I grew up in a very diverse family and school setting. I am half Caucasian and half Chinese. My father was raised in Michigan, while my mother was raised in Hong Kong, on the opposite side of the globe. Without diversity and cross-racial interactions, my parents would never have met, and I would not be here today. I want to help foster a diverse environment where people from all walks of life may interact with one another free from racial, cultural, or socioeconomic prejudice.
I attended Walnut Hills High School, a magnet school and the number one high school in the state of Ohio. Walnut Hills is arguably one of the most diverse schools in Ohio, with students sourced from different parts of the city, representing a variety of racial, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Now I attend The Ohio State University, which also has a very diverse student body.
I really appreciate the diversity I have found at Walnut Hills High School and The Ohio State University. I think it is very important to have a diverse group of students because it allows different perspectives to be heard. It also allows students to become comfortable interacting with different people. Some of my best friends are extremely different from me when you consider our backgrounds. I believe that this is a good thing because it allows me to appreciate different perspectives.
The diverse environment I grew up in has shaped me to promote diversity by creating a cooperative, open environment, consistent with my academic experience. I wish to continue to lead by example, helping to foster a respectful and inclusive atmosphere in and out of school.
In 2015, I was elected as the Vice President of the Kiva Club at Walnut Hills High School. I was responsible for organizing the club, assigning jobs to club members, and bringing awareness to our cause. Kiva is an international organization which supplies loans to people in need, in order for them to better their situation. Instead of giving people donations, we provide much needed loans so that people may improve their own lives and grow their small business. During my time with Kiva, we were able to provide over $1,000 dollars in microloans to people living in third world countries. It is important to give people who were born into bad circumstances the opportunity to become successful.
In January of 2016, I decided to get involved in a model roller coaster build project to enhance my skills and confirm my interest in engineering, before applying to the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. My group was composed of five high school seniors interested in studying engineering in college. After a group vote, I was appointed as the leader of my team’s model roller coaster build. We were tasked with designing and then building a functioning model roller coaster with tubing as the track, PVC pipes for structural support, and a metal ball as the cart.
I started the project by assigning specific jobs to myself and my four teammates, based on our different skill sets, to ensure our team worked as efficiently as possible. Together, we designed a model roller coaster in 2-D (shown on the top-right) and then in 3-D using AutoCAD. The roller coaster had to include both a vertical and horizontal loop, a bump, and 25 feet of track. After the roller coaster had been designed, we made calculations in MATLAB to determine if the metal ball, starting at the top of the track would make it all the way through the track and then land in a small cup at the end. Our calculations revealed that the ball had too much momentum and would fly off the track, so the design had to be modified to accommodate this. Once the design was finalized, we constructed the model roller coaster. Our design proved to be successful, and the model roller coaster worked to perfection.
I credit the smooth operation of the model roller coaster build to the hard work and effective communication of my team. As team leader, I made sure that effective communication existed between team members throughout both the design and build process. Difficulties arose when group members fell behind on their assigned tasks. In order to get through these difficulties, I made sure to stay in touch with all members of the group to make sure our progress was known by everyone and help could be given when necessary. This allowed each team member to accomplish their tasks in a timely manner, which helped the group as a whole.