A gathering of local families attended Future Chinese Leaders of America’s (FCLA) Collegiate Q&A Session at Palos Verdes High School this past weekend. The event was hosted by Peninsula Academy’s former student, Melody. Before entering the 9th grade, Melody was a star in our Speech and Debate program (the top echelon of its kind in the South Bay), jointly offered by Peninsula Academy and Modern Brain. Now as the president of the Palos Verdes’ FCLA chapter, Melody went to great lengths to invite a range of prospective, current, and post collegiate speakers to share insight on the college planning and application process. The panel of speakers represented backgrounds spanning Electrical Engineering to Law and Philosophy. We got a chance to connect with some current Peninsula Academy students and asked them how the session was of benefit.
Abe, a rising sophomore at Peninsula High School, arrived at the event on crutches while mending from a basketball injury. He felt the session was too important to miss and had this to say after listening to the panel: “It was an exercise of reflecting on myself and what I wanted. It was good hearing from role models who came from circumstances similar to my own.” Abe went on to say that the diversity of subjects discussed really got him to think about what gives him a sense of purpose, a topic that was touched upon multiple times. Abe also relayed to us that the challenges of college planning described by the panelists made him a bit nervous: an anxiety tempered by the knowledge that he had Peninsula Academy’s College Counseling resources waiting for him.
Zachary, a rising freshman at Palos Verdes High School, felt that seeing examples of successful college students gave him a template to follow. Zachary said,
“I really liked how they talked about embracing imperfection and finding out what I was meant to do.”
He went on to say that he felt confident additional tutoring and test preparation at Peninsula Academy would help him develop the skills necessary to pursue whatever it is he finds his passion in.
Hillary, a rising freshman at Peninsula High School, felt a kindred connection to the shared experiences described by the panel. Hillary said, “I really liked their advice to focus not just on what you’re good at, but also what you’re passionate about. I never thought about how the two could be different.” Hillary would go on to say that she wished she could talk to people like the panelists when the time came around for college applications, but felt confident she would undoubtedly find support at Peninsula Academy.
“I originally thought I was gonna be a Piano major,” said Mike, a 7th grader at Ad Astra, a private elementary and middle school founded by Elon Musk that focuses on STEM education, “but now I’m thinking I want to double or triple major in Business and Engineering.” Mike was confident that whatever it was he decided on, Peninsula Academy would help him prepare. “I take Speech and Debate classes at Peninsula Academy, so maybe even Law!” A bright future, to be sure.
The event was a huge success and Peninsula Academy is immensely proud that one of our former students is taking charge with such a meaningful leadership position.
The names of Peninsula Academy’s students have been changed in order to preserve their anonymity.