle school. Jane thinks that DAIS provides more opportunities and a broader learning platform. In addition to her studies, Jane has participated in many activities to cultivate her hobbies. She said she could also choose courses according to her strengths, participate in the school athletic teams and proms. "The most important thing is that grades don't define everything here. I got both intellectual and social development during my teenage years."
I’ve known Jane for 4 years, and we have become best friends. Her most attractive quality is her optimism and upward mobility. Whenever I encounter problems, she always encourages me with a positive attitude. The most unforgettable experience for us was to participate in activities and to sing together as we share a faithful heart. This positive energy was very memorable.
DAIS/DHS Class of 2022
When Jane first came to DAIS in 9th grade, her English language level wasn't remarkably high. Her native language in Chinese, and she could barely understand what the teachers said in class, so her GPA was quite low that year. However, as all classes at DAIS are taught in English, her English language level has improved tremendously since then. Jane has even successfully taken a few Advanced Placement (college level) classes in high school.
Jane named Ms. Rowena Liu (AP Macroeconomics) and Mr. Pradeep Malik (Environmental Science) among her favorite DAIS teachers. "Ms. Liu is a very responsible teacher who helped me through difficult economics classes and AP exams. Her supervision and care helped me to get good grades." Mr. Malik during science classes encouraged Jane to start seriously thinking about the effects of human behavior on the environment. "He is a teacher who sets an example by himself. He actively participates in environmental protection activities all the time".
With a multicultural background, Jane has a wide range of interests and hobbies. Jane's father is from Hong Kong, and her mother is from Beijing, and these are cities she likes to visit during holidays. She also has a brother and a sister, and thanks to them as well as to her parents, she learned how to communicate with people and treat them with kindness. As their mother is a professional music teacher, all three of Kwan kids have been interested in music since they were young. Jane's brother Silas attends the Berklee College of Music in the United States. Although they are far away from each other now, they stay connected and maintain good relationship. Jane recalls how they sang together at the school's Talent Show a couple of years ago, and confesses that she misses her big brother a lot.
Jane loves singing and playing the guitar. Recently, she has been producing music by herself, covering songs, and writing original songs with her friends. "I like music very much, but I used to feel very insecure and wasn’t brave enough to sing solo. My teacher Mrs. Gifford always encouraged me in the chorus class and gave me more opportunities to sing. I successfully completed my last high school solo at the 2022 graduation ceremony."
During her time at school, she also continued to expand her career development interests through collaboration events with PwC. "During the event, we had the opportunity to cooperate with NGOs to help them with promotion, which also allowed me to find my hobbies in marketing and media, and developed my communication and leadership skills," Jane described her internship.
This experience also nurtured her love for philanthropy. Jane is a long-term volunteer of "Chunhui Boai", an NGO that helps under-privileged children in rural China, where she is responsible for interviews and media. "My team members and I made a promotional video for them and posted it on social media. In the process of making the video, we also faced many difficulties, such as video editing, video content, etc. But I’m very happy with the final product."
This fall, Jane will be studying business at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). "I have swayed between the business major at CUHK and the music business at Berklee College of Music, because I am also very interested in music, but I have not completely decided on the future career direction, and I prefer to view music as a hobby, and CUHK offers a broader platform." Jane's university application was all completed by herself and her school counselor Ms. Carrie Sun. "I really appreciate Ms. Carrie! From choosing schools to writing essays to submitting applications, she has been giving me advice and kept me company. Ms. Carrie has been encouraging me and getting me to be more familiar with CUHK. Best of all, I got results that far exceeded my expectations."
Jane probably wants to work in the music entertainment industry in the future, for example at Disney. While she continues her education and finds a career path that she likes, Jane hopes she can have fun in her hometown, Hong Kong, and then spend the rest of her life in a country with a slower pace.
Jane offered some suggestions for DAIS students. "Academic performance is really not the only thing, as long as you try your best. Instead, I think that activities and new experiences are more important. Spend more time trying different things, improve yourself, so that you will have more exciting stories and experiences on your resume. No matter which university you go to in the end, what you like or what you feel dissatisfied with, it will not stop you from becoming a brilliant person. You will shine no matter where you are."
We wish Jane a prosperous future in her university life and career. DAIS is proud of you!