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Grandfather influenced West Ranch's top grad

• Joanne Wu plans to attend Wharton

Posted: June 7, 2008 1:15 a.m.
Updated: August 8, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Jennie Wu is the top graduate this year of West Ranch High School. She plans to attend college in Pennsylvania this fall.

Joanne Wu, the top graduate at West Ranch High School, said she has been influenced most by her grandfather, who was an educator.

The Signal asked top graduates at each of the six Hart district high schools questions about their current successes and their future goals, and these are Joanne's answers.

Q: What is the secret to your academic success?

A: The secret to my academic success is going above and beyond what is required - not for the sake of grades, but for the sake of that internal satisfaction that only I know.

I don't think I am more gifted than any of my peers; however, I have always had a relentless drive to constantly better myself and make my performances stand out. My ambitious nature and my ability to recognize what needs to be done are factors that pushed me to the top.

Q: What person has been a role model, or has inspired you, during your high school years?

A: My grandfather has undoubtedly been the most influential person to me in the past four years. He was an elementary school principal and has taught me the importance of education since I was very young.

He encouraged me to get good grades and take challenging classes, not necessarily because he wanted me to go to an Ivy League school, but because he thinks a good person with intelligence is much more respectable than an ignorant person with money.

Q: What activities, clubs or organizations have you been involved with the past four years?

A: I was on the volleyball team in the first two years of high school.

After my second year I knew my lacking in height and natural athleticism was not going to help me in making the varsity team. Then, I decided to join ASB as the boys athletics commissioner.

My position allowed me to still be a part of the athletic program without actually playing on a team. Nothing makes me more proud than going to a football game seeing the home side fully decorated and filled with students and knowing I had a hand in that.

Q: What are your plans and goals for the future?

A: I will be attending the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania this fall and majoring in business. I have yet to decide what aspect of business I want to pursue and what industry I want to enter.

Q: What do you feel is the most important quality your generation has to offer society?

A: Our generation possesses a boldness to attempt things previous generations have deemed impossible. We are not afraid of not going fast enough - we are worried about how everyone else is going to catch up.

Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges your generation will face?

A: One of the major challenges our generation will face is the question of how to cope with the deterioration of the earth that often comes with an increase in the standard of living.

We are often too caught up in bigger and better things to consider the negative impacts we might cause.


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