Ada Deng Lin was born in 1992 in Boston, Massachusetts. Shortly after her birth, she was sent to Fujian, China to live with her grandparents and 5-year old sister, Quinnie, who, in an attempt to get rid of the new little menace, dropped her tiny sister on her head “by accident.” Fortunately, no permanent damage was done, and Ada returned to America three years later a very happy and significantly fatter toddler (a direct result of doting grandparents). Growing up in Boston, Ada was able to engage in the life of the city, visiting the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, participating in Citizen Schools, and learning how to dodge cars at breakneck speed.

Since taking World History with Dr. Neary in 9th grade, Ada has been particularly interested in history and literature. She takes great pleasure in studying the intricacies of intellectual history as well as the undeniable effect that thought has had on the shaping of the modern world. Four years of German class with Dr. William Carroll led her to discover some of her favorite writers including Rainer Maria Rilke and Herman Hesse and long, open discussions on history, language, and life taught her much about patience and integrity. Throughout her years at BLS, Ada’s time in the classroom has definitely proved to be the most arduous, yet rewarding experience she has ever had.

During the school day, Ada’s activities include performing in the Concert Strings Orchestra, of which she is the principal second violinist and taping heaps of sheet music at an unprecedented pace. She has participated in both the Junior and Senior district music festivals and plays violin in the school’s Wolfgang String Quartet. Ada is also a guidance tutor in German and Math and serves as a student coordinator for the Spend-a-Day program for incoming Sixies. Besides skipping with abandon through the hallways after school, Ada enjoys working as a production editor of the school literary magazine The Register, of which she has been a staff member since her Sixie year. Next year, she will also be a Co-Captain of the Science Olympiad team, which she hopes to steer into the top ten ranking schools at the March statewide competition. She has served on the Youth Advisory Board of the Boston Area Health Education Center, and edits and writes for Boston Latin’s annual science magazine, The Catapulta.

Although she cannot pinpoint exactly when her interest in public service began, Ada credits her sister and father with emphasizing the value of active participation in one’s local and global community. Before Ada could properly pronounce, “public broadcasting”, she began listening to NPR at her father’s behest and quickly developed an affinity for global politics as well as the accent of the BBC World Service’s Julian Marshall. Her sister’s active involvement in human rights and social justice has been a springboard for Ada’s own interest in public service. From researching genocide in Kigali, Rwanda this past summer, to helping to institute an Ethnic Studies program at Harvard College, Quinnie has served as a great inspiration for her younger sister.

This inspiration became the catalyst for Ada’s proudest achievement to date: her work as the President of BLS’s Amnesty International chapter. Amnesty recently wrapped up a year of much activity; the chapter welcomed forum speakers such as Rose Styron, Grace Akallo, and Joshua Rubenstein and planned its first annual Human Rights Awareness Day on which over 60 students wore shirts with human rights related statistics. Ada believes that the first step of public service is self-education and awareness and hopes that her work will open the eyes of her peers to the tragedies of poverty, human rights violations, and disease in the peripheries of our world.

Looking forward into her future, Ada believes that she will always adhere to the philosophy of her role model, Dr. Paul Farmer: “the only real nation is humanity.” She hopes to one-day make the world a better place by helping to shape public policy at an international peacekeeping organization such as the United Nations.