05 April, 2024

Outstanding DAIS/DHS Seniors: Meet Steven Zhang

Steven Zhang at the NHS induction ceremony

Steven Zhang, DAIS/DHS Class of 2024

  • Steven ZhangSAT 1510
  • GPA 3.896
  • TOEFL 111
  • NHS member
  • AP Scholar with Distinction Award
  • Wharton Global Investment Competition & China Thinks Big
  • Summer Programs attended: Brown Leadership Institute & Yale Young Global Scholars
  • Emory University Class of 2028 (ED2 – committed)

We’re continuing series of interviews with Dalian American International School and Huamei School Class of 2024 graduates. Now, we would like to welcome Steven, a Chinese student who seeks growth in an international community and is heading off to start his new academic career in the United States.

About Me

Hi, I’m Steven from the Class of 2024. I am known to my close friends for my amiable personality and great passion for Japanese anime and video games. Besides, I love music, playing guitar, crafting, and appreciating 2D artwork. Traveling to different places is also something what brings me joy. Before I joined DAIS/DHS, I attended public schools in Dalian, China, for eight years. The learning environment here at DAIS and Huamei differs significantly from my previous schools.

China Thinks Big competition

China Thinks Big competition

The most memorable and helpful classes here are Mr. Sim’s Physics class and Mr. Reed’s Asian Literature class. I found these two teachers most humorous, knowledgeable, and inspiring. At DAIS/DHS, I am an active member of the National Honor Society. I enjoy joining volunteer activities for school spirits and charity in and out of school. Speaking of the future, I am an aspiring financial analyst and investment banker.

My Journey at DAIS/DHS

The Fool Upright: Exploring the Unknown

The first card of the Major Arcana in Tarot Cards, the Fool Upright representing innocence, adventure, and new beginnings, precisely symbolizes my mental state when I first came to DAIS/Huamei. Being exposed to a full English learning environment and a brand-new international curriculum as a Chinese student, I had begun my journey, though with worries and uncertainty, believing that hard work would eventually pay off.

Steven (right) with Mr. Sheehan, former DAIS teacher

Steven (right) with Mr. Sheehan, former DAIS teacher

The Lovers Upright: Strong Ties with Teachers and Friends

At DAIS/DHS, I have embraced support from many teachers and classmates and become a supporter myself. We explored metaphysical math concepts in Calculus classes, performed choir in front of the school, fixed a broken stapler with a rubber band, played video games together, and sang overnight on Lock-In days. The diversity of school members fosters me to grow with multiple perspectives.

Yale Young Global Scholars

Yale Young Global Scholars

Strength Upright: Overcoming the Obstacles

As grade level rises, course content starts to get more and more difficult. The alarming time limit for me to achieve satisfying scores on SAT, AP, and TOEFL tests puts great pressure on me. Time management and a good mental state are the keys to this puzzle. Allowing me to properly relax and endeavoring with confidence brought strength to me in harsh periods like my junior year.

The Tower Upright: Being waitlisted, deferred, and rejected

College application is one of the most annoying but fulfilling events throughout my high school life. Unexpected changes and losses could take place very often. After being waitlisted, deferred, and rejected for my ED1 and many other EA schools, I felt very depressed. However, I and many friends at DAIS and Huamei have learned to accept failure, step away from past sorrow, and prepare for future opportunities. Using the winter break right after the release of my ED1 result to work harder on my ED2 application, I was finally admitted to Emory University.

Emory acceptance letter

The World Upright: Goodbye Huamei, Hello Emory

The surprise and fulfillment of getting into one of the best colleges in the US has gradually faded away. At the same time, I really enjoy spending the rest of my senior year with many loved ones at DAIS/DHS. After graduation, I am destined to study at Emory University for non-declared major, and another adventure to explore the world and my true self will start. I will go through another cycle of the 22 Major Arcana of Tarot which guides people through different stages of growth and become the fool again. By the way, the inspiration of using the 5 of the 22 Major Arcana Tarot Cards to represent my personal growth at school is inspired by my favorite video game Persona 3: Reload. It encourages people to seek their truth self and use that as a power to overcome obstacles.

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony

Words for Juniors

DAIS/Huamei is a great place to embrace the warmth of friendship and the fulfillment of achieving personal growth. As part of the school community, please cherish all the resources and opportunities provided to become a better self. To be more specific, counselors here like Mrs. Queenie are patient and supportive. It would always be nice to visit her when having questions about relationships, college applications, and future career opportunities. My last suggestion is that when getting rejected, please always remember that only you can define yourself, and you know you deserve what you are looking for.

Text and pictures: Steven Zhang
Editor: Svetlana Ulyakhina