This week our Alumni Spotlight is one of AISG’s highfliers, Jacky Li. Jacky is the winner of the Scott Mohr Award (2020-2021), Athlete of the Year (2021-2022) and Coach for Lower Secondary Volleyball (2021-2022). Like many other seniors, APAC Volleyball in Shanghai is the most memorable experience and highlight for him at AISG.
Now that your senior year has ended, was there any moment or event this past year that made a defining impact or lasting impression?
For me, the most impactful event was APAC Volleyball in Shanghai. It was the first APAC that’d taken place since the start of the pandemic, and it was extremely gratifying to have a place to display the hard work we put in as individuals and as a team. I met some great friends and I strengthened connections with all my teammates and coaches, and it was the highlight of my year.
How did the IB curriculum affect your perspective towards education?
It made me realize how an education curriculum can have a profound impact on my life and my future. Further than just being academically rigorous, it’s shown me that education is about more than learning content for final exams. The IB curriculum has taught me a lot about myself and my work habits – especially how to improve on them. It’s taught me important skills that I think will come in handy in university, like diligence and how to manage a work-life balance. While it’s been a bumpy ride at times, I am grateful I did it in hindsight.
In regards to the outbreak of COVID-19, what was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
At the start of my junior year, some of my teachers were displaced and half of our time each week was spent online due to the hybrid learning schedule. I must say, during that time, it was a little difficult to stay on top of my tasks and pay attention in class. While I turned in most of my assignments, many were done so complacently without any care or intention to truly learn the content. That lack of self-discipline during the pandemic and throughout the stretches of online learning really left me falling behind, which was really detrimental as we learned fundamentals in all our IB courses. To catch up, I had to spend a lot of extra time relearning content and asking peers and teachers for help, and luckily they were understanding of my situation.
Where will you be going to college and what are you looking forward to the most?
Next year, I’ll be playing volleyball at Trent University. I’m looking forward to returning to Canada and immersing myself into an unfamiliar environment. To be honest, I’m excited because of how difficult the experience will probably be, because I think it’ll give me a lot of room to grow as a student and as a person in general.
This year we celebrated AISG’s 40th Anniversary. What thoughts or emotions come to mind and what does this mean to you?
It’s a bit surreal to think that I’ve been here since the 30th anniversary in 2012, meaning that I’ve been here for a quarter of AISG’s existence. This place has been so instrumental in forming who I am today and who I aspire to be in the future, and the fact that it’s only gotten better in the past 10 years makes me hopeful and excited for the younger students.
What advice do you have for current students to make the most of their experience at AISG?
Make the most of the available resources here. We are blessed to have such great facilities and resources at our fingertips at AISG for whatever aspect you choose to invest yourself into, whether that’s a sport or a performing art or any other passion you have, so make sure to use everything that is available to you here.
What accomplishments do you dream to achieve in the next five years and how will your education at AISG help you achieve these?
To be honest, I haven’t entirely decided what I intend to achieve during my time at university. I feel like, when I get there, my aspirations and my interests might change. Yet, I’m not really worried about it at the current moment because I feel like my education here and the lessons I’ve learned inside and outside the classroom have equipped me with the tools to do whatever I’m truly passionate about when the time comes to make a decision.
Jacky's extracurriculars/activities/awards/etc. at AISG:
- Varsity Basketball (2018-2022)
- Varsity Volleyball (2019-2021)
- Scott Mohr Award (2020-2021)
- Athlete of the Year (2021-2022)
- Lower Secondary Volleyball Coach (2021-2022)
- Hoops for Hope (2019-2022)
Jacky, congratulations! Graduates, congratulations! Class of 2022, let’s go and enjoy your next adventure. Once a Ram, always a Ram!