12 June, 2024

Outstanding DAIS/DHS Graduates: Meet Leon Li

Soccer player

Leon Li, DAIS/DHS Class of 2024

Leon Li
  • GPA 3.928
  • AP Scholar with Distinction Award
  • BOTBALL Robotics Competition Global Conference (Overall Second Prize & Engineering Award)
  • BOTBALL Robotics Competition Asia (Gold Prize & Most Effective Strategy)
  • UKMT Senior Mathematical Challenge (SMC) (Global Gold Award)
  • Recognized at EUCLID Mathematics Contest
  • Summer Programs attended: Program in Algorithmic and Combinatorial Thinking (PACT)
  • Grinnell College Class of 2028 (ED1 – committed)

Hello, I'm Leon, part of the DAIS/DHS Class of 2024. Known among my friends for my friendly nature and passion for soccer. I also have a strong love for music, especially singing with friends. Exploring new places is another favorite pastime of mine – whether it's traveling or simply hiking with friends.

Journey at DAIS/DHS

I transferred to DAIS/DHS during my Grade 10 year. Unfortunately, my arrival coincided with the pandemic, and I spent the first month of school at home, attending online classes every day. It was a rather awkward time for me, as I felt quite lonely after school without knowing any of my classmates or much about the school itself. However, once September came around, I returned to school and began making new friends. Additionally, my advisory teacher, Ms. Cui (Annie), played a pivotal role in helping me navigate everything about the school, including the introduction of SBG (Standard Based Grading) system for regular courses in our school. This greatly shortened my adjustment to grading system at a new school.

First day of school

First Day at DAIS

In Grade 10, I enrolled in AP Computer Science A, which profoundly influenced my passion for computer science. Beyond coding skills, it revealed the vast potential of technology. Exploring Java and algorithms, I grasped the digital world's fundamental structure, boosting my confidence. This ignited a fervor for computer science, extending to AI and network security. The course fostered a community of like-minded peers, where we tackled challenging projects collaboratively. Through AP Computer Science A, I not only built a solid academic foundation but also deepened my love for the field, laying the groundwork for future studies and career pursuits in computer science.

Computer science teacher

With my computer science teacher Mr. Sheehan

DAIS/Huamei offers a diverse range of AP courses across all fields, allowing students like myself to explore subjects such as calculus, physics, and economics. I find great enjoyment in tackling the challenges posed by these courses. The freedom to choose from a variety of AP courses enables students to realize their full potential. Additionally, I've opted to take performing arts classes like choir and musical theater, which have played a crucial role in bolstering my confidence and enhancing my overall experience at DAIS/DHS.

Soccer: A way to Foster Personal Growth

Those who know me well are aware that my passion for soccer knows no bounds. After school, you'll often find me on the pitch, indulging in my favorite sport. Beyond the field, I'm an avid player of soccer video games like FIFA and Football Manager (FM), and I devote a significant portion of my free time to studying modern soccer tactics through articles and videos. Joining the DAIS varsity soccer team in Grade 10, I've been an active member until graduation. Being part of the team has not only provided me with unforgettable experiences but also facilitated friendships easily, as soccer serves as our common language.

In the 2023 ACAMIS tournament, we secured third place. But this April, we achieved second place in ACAMIS tournament, marking a historic moment for our school. With each passing year, my role and responsibilities have evolved, becoming more substantial. Competing in ACAMIS, where we faced opponents of varying skill levels, sharpened my strategic thinking. Regardless of our opponent's strength, we maintained our unity – we neither relaxed against weaker teams nor feared stronger ones; instead, we remained steadfast as a team.

ACAMIS Soccer 2024 boys team

2024 ACAMIS Soccer Tournament

Soccer has taught me the importance of a collective mindset, particularly evident in our surpassing of expectations in this year's ACAMIS tournament. Soccer has been instrumental in shaping not just my physical fitness, but also teaching me invaluable life skills, such as respect for opponents, teamwork, and emotional control in challenging situations. It impacts me both in game and life off the pitch.

In addition, I also made a computer program about calculating the expected goal in different scenario in soccer game.

Words for Juniors

Utilizing the summer before application season wisely is crucial, especially for researching college options. Start with a broad list of potential colleges and gradually narrow it down to avoid omissions. Completing essay work early can also alleviate stress and prevent last-minute rush before application deadlines, ensuring everything aligns with your plan.

Class of 2024 graduation ceremony

High School Graduation

While awaiting application results, it's essential not to feel anxious or disheartened, especially if you receive a rejection letter. Remember, it's not a reflection on your academic achievements. College admissions aim to select students who best fit the school's culture and values.

Text and pictures: Leon Li