Class of ’22 Valedictorian: Jing Ren

As the Class of ‘22 celebrates and throws their caps in the air, they will wonder who made an impact in their class that they will somehow be remembered for in high school. That could mean sports, extracurricular activities, creating a voice in their grade, or being the first and top of their class.

It is something that is hard to reach and accomplish, though Jing Ren being ranked first made it possible while juggling many things at the same time. She is not surprised at becoming the valedictorian; it was her goal since freshman year. When Ren noticed the valedictorian at her sister's graduation, she realized that women could do the same thing when it came to terms of creating a speech for her graduating class. She never told anyone because she did not believe it was possible, “the thing with me is that I would do it only if I know I will be the best.” 

Ren was not always involved in extracurricular activities due to having so much homework and always working at her parent's restaurant, “I couldn’t even be able to hang out with my friends, I was doing homework while answering phone calls.” 

However, it did not stop her from still being involved and doing programs that would benefit her and possibly study subjects that she would major in in college, like QuestBridge, College Prep Scholar, and National College Match, HPREP. She also did a Young Leader Summit program.

Ren plans on majoring in mathematical economics at the University of Pennsylvania for now, however it may change. What made her so passionate about math growing up in a family business because she was always involved in numbers. Realizing that you have to learn to use the knowledge that you have the skills that “I have in math, but also applying the real world of economics.” 

Knowing that math only has one answer, and that there may be mistakes while doing math, however when it comes to economics, Ren goes on to explain, “when you’re talking about economics it’s not just money it’s about resources,” and the limited resources that the world has got to offer in society.  

Ren being interested in math does not stop her to have political views or be able to want to help the world in a way that she knows she can be able to make an impact, “the STEM field is progressing, but sexism is an issue that is contradicting progress,” and it is still going on and preventing women that would like to pursue STEM majors or in the stem workforce. 

Ren has noticed that there are only two girls in her physics class right now and three girls in her AP computer science class and seeing that “the STEM workforce is already having a huge negative impact on girls at such a young age,” Ren’s main goal is to major in math and combine her skills with a minor in gender and sexuality studies. 

Figuring out “how gender affects other people's choices.” She is very excited to be stepping into a new stage in her life, going to a new city in Philadelphia. She loves the scenery of the city and wants to be reminded of her home especially since Malden is very diverse so she chose somewhere near the city.

“Social life in college is different now because we’re adults…” Seeing kids from all over the world coming to this college makes her a little worried because she is going to an Ivy League school and she is not sure how college is going to go since kids are often from wealthy families.

“I have to find my own group, people from the same low-income, first-gen students background.” 

Being a first-generation low-income student, “with parents who are immigrants, that could not provide that much resources,” Jing wants to prove to other people that students like her can be able to be a valedictorian. “Humans can rise above any situation if you just work hard, and have determination.” 

Ren wants to establish an impact in this world and that means making big organizations by spreading the word and giving out resources to people that are not given that many opportunities or advantages, “just to help kids with college applications, and just apply my knowledge to real-world situations.” Furthermore, Ren wants to get her degree to not just have it but to do something with it, getting a degree may be nice though what are you going to do with that degree, “I want to use that degree to help the world.” 

In ten years she sees herself surrounded by professionals, who share the same interests and goals as her, “helping students, especially from a disadvantaged background.” 

Jing Ren is a hardworking, passionate woman who plans on making a difference in this world and is ready for what the world has to offer to her. She has managed on being at the top by time management, being optimistic with herself, and having a humble personality. Ren has had to risk a lot while being number one in her class. 

She acknowledges that it is not easy and gives advice to those who want to be at the top of their class. “When you fail, do not cry over that one thing, you have to learn to pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes.” 

Ren believes that you have to learn to be resilient and patient with yourself, that “you can’t give everything else up and start questioning your own ability,” that you should try to stay calm and think logically and always tell yourself that “there are always other chances.” Ren going forward after high school just surrounds herself with positivity, and is able to grow. 

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