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Lisa Wang is currently a rising senior at Boston Latin School, the college preparatory institution in which she has spent the best years of her life. She was born in Beijing, China and arrived in America when she turned 4 years old. She is aspiring to be a public defender of sorts and find her way around law school and/or medical school.
Those who know Lisa well know that she tries to do everything and anything she is interested in. On her first day of orientation to BLS, she decided that one day she would be the editor of the Register, the BLS student magazine, and took every step she could to make it. She practiced her creative writing, she published her writing pieces in the Register and the Argo, and even managed to move on to the internationally subscribed Teen Ink and Teen Ink RAW (online). Currently she holds the record for most published pieces in the Register and has the most experience on the staff. She worked in General Staff, in Design & Layout, in the Editorial Board, and as Associate Editor for two years, as the first sophomore to hold an associate editor position. Five years later, it appears she will reach her goal.
Writing is a huge portion of Lisa’s talents and she has used her writing for many things. She writes and wins scholarship money in numerous essay contests. She writes for publications and she writes applications for internships. Her first essay was written in the summer of 9th grade when she decided to apply for training in International Humanitarian Law by the Red Cross. Her application essay was to describe in her opinion what war justifies and what acts of war are unjustifiable. Lisa had never thought about this before and struggled to come up with the “right” answer until she realized that she had entered a theoretical plane where there are no wrong answers. You can only truly understand an issue when you can see it from both opposing sides. The summer training prepared Lisa to learn World History II on a much higher level, as she was able to reflect on the reasons behind the battles. Every summer prepared Lisa for the next year. During the summer of 10th grade, Lisa was selected as a Youth Design Boston Intern and was paid to learn how to create designs for magazines and books. She was able to see how the professionals designed their work. It was an incredible experience that taught her to appreciate every detail.
Lisa learned a lot during the summer, and began to wonder if she could have an internship during the year too. She applied to be a Young Civic Leader at MassVOTE, a two-year long internship that would help her make a difference in voter turnout. When she was accepted she was elated because she was excited to play such a huge role during an important election year. At MassVOTE, she held trainings to stress the importance of voting and to educate the way to make informed votes. She connected with other youth organizations and encouraged them to get out and vote. She used her design background to help her design invitations, thank you cards, website layouts, and posters for MassVOTE. She helped lobby for Freedom to Vote led by State Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representative Jay Kaufman. This sweeping bill brings together many reforms to modernize our voting system, protect people’s right to vote, and help cities and towns save money. Some highlights are: Pre-Registration – Let 16 and 17 year-olds register ahead of time, and then have those registrations become automatically active when they become 18. Early Voting – Gives voters a one-week period during which they can vote ahead of time if they wish. Election Day Registration – Let citizens register and vote on the same day, provided that they are able to give proof of residency and identification and are willing to sign an oath of eligibility. At the end of her first year at MassVOTE, she planned and organized The Civic Awards (“Civies”), which awarded organizations and people for their outstanding work in youth programming. She was also a keynote speaker.
Lisa’s speech was something she excelled in because she practiced so much in her childhood. She was always worried her diction was off, and that she would have some sort of bizarre accent. But in all reality, her voice is her favorite thing about her. When publicly speaking in class and during presentations, her voice takes on a sweet, flowing tone like “honey dripping on the rocks”. She is the Co-Captain of the BLS Speech Team, restarting the BLS Debate Team, and occasionally dabbles in Public Declamation. She performed as John Hancock in the Boston Massacre Reenactment in the Old South Meeting House. She was a student in the HBO documentary for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s memorial and she was one of the twenty students in a “class” that reflected on JFK’s life. Her activities are diverse and time consuming and include heaps of other teams and clubs such as: The Science Olympiad Team where she is Head of Ecology and Astronomy, Secretary of the Art Club, Treasurer of Hope Thru Crafts, Seevak Website Competition, YMCA Gator Swim team, Red Cross, Philharmonic String Orchestra violinist, Secretary of Roots and Shoots, Junior Prom Committee, Editor of the Register, Photographer for the Argo, and various other performances (Cindy in Hard Candy, Angel in Champlain, Jessica in Remember, Card No. 16 in Alice in Wonderland).
In addition to her packed schedule she spends much of her time studying for AP tests, classes, and SAT’s. During the year she does not do as much as she would like to do in terms of public service. It is great that she is an editor and a captain and does other clubs, but how much of it helps other people? Her work with MassVOTE is her first step on the public scale that would require her to reach out to the community at large and improve voting. But she does not want MassVOTE to be the last. She pursued the Ward Fellowship for the opportunity to make a difference later on by seeing and helping those in charge positively impact the present. Lisa Wang is currently employed by Governor Deval Patrick, in the Office of Constituent Services.