EXPLORE - When I was in middle school, I loved to read. I would spend hours reading fantasy such as Harry Potter and Charlie Bone books. These books took me away to an imaginary place that only existed in my mind when I read. I remember rushing home after school and reading assigned books ahead of schedule so when we read it in class, I would be reading it a second time with my teacher. I also loved exploring history on my own. My father and grandmother always told me stories about their lives in China, and that got me into history. History has always been a compilation of people’s lives and stories. I remember going on the internet and reading ancient history because it fascinated me. It is no surprise that I am a history teacher today! I still love to explore - there are always new restaurants to try and numerous places in the world I want to see. CREATE - My parents immersed me into music when I was a child. I started playing piano when I was 8 years old. I started attending a prestigious music school (the Mannes College of Music) when I started middle school. I spent my Saturdays attending chorus practice, practicing and learning piano, and learning music theory. I still play piano from time to time. My love for music still continues today as I explore different types of music. ACHIEVE - One of my proudest achievements in middle school was participating and winning a concerto competition that took place in Boston. I left New York City early in the morning, with my piano teacher and another student. It was my first time being in Boston, but I remember being so nervous that I didn’t even notice the surroundings around me. I remember playing the piece I had practiced a thousand times in front of a person who was the judge. The next thing I knew I was selected to perform with a live orchestra. Performing with a live orchestra right next to me was one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. I can still hear the harmony ringing in my ears and the shivers my body gave me after hearing the music I created.