Spotlight On… Joy Liu, Class of 2019
College – the subject that is on the minds of every high school senior is second only to graduation. With so many college and universities vying for the top achievers from high schools just like BRHS nationwide, the task of making the best choice can easily become confusing, overwhelming and very stressful.
Joy Lui contacted the BRHS Foundation staff to ask about a collaborative effort in creating a college experience survey to send to alumni and current college students. She thought that a direct link to those who have ‘been, there, done that’ would be the best source of great information for her peers. And she was right! With over 200 respondents to the survey among our alumni, she and her club colleagues are still sifting through the data and are excited to share it with her fellow Bulldog classmates.
We visited with Joy recently about the story behind the newly formed College Prep Club at BRHS.
BRHSF: What made you decide to start the College Prep club? What is the mission of your club and how do you hope to achieve that mission?
JL: My friend Abby and I always had conversations about the future, and generally our conversations ended with us being more confused than when we started. I began to realize that a lot of the general student population were in the dark about college information. So I started the
College Prep Club in order to provide information to the student body. I want our club to help students be less stressed about the unknowns of college. At every club meeting, we cover a topic related to college and the college admission process. Thankfully, with the help of the Foundation, we can provide a connection between the current student body and the alumni. Students who are unable to travel or take tours can read real testimonials by alumni, thus making them more informed. We are also trying to bring in those involved in the college admission process to speak on areas of their expertise, allowing students to ask face to face questions.
BRHSF: Besides the College Prep Club, What classes and extracurricular activities are you involved in at BRHS?
JL: Currently, I am taking Chinese II Honors, AP Biology and AP Biology Lab, AP Research, AP Literature, AP Statistics and AP World History. I am President of the Chinese club, and participate in Mu Alpha Theta.
BRHSF: What do you consider your major accomplishments as a BRHS student?
JL: My ability to maintain personal relationships with my friends and family, as well as starting College Prep Club and maintaining and improving Chinese Club through more active members. Watching Chinese Club grow and develop through excited and active members and such innovative officers has been a real privilege.
BRHSF: You clearly have great leadership skills and can recognize opportunities to solve problems – very valuable assets. Now, what have been your biggest challenges at BRHS so far?
JL: Honestly, I think it has been maintaining a balanced life. Personally, I believe that high school should be more than just academics so I try not to get too caught up in competition and just be the best I can. Let’s just say stress and time management is a really important skill that you exercise a lot at BRHS.
BRHSF: Do you have any favorite teachers? Which ones and what makes these teachers stand out?
JL: BRHS has an amazing staff and having the privilege of getting to know them over 4 years has been wonderful. I am especially grateful for Ms. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Donald, Ms. Bumgardner, Ms. O’Dell, Ms. Willis, and Mr. Borders. I’ve taken Ms. Kirkpatrick’s class 3 out of 4 years and she is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She’s altruistic, genuinely cares for her students’ wellbeing. She’s also one of my club sponsors. She always councils me on my next club meeting, using her off period to talk to me. Mr. Donald engages students even out of class and accepts everyone for they are. He emphasizes the importance of community and volunteering, and always pushes us to be the best we can be.
Ms. Bumgardner is so dedicated in everything she does and her lesson plans are so detailed; she puts so much thought and effort in all of her classes, really making an effort to engage students. As Chinese club sponsor, she motivates us because she cares as much as we do. Ms. O’Dell is such an inspiration. Not only is she extremely intelligent, but she’s so much fun to talk to. She’s accomplished so much and she has a lot of wisdom to offer.
Ms. Willis improved my writing but she also improved my thought process. She taught me how to view issues from different perspectives all the while strengthening my writing and rhetoric skills.
Mr. Borders (Senior Guidance Counselor), although he isn’t a teacher he still has a big impact on my life here. I go to him constantly, he genuinely wants to help.
BRHSF: Sounds like you have had some wonderful support among our teachers and staff. What do you plan to major in once you get to college? What career do you hope to have post-college?
JL: I plan to major in Psychology as well as Economics. I would like to be involved in International business.
BRHSF: Joy, we commend you on your work to help Juniors and Seniors make the right college decisions. Do you have any tips for underclassmen and prospective students on how to be successful at BRHS?
JL: Being compassionate, kind, dedicated, being a good person speaks volumes over a good GPA. BRHS is a great place to connect with amazing people so treasure your friendships. Talk to the faculty- they’re amazing people. Try to live a balanced life, it’s ok if you don’t have the highest GPA or the most honors. Your mental and physical health are extremely important.