Four years ago, 7,500 miles from Greenville, S.C., a 14 year-old Sherry Li made the decision to leave her parents and the only home she had ever known outside of Hongking, China, to live with her aunt and uncle and attend CCES as a freshman. “American schools pay more attention to humanities education, cultivating students' humanistic care, social responsibility, and idealistic feelings,” she says. She transitioned beautifully and says she has never regretted the decision. By her own admission, finding herself in an unfamiliar world has made her more independent, more open-minded, more resilient, and undeniably stronger.
Countries have their own unique style of teaching, just as students have their unique style of learning. In an increasingly globalized world, Sherry recognized that studying abroad was and is more important than ever. “Study in another country means a lot of things to me,” she said. “I meet lots of people that are completely different from me, so I am learning various cultures.” In coming to the states, she also found new interests she says she never had time for before, such as community service and arts related activities. “Chinese studies are busier; the course time is longer, the homework is more, and the course progress is faster, for this reason lots of Chinese students are less involved in clubs, sports, and community service.”
Sherry’s journey to study in the United States is far from over. She will continue her American education at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, this fall. While making her college visit rounds, the spirit of Tulane University and the laid-back lifestyle of the “Big Easy” reigned. Sherry is an artist; some even say creativity is at her core. She founded the Photography Club in her sophomore year, and is currently its Co-President. The first time she stepped foot on Tulane’s campus she says her “camera was shocked by a riot of colors along the streets: panels of art, from enormous to minute, captured the city of New Orleans in a magical realism.” In addition to a love of art, Sherry has also embraced our school’s servant leadership mission and volunteering has become a very important part of Sherry’s life in the States. Post Hurricane Katrina, Tulane University was closed for the second time in its history— the first being during the American Civil War. Since then, the University has placed great emphasis on community service. “I did a lot of volunteer work during high school, and helping people gives me great joy,” she says. Public service is a requirement in Tulane’s core curriculum, and community service clubs and events reach far beyond necessity for students. Although she applied to schools such as the University of South Carolina, University of Washington at Seattle, Drexel University, Florida Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Arizona, and University of Wisconsin at Madison, Tulane was her idyllic college scene.
Sherry describes her experience at CCES as unforgettable. “People here are friendly and helpful. When I ﬁrst came to this school, everything was new to me. Many students have helped me quickly integrate into this community. Since English is my second language, sometimes there are some things in the class that I don’t understand, and the teachers are always happy to help me after school.” The rigorous academics have been a breeze compared to the cultural idiosyncrasies of the American classroom, school rules, and the English language, but none of these have held Sherry back. As a track & field athlete, Founder and Co-President of the Photography Club, a member of the Art Club, Chinese Club, Students-In-Action Club, and Co-President of Chemistry Club, she has not shied away from school involvement. She purposely joined Students-In-Action Club last year to discover additional outlets for volunteering and is active as a volunteer at St. Anthony’s, Greenville Chinese Culture Association (GCCA), Harvest Food Bank, Fall for Greenville, and in the CCES Lower School. She’s achieved Honor Roll or High Honor Roll throughout high school, was a Scholastic Art & Writing Silver Award winner, and has earned multiple recognitions for academic achievement and community service from GCCA.
“Sherry has provento be a hardworking and dedicated student with an unswerving work ethic,” says Linda Schulz, Director of College Counseling. “In all she pursues, she strives to give her best efforts in order to achieve her goals. She has found great success in our demanding curriculum. She succeeds across disciplines.”
JUST FOR FUN!
Where in the world would you like to get lost? I’ll say Prague because it will be really awesome to sit in the Prague Square, enjoy the sunshine, and look at people feed the pigeons.
What is your favorite childhood toy? A blue elephant that I called Buddy. I spent 1 buck to catch him in the craw crane.
Which is better— a novel or a movie? A movie! I can always ﬁnd some good songs to my playlist through movies.
Name something this world could use a lot more of? Common Sense and philosophy.
Favorite class or teacher (or both) at CCES and why? Pre-cal with Mr. McGee. I love the moment when he looks at the clock because that means you will have a quiz in the next 15 minutes.