Charles Ma

Born in the city of Toronto, Canada, in 2002, I was welcomed by my two parents, both immigrants from different and rather poor provinces in China. In pursuit of opportunity and more freedom, they made their independent and arduous journey to the west. Fortunately, while attending university in Alberta, they met each other. Together, they fought through a difficult language barrier and an even more omnipresent cultural barrier, instilling in me an attitude of perseverance and hard work both inside and outside of school.

At a young age, I grew a large passion for public speaking through programs hosted by my elementary school, but it was only later that I was mature enough to realize the true power of speech and discourse. I was also introduced to the game of golf at the age of nine by one of our family friends and have been playing ever since, helping lead BLS to three DCL championships, as a current co-captain.

At the age of 10, my parents and I moved from a small town in Canada to the busy and densely populated city of Boston. Although this was a rather large shift in lifestyle and took some time assimilating, I can now truly call Boston my home. BLS has given me the chance to develop some of the closest relationships and explore passions that I didn’t even know I had. I joined (and now co-lead) the debate team at the extracurricular fair in sixie year, and through the last five years, I’ve realized how important it is for young adults to have a voice in the community. Although high school debate is marketed as a mere display of critical thinking and speech, it’s a whole lot more. Debate serves as a concrete platform for students like me to express real opinions about current issues in foreign and domestic policy as well as social justice. Your ability to debate rested not in how well you spoke, but your ability to recognize problems in society and your willingness to advocate for making a difference.

However, it’s one thing to talk about change, and another thing to see it come about. That’s why I’m thrilled to be working with the Speaker of the Massachusetts House Robert DeLeo as part of the Ward Fellowship. I’m really looking forward to working alongside one of the most prominent public servants in our state and learning the intricacies of our government firsthand.