Sarah Rohrbeck is one of the most dedicated and versatile students of DAIS Class of 2022. With an American background, she immersed herself into Chinese culture, throve academically and socially, found her passion in sports and philanthropy, and is ready to make positive changes in this world.
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sarah relocated to China with her family at the age of four months and had attended Shanghai American School before moving to Dalian and starting her three-year journey at DAIS. Sarah recalls that her school in Shanghai was very large, so studying at DAIS and staying here on campus was a totally different experience for her. “It has been wonderful living very close to the ocean and close to the mountains. I love the natural environment here. One great think about being a part of a smaller school community, is the relationships I've been able to develop with people. I have become great friends with some of my teachers and my peers.”
Both her parents are teachers originally from the US who pursued successful careers in international education. Her older sister Allison who is also a DAIS graduate is now studying nursing at college.
Sarah told us she enjoyed many classes at our school, with Science, Microeconomics and Macroeconomics being her favorites. Supported by Mr. Terry Horn (who was also her Advisory teacher in high school), she proved outstanding performance in Graphic Arts and won a school award for this subject. Indeed, it wasn't the only recognition she earned. Sarah did extremely well in Algebra, Science, Statistics, US History, Advanced Chinese, Modern World Literature and more.
Sarah has also been involved in athletics. Here at DAIS, she participated in soccer and was one of the captains of our girls basketball team. She also enjoys going to the gym with her friends.“Sports has always been a way for me to be a part of something and to be active.”Another Sarah's passion is cooking. She told us she loved to cook dinners for her parents most nights.
In 2020, Sarah joined the National Honor Society, and in her senior year she was elected as the NHS vice president. She was involved in volunteer activities and led the candy cane grams and clothes donation. She's also been a member of Mother's English, a local charity program supporting language courses for underprivileged children in Dalian. Starting as an English teacher there, Sarah soon became the youth executive of the legal and marketing team.
Helping others is a crucial part of her life. Back in November 2020, Sarah joined her friends, teachers and parents during a visit to the Aunty Wang's elderly home in Jinshitan. They brought homemade treats and milk to the residents, chatted and played card games with them, made delicious steamed buns and pumpkin soup for dinner. It was definitely a great idea to spend American Thanksgiving with those in need!
Sarah was selected the Valedictorian of DAIS Class of 2022. Acknowledging the honor, in her valedictory address she said: “We are fortunate to be graduating with a wealth of knowledge and the privilege of being global citizens. We've had the opportunity to be surrounded by different cultures and world views, and this diverse environment has given us the unique ability to see the world from different perspectives and discuss global issues with people whose viewpoints may differ from our own.”
Sarah got a few offers from American universities. She decided to attend Boston University where she was awarded a $60,000 scholarship and can choose the major of her dream – Environmental Policy and Analysis. This choice perfectly fits her interests and willingness to contribute to society.
As she mentioned in her valedictorian speech,“We are going out into a wonderful world, but it's also a world that needs help.”Violence and war, recessions and stunted economic growth, environmental pollution and violation of women's rights - all these issues still await to be solved by future generations. Addressing her classmates, Sarah said:“We each have the capacity to create a ripple effect of positive change around us. We can be change agents and accomplish anything we set our sights on.”
After earning a degree, Sarah thinks of working in a non-profit or an NGO to help fight for environmental justice around the world. She gave a valuable advice to our students:“Stay true to yourself and focus on the things that you love – whether it be people, hobbies, or anything else.”
Dalian American International School is very proud of you, Sarah! We wish you to achieve all milestones you set up for yourself and succeed in every aspect of your life.