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My name is Jacob Zhang. 

I have lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Arcadia, California, and La Canada, California. Living in La Canada was interesting because we were located very close to Hollywood, so it was hard to avoid the culture. In eighth grade I was cast in a NYU short thesis film. Two of my friends were the twin actors from the sitcom ‘Everyone Loves Raymond’. I moved back to Massachusetts to attend middle school. During this time I enjoyed cross country and track. I attended the Warren Prescott K-8 School in Charlestown for two years before applying to Boston Latin School. In high school, I competed in the Junior Olympics for both fencing and windsurfing, and was active in debating and Model United Nations. I will be going to Ithaca, New York to attend Cornell University in the fall. Thus far, I have never lived under the same roof for more than four years.

During the summers of 2011 and 2012 I worked as an intern and research student, respectively, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. During this time, I published three medical papers to a plastic surgery journal. I also had the opportunity to practice basic surgery techniques such as suturing, amputating, and cauterizing on animals under anesthesia, as well as setting up IVs and other life-support equipment.

This summer, I am working for State Senator William Brownsberger at the Massachusetts Statehouse. Currently, I’m working on a number of research projects including wiretapping and long distance education. I was motivated to apply to the Ward Fellowship to help make Boston a better place, especially since I experienced firsthand the shortcomings of the city when a classmate was shot and killed when I went to school in Charlestown. I am also interested in running for public office in the far future, and this fellowship would allow me to gain insight into the political process.

This fall, I am studying pre-medicine at Cornell University with a tentative major in political science. I was compelled to choose this course of study because of my experiences at Beth Israel. My motivation was also reinforced by the medical response I witnessed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, which occurred a block away from my residence. Whichever way the wind blows, I hope to make a positive contribution to society much as I am doing as a Ward Fellow.