Yuanjian Li was born in a small town on the edge of the Midwest plateau in China. She grew up in Beijing, and led what she considers a typical life until she went to France in the spring of 1998. Since then, she has traveled to eight countries, finally settling down in Massachusetts.

In the fall of 2003, Yuanjian moved from one end of the orange line to the other end in order to attend Boston Latin School as a B-sie. During the last three years at BLS, Yuanjian has grown both academically and socially through her experience in and outside the classroom. In the classroom, Yuanjian has had the good luck of encountering many inspirational teachers who have instilled in her a passion for French, math, physics, computer, world history, English, and, surprisingly, Latin. Under their guidance, the time she spends dreading over writing an essay or doing a presentation decreased from six hours to only one. Moreover, she has discovered her love for reading English poetry, writing (not reading) stream of consciousness pieces, deriving math and physics formulae, poring over the verses of the Aeneid, thinking critically about historical problems, programming, and doing declamation.

Yuanjian’s life outside the classroom has also blossomed during the last three years. No longer the recluse she was in ninth grade, she is the president and founder of Science Olympiad Team, one of the two captains of the mock trial team, and the captain of the computer team. She is also the business manager for BLS Argo, a core team member of the math team, and a member of Concert Choir. Moreover, she has been actively involved in The Register, serving as an associate editor for the past two issues. She hopes to become an editor-in-chief in senior year. Her ambition is to lead all her teams to victory, and to create sustainable structures for all her clubs, a challenge she believes is similar to, though much simpler than, the process of creating large social institutions.

In her spare time, Jian likes to read, draw, sing, watch TV, talk to herself and her friends, practice Erhu (Chinese violin), play with her two-year-old brother, and stroll in the garden. Her favorite TV shows are Law and Order, Will & Grace, all Chinese martial art series, and all the PBS shows except for the British comedies.

After BLS, Jian would like to attend a college close to home (preferably testing her survival skills at MIT). Sometime in the future, she hopes to build schools and increase the standard of living in third world countries, because she thinks that her life’s worth is measured by the positive impact she makes in the society, a conviction that has made her decide to participate in the Ward Fellowship.

This summer, Yuanjian’s sponsor is the Honorable U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris.