William first joined Summerbridge as a student in 2011. At first, he found the idea of an English-only program to be intimidating, as he believed that his English language ability was not strong enough for the Summerbridge environment. But at Summerbridge, William realized his fears were unfounded, and he discovered something else entirely. Not only did he improve his English, but he also found a family. He discovered a place where he was supported, where he was encouraged to take risks, and where his own interests and passions mattered. He discovered that he wasn’t alone. It was in this environment that William started believing in himself and became motivated to learn.
At the time, studying in university had seemed like a distant possibility for William. But with the encouragement of his teachers at Summerbridge, William came to believe that perhaps he could succeed, and that higher education was in fact achievable. The effort and the risk was worth taking, and he knew that during the process, he would be supported by his Summerbridge family.
Five years later, William is in the midst of a journey first inspired by his Summerbridge experience. He is currently studying at Hong Kong Baptist University, working to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Along the way, he has pursued opportunities that have allowed him to study abroad in the U.S. on a scholarship, attend a Model United Nations conference in New York, and befriend people from all around the world. In 2018, as the sole recipient of the C.Y. Tung Scholarship in Hong Kong, William joined the Semester at Sea, a multi-country study abroad program that allows students to travel and learn at the same time.
Of course, William did not forget about Summerbridge. Returning to the same classroom where he once sat as a student, William became a student teacher at Summerbridge. In addition to teaching his students, William set an example for other Summerbridge student teachers, to create the same supportive and caring environment for the next generation of students that he experienced years ago.