“Be open-minded and optimistic even when something doesn’t go the way you wanted. Learn from the experience and keep working hard!” Meet Beedie Luminaries, Chenille Wong, currently attending UBC
What program will you be taking in post-secondary and why does it interest you?
I will be entering the Bachelor of Science program at UBC this fall. I’ve always loved learning about things that drive the world we know today, such as the gravitational pull that keeps us grounded and the millions of chemical reactions that take place inside of our bodies. I’m especially interested in human physiology because it’s fascinating how all sorts of organs and cells can work together to form one human being.
Tell us a little bit about your background (growing up, going to school, extra-curricular activities, etc.).
I grew up in Coquitlam, BC and like most kids, went to school every morning. My grandpa often walked my younger brother and I home and took care of us while our parents worked. One of my favourite pastimes was reading. There was something magical about flipping each page and being transported to an entirely different world that drew me in and kept me on my toes. As I grew older, I began to write my own short stories based on my life and became a writer for my school’s newspaper in high school. Some of my extra-curricular activities also included playing competitive ice hockey, basketball and piano. Furthermore, as a Vietnamese immigrant, my mom always emphasized the importance of having compassion for others, even if they were different from me because of language, culture or physical ability. As a result, I enjoyed volunteering in a variety of initiatives at school and in my community. For instance, I became the Chief Marketing Officer for the Social Diversity for Children Foundation (SDC), a non-profit organization that runs art and music therapy programs for children with disabilities. I also joined the Teen Council at my public library, student council at school and volunteered abroad at a rural school in Champasak, Laos as part of a course called Global Perspectives. Additionally, I became a lifeguard, swim instructor, and lifesaving instructor to help fund my post-secondary education as well as to pursue my passion for aquatics and teaching!
Who inspires you, and why?
My mom inspires me every day because of her positivity, excellent work ethic and determination. At the age of nine, she escaped by boat from Vietnam with her family and travelled for four days without food or water to Malaysia. Her boat was repeatedly chased by pirates and several people committed suicide by jumping overboard because they were driven to insanity. When she was finally sponsored to come to Canada, she didn’t speak a word of English and had to persevere through many challenges in order to graduate high school. Her journey in overcoming adversity required grit, persistence and a positive outlook on life which are some of the attributes I aspire to have.
What motivates you, and why?
Making a meaningful difference in my community, whether by volunteering at a food bank or organizing school spirit events, motivates me because it is very rewarding to see people come together for a common cause. As a result, I hope to gain the necessary experience and knowledge in university for a career related to helping others.
What are your goals for the upcoming school year?
I have many goals for the upcoming school year, including forming new friendships, exploring the UBC campus and of course, staying on top of school work. One of my biggest goals is to find a sustainable routine with a balance of physical activity, academics and social events because I want to make the most out of university and have opportunities to de-stress! I would also like to get involved in the UBC community by joining an intramural team, a club and maybe even a student committee!
What is one thing you learned in high school that you will take with you to post-secondary?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some of the best things I’ve learned have come from asking my teachers or peers questions when I didn’t understand a concept or when I was curious about a topic covered in class. You never really know for sure until you ask and who knows, maybe that one question will begin an interesting conversation or discussion!Back To Top