Three Years Later, and Still Making Strides
By Guest Blogger on July 30th, 2012
Guest blogger Grace Matelich is from Larchmont, NY and will be a senior at Vanderbilt University this fall. This summer, she is interning with the Education Group’s marketing team and working on increasing READ 180’s online presence.
My favorite part of interning with Scholastic Education has been hearing from teachers and previous READ 180 students about their successes both in the READ 180 program and beyond. Recently, we were contacted by the very proud Donna Pappas from Clovis, CA, who could hardly contain her excitement over former student Chee Nou Yang’s most recent accomplishments.
Although coming to America at the age of eight with no prior exposure to the English language was no easy task, Chee Nou was unwavering in his determination to master the English language. Demonstrating a strong work ethic, his school recommended he take a READ 180 class to help accelerate his reading and language skills. After making remarkable strides in READ 180, Chee Nou was nominated by his teacher in 2009 for a READ 180 All-Star Award. Chee Nou has grown into a model student, and for the past two years he has earned a 4.0, an accomplishment for which he was publicly recognized at a recent school awards ceremony.
While Chee Nou is without a doubt an All-Star in school, as the 4th oldest of nine children, he is also an All-Star at home where he helps his mother prepare meals, washes the dishes, and babysits his younger siblings. In 2009, when Chee Nou’s teacher Ms. Pappas asked him what challenges he has faced beyond learning English, he replied that it was often “[difficult] to find somewhere to do his homework each night,” later explaining that he had to be creative when it came to finding work space.
Three years later, Chee Nou shines as an integral member of his school community and continues to inspire those around him. An active member of Reyburn’s cross-country and track teams, he also spends time volunteering with his brother and sister by making scarves for the homeless. One of his teachers, Mrs. Blasingame, deems Chee Nou “one of the most respectful young men that [she has] had the privilege of working with,” adding that “his kind spirit, along with his determination to succeed and hard work ethic will enable Chee Nou to do whatever he chooses in life.” Last week, Chee Nou Yang was honored with the Principal’s Award at Reyburn Intermediate Middle School in Clovis, CA.
As Chee Nou enters high school, he has his sights set on Advanced Placement (AP) courses and eventually, a degree in Psychology at UCLA. In Chee Nou’s words, “The more I learn and the more I read, the more I want for myself in the future.” Stories like his are the ones that make us proud to be in the business that we are in. The news of Chee Nou’s success really warmed my heart, and I feel it important that his story be shared not only to honor his hard work, but also to inspire parents, teachers, and struggling readers alike. It just goes to show that with the right kind of help and attention, anyone is capable of turning it around and becoming a 4.0 student.
No comments yet