Alex Kim and Wen Li Yau show what Be All You Are truly means as only a student from The International School of Kuala Lumpur can. ‘Be All You Are’ is ISKL’s call to action or motto where each person in our community learns how to face challenges, take on new responsibilities while living up to their own potential every day.
On May 28 this year, 17 of ISKL’s graduating Class of 2020 were recognized in a virtual Senior Awards ceremony. Most of the graduating class have received offers from universities across the globe – with more offers pending. They will be moving on with their educational journey attending colleges and universities both locally and overseas such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in the next academic year.
Two of the students recognized at the Senior Awards ceremony are Alex Kim and Wen Li Yau, who were the recipients of the Salutatorian, Scott Smith, and Troy Marschang Awards, respectively.
These two exemplary graduates will be heading to the United States for their further studies with student Alex (Jehseok) Kim attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and student Wen Li Yau at the Wellesley College in Boston.
Both Alex and Wen Li are gaining valuable work experience this summer as interns in the Marketing Department at ISKL.
ISKL’s Salutatorian Award is where a Grade 12 student has the second-highest cumulative grade point average (GPA). To be eligible for these distinctions, a student must have attended ISKL for all four semesters before graduation. The GPA is computed at the end of these four semesters with Alex scoring a GPA of 7.0.
Alex has been a student at ISKL since Grade 10 and had already been recognized as a Commended Student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. He was among the 16,000 highest scorers in over 1.6 million students taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), recognizing students for their outstanding academic promise.
“I was grateful to hear the great comments by Mr. Rami Madani, ISKL’s Head of School. It was just a huge honor, and I enjoyed celebrating this achievement with my family! There was a little suspense into the announcements as the name was not announced until the end of the ceremony due to technical issues, but that made the experience even more rewarding.” said Alex when asked about how he felt about receiving the Salutatorian Award.
“I think an aspect people forget about when preparing for tests is how important your condition and health is before taking it. My tip to anyone who wants to improve their academic scores would be to make sure you have enough sleep the day before a test.”
Alex continued to share his thoughts on how the teachers, curriculum, and facilities at ISKL had helped to shape and transform his educational journey. “The teachers would talk to me about politics, music, epistemology, economic news, their careers, and give out plenty of advice. They helped me so much in broadening my thought process.”
He also touched on how ISKL’s opportunities had been truly countless, providing him with the ability to connect with many people in the community, especially parents in the finance industry, who had given him much advice.
“ISKL has allowed me to pursue my dreams and passions and is a place where wonderful surprises happen. It has been such a great experience for me,” Alex enthused.
ISKL’s Scott Smith Award, selected by the school’s coaches, is presented to the most outstanding female and male athlete of the year. The award is based on the recipient’s Athletic Ability, Leadership, and Sportsmanship, with eligible candidates having participated in at least two varsity sports.
The Troy Marschang Award is presented to the senior or Grade 12 student who has participated in the most IASAS events during his/her ISKL high school career.
Graduating Class of 2020 student Wen Li is considering a double major in pre-law and environmental studies at Wellesley College, which she commences in the autumn.
When asked about winning the Scott Smith and Troy Marshang Awards, she shares:
“I have been working towards achieving the Troy Marschang Award since freshman year! I knew I was one of the candidates and was hoping that I would be the recipient of it. However, I had absolutely no idea that I would be receiving the Scott Smith Memorial Award as well. There are so many other female students just as deserving of it in our grade, and I was thrilled and shocked to hear my name announced!”
Wen Li, who has a 5.6 cumulative GPA, joined ISKL in Grade 8.
She shared, “ISKL has taught me to pursue my passions and learn the importance of having a community. There are many opportunities provided to all students here, and I genuinely believe that each opportunity I took contributed so much to who I am today.
Aside from sports, Wen Li was an alto singer for the High School choir ensemble and the lead singer of the “Wen Li and Soup” HS band, playing the guitar and piano in her free time.
‘Whether performing slam poetry, singing at Jazz Night, or playing a sport, every single experience was handled with so much care by the teachers involved, and the energy was always palpable because of the dedication of everyone involved. “
Wen Li advised fellow students and athletes to “Love what you do, and do it with passion. When you love what you do, it makes it a million times easier to work harder; and the happiness you’ll find is astronomical compared to when you do something out of duty.”
Wen Li mentioned that she is looking forward to learning at Wellesley College, and she is very appreciative of ISKL in preparing her for her next big step in academia.
“I genuinely believe that if a student is willing to give their all to a school, then ISKL is a place that they will become the best possible version of themselves. If ISKL isn’t a place with all the opportunities for growth and development one could ever dream of, then I don’t know what is.”