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Tami Wong is Student of the Year 2018-19

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 By:

Tami Wong has been selected by the Rotary Club of Alton-Godfrey as Student of the Year. 

    On Monday, June 3, 2019, the Rotary Club of Alton-Godfrey announced that Tami Wong has received the Student of the Year recognition and scholarship. Tami Wong is the daughter of Fung Wong and Rong Chen of Alton. Wong is a member of the National Honor Society and been a member of the Student Council for four years. She has been a participant in the Minority Excellence program at Alton High and has been a member of a number of student academic and activities organizations including participation as a member of the school’s Scholar Bowl team.
    Wong has been a standout player of the Redbird girls softball team and has been recognized for her skills in this sport by playing on a regional select team as well as a critical member of the Redbird girls softball team. She was recognized by the Post Dispatch as a Scholar Athlete in softball.
    Wong is enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in bio-chemistry in a Pre-Dental program path and ultimately hopes to be a dentist. She is the 23rd student chosen to receive this honor.
    Club President Jim White introduced Alton High School's Principal, Mike Bellem who summarized Tami's many accomplishments including valdictorian at AHS. After Tami's address and expressions of gratitude, the 2016 Student of the Year John Bohn presented the award to Tami. 
    Tami submitted the following essay as part of her scholarship application.

Who I Am and Who I Hope To Become
by Tami Wong

        I am dedicated. I am driven and focused. I am determined, ambitious, and diligent. I am a girl who was raised by foreigners, people who came to this country looking for a better life. I am a student who studied English as her second language through schooling, with the first being Chinese. I am a pupil who could not rely on her parents to help her with homework, simply because they did not know how to. They supported me the only way they knew how to, earning money with their hard work. I had to rely on only myself for schoolwork. Who was I supposed to ask? My dad, who did not even graduate grade school because he had to help out around the house? Or my sweet mother, who met the same fate a couple years later? Because of who I am, I will be the first from my family to graduate high school. I will be a first-generation college student. I will be what my parents could not.
        Although my parents could not help me schoolwork-wise, they did everything for me financially and emotionally. I always had a warm bed to sleep in, my tummy was always full, and I was always showered with love. It was more than enough for me, and I was grateful for all that I could receive. They did all they could with all they had to support me, which inspires me to work to be who I hope to become: I hope to be just like the example that my parents set, someone who will always be hard-working, dependable, and loves with her whole heart. With that, I also hope to have all of the hard work pay off, both the effort that my parents invested in me and my own that I put in. Although they didn’t teach me much school-wise, they taught me how to work for what I want. Nothing comes easy in this world; success won’t be handed to you on a silver platter. That is why I am a firm believer in the saying, “Hard work pays off”, simply because it has worked for me. As a senior in high school, I am balancing seven classes, their homework load, and school activities with hours of softball practices, lessons, and workouts. I am proud to say that I have maintained A’s in every single class by staying up late on nights doing homework after coming home from a long practice, studying for tests while other teenagers are partying, and really dedicating myself to not cutting the corners. Everything that I’ve worked for has gone towards getting that elusive acceptance letter to college, and I’m very excited and grateful to be able to say that I will live out my parents’ dream. I am Tami Wong, and I hope to stay me.

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