College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Alumnae Visit LS/MS Chinese Classes to Share How Learning the Language Opened Doors
Alumnae Visit LS/MS Chinese Classes to Share How Learning the Language Opened Doors

Chinese teacher Dr. Amy Liao is welcoming back several former students this year to help her current classes learn more about the doors that can open as a result of language study.

Reagan Thompson Hedlund '08 was the first of the school year, visiting 6th- and 7th-grade classes and sharing her experiences. Reagan began studying Chinese with Dr. Liao as a senior at Holton, then attended Stanford University, where she minored in Chinese and traveled to China several times. She then earned her Master's in International Relations from Peking University. Since then, she has held an array of positions in international relations and government, including working for the current First Lady, then-Congressman Mike Pompeo, and the National Security Council.

"Study as much Chinese as you can now while you're young, because there's so much to learn," Reagan told students. But, she added, there are so many rewards. Studying Chinese language and culture has shaped her life and career and helped her build relationships, she said -- "and there are so many ways you can interweave it with other interests, from business to psychology to sociology."

Reagan encouraged students to take advantage of Holton's robust Global Education Program, particularly the Junior Journeys program, which offers a trip to China. Many girls in the audience expressed interest in taking part in the trip, and continuing their Chinese studies in high school and beyond.

Later this fall, Jacqualine Asuquo '15 will visit 7th- and 8th-grade Chinese classes to share her experiences. The University of Maryland senior is majoring in Chinese Studies and received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. State Department to study in Taiwan in 2016. Jacqualine now serves as an alumni ambassador for the Critical Language Scholarship Program.

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