As a preschool student in 2003, Allyson Ping immigrated to the United States on the coattails of her mother’s student visa. Thirteen years later, she is a United States Permanent Resident. Allyson is determined to become a naturalized United States Citizen before she turns 18, so that she can complete her civic duty of voting.
Growing up, Allyson always found it most effective to communicate her thoughts and feelings orally, and, upon entering Boston Latin School in the seventh grade, realized that she was more interested in subjects like Latin and History rather than Math and Science; in discussion rather than calculation.
Today, Allyson is a rising senior at Boston Latin School. She still enjoys Classical studies, and has just finished her fifth—and most grueling year of Latin, during which she elected to take Advanced Placement Latin. Allyson is very involved in the Junior Classical League, an organization which brings together high school who share a bond—love and appreciation for the Classics. This past year, she served as the Massachusetts Junior Classical League 1st Vice President, and she was recently elected to be her school chapter’s co-president during her senior year. Although the Junior Classical League and the Latin Language have made an extensive and irreversible impact on her life, Allyson has begun leaning toward a career in the law—more specifically, litigation and criminal law. She recalls the first time she stepped foot into a courtroom. It was life-changing; a moment she experiences again every time she walks into a courtroom. In her mind, the court is the zenith of American government. In this one room, there is no violence. There is no corruption (hopefully), and there is no limit on the power of speech. Everyone who walks in is assumed innocent until proven guilty, and is given a chance to speak for themselves in front of a jury of their peers, whether it be directly or through counsel. It is a place where people argue with their words instead of actions: the climax of reason. It is a place where thinking is valued above all else.
Allyson’s life completely changed when she decided to sign up to take Advanced Placement US Government and Politics on a whim, during her already stressful junior year. She admits that it may have been one of the best decisions of her academic career. The class taught her not only the basics of government structure, politics, and public policy, but also instilled a passion within her to pursue what she loved most—a combination of law and public service. Allyson applied to the John William Ward fellowship because of her strong interest in public service, but also because she wanted to learn more about the United States justice system. When she was accepted into the program, she was ecstatic to hear that her sponsor would be Federal Judge Patti Saris of the United States District Court (D. of MA). So far, working for a judge has helped her understand more about what kind of events transpire in the courtroom, and what it is like to see each case from the point of view of the arbitrator.
Allyson applied for the Ward Fellowship because she wanted to explore what it means to be a public servant. Although she has heard these words mentioned numerous times in class, or on paper, Allyson wanted to truly understand the motivation behind becoming a public servant, and she wants to understand if it is something she may consider as a future career. From this fellowship, Allyson hopes to gain this sense of understanding, as well as some experience working with and meeting with city government officials before she begins the arduous process of applying to college and selecting a major. In her free time, Allyson enjoys reading the news and watching government related TV dramas. She also enjoys graphic design.