“What do you want to be in the future?” It’s a typical composition topic that many students in Hong Kong encounter, and Carly remembers seeing this question as a young student in school. At the time, her answer was not related to teaching, and she certainly did not imagine that English education would play such a big part in her life. Little did she know that being at Summerbridge and meeting Summerbridge teachers would ultimately lead her toward becoming an English teacher.
It was through Summerbridge that Carly became more confident to speak English and learned to work with others in a team. She found a safe environment at Summerbridge to voice her opinions, and to have faith in herself as an individual. She fell in love with the program, and it was an easy decision to return after her student years at Summerbridge, coming back after her Form 4 school year to the program as an Office Assistant to help the teachers and administrators running program. Those three summers at Summerbridge greatly improved Carly’s oral English skills, and shaped her to become a better person.
In 2010, while she was a university student, Carly decided to return to Summerbridge and try her hand at teaching. It was very challenging, but at the same time, she came to see a different side of education. She learned how the classroom was not just a place to pass knowledge, but also a place to spread love, to support students, and ultimately, to help them grow. It was the teaching experience at Summerbridge that led Carly on the path to becoming an educator as a career.
Carly is now an English teacher at a local secondary school, one which also serves as a contact school for Summerbridge where students are recruited to join the program. To this day, Carly still applies to her teaching some of the perspectives she learned at Summerbridge. Dedicated to doing more for her students, Carly decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, while concurrently working at her school. Her desire to study was based on her desire to understand how her students acquired the language and to become a more effective teacher. Her achievements so far has been a source of pride to her and her family, but the greatest beneficiaries have been her students.