Alumni Update from Hong Kong

HONG KONG, ONCE AGAIN!!!

    My name is Lou Pulgencio, and I am the Director of International Studies at Southwestern Academy. Since 1992, I have made annual trips to Asia to visit alumni and follow up on what they are doing or have done since leaving Southwestern.
This is what I did during winter vacation 2016.
On December 27, 2016, I went on a trip to one of my favorite places, Hong Kong. I feel at home when I’m there- the sights and sounds, the food, and the people. This is my fourth year straight spending New Year’s in Hong Kong.
I am so lucky to have many former students who I have stayed in contact over my nearly 30 years at Southwestern. I would like to share some information on these wonderful Hong Kong alumni who I have met.
I was able to meet up with a group of alumni for dinner with the help of Millie Kwan- thanks, girl!  Some wonderful news- Brian Chung is a recent newlywed!  Many years of happiness, Brian!

    I have been able to stay in contact with alumni from my first few years. I was able to meet up with Pilar Chang, Millie, Brian- Classes of 1990-92, and Elaine Chong- Class of 1999. It’s so wonderful to see how successful they have been. Pilar is married and has two beautiful daughters. She works at her sister’ bakery- the food is fabulous!  Millie and Brian are both business people- and very successful. Elaine has been working in the management area, but is pursuing a master’s degree in social science.

    I then met with two of my favorite “food specialists”, Linda Yeung and Joyce Lau (Classes from the mid- 1990s). Each helped me experience the many Hong Kong cuisines. Fresh fish, fresh meat, fresh vegetables, and food I have never heard of were delightful! Both have been working in the sales and accounting business areas. They know Hong Kong well- especially extraordinary places to eat all over Hong Kong. Thanks, girls!
Lucky me!!! I was able to have dim sum with Linda and Jacqueline Wong (graduate from the mid-90s) and her young son. Jacqueline is happily married with two children. She works as an administrative assistant in the Central district. She’s a wonderful mom!
I found out that two alumni from the mid-1990s were close to my hotel. Sung Jin Park (Class of 1997) works about a five minute walk to my hotel. We met for coffee. Sung Jin is currently the chief administrator with an import business in South Korea. He is in his third year of a four year assignment at their Hong Kong. With him are his wife and eight year old son.

    I also found out that Steven Lee, another mid-1990s graduate, lives two minutes from my hotel. I had lunch with him and his wife and one-year-old son. Steven works for Adidas as a window designer. He enjoys being a father.
The evening of the dinner, we were joined by Daisy Lee and Alex Wong (Class of 1999). We met at Alex Wong’s wine bar on Hong Kong Island in Kennedy Town. The others came later. We had a wonderful time recounting the “old days and the new ones.” Alex in also sells wine and Daisy works an events promoter. Both are very busy people and have demanding jobs.

    I was lucky enough to meet William Yip (Class of 2007), his wife, Sabrina, his in-laws and his mother for an afternoon of dim sum. It was great to find out that William and Sabrina were expecting their first child. In fact, due to a lengthy pregnancy, Sabrina was scheduled to go to the hospital that evening to delivery her baby boy! She was to have induced labor. Congratulations to you both. In addition, William is working with his father in the family business and is exploring of creating a company of his own.

    Then, I was so fortunate to see a group of “younger alumni” from 2009- Margaret Lam, Nancy Lam, and Tom Zhou. Margaret is also an alum of USC and works for the family business. Tom, who is a graduate of Gettysburg College, works in finance, and Nancy. A graduate of Syracuse University, works in business, but has recently married. Congratulations, Nancy!!! Tom works in the financial field in Hong Kong, but has business also in mainland China.
When I travel to Asia, I am awed by the number of international students who I have had either as students or as players. It is my goal to help each student who attends Southwestern to be successful. My reward is to follow them in their lives after Southwestern to see where success takes them.

    I am indebted to Southwestern for giving me the opportunity to experience international education and new cultures. And I would also like to thank the students who have given me the incentive to continue my work knowing that I had a small part in shaping their todays, yesterdays and the future.





Below are some pictures that were taken:

A view of Kowloon Island:


















(Left to Right) Alex Wong, Mr. Pulgencio, Daisy Lee:



















(Left to Right) Brian, Pilar, Millies:












Jacqueline Wong and son:











Linda Yeung and Elaine Chong:











Linda Yeung:











Linda, Elaine, Millie, Brian, Pilar Tom, Nancy, Sister, Margaret:














Margaret Lam, Sister Lam, Nancy Lam, Tom Zhou:














Millies Kwan, Brian Chung, Pilar Chang:














Steven Lee and son:











Sung Jin Park:














Tom Zhou:


Alumni Update



Our Dean of Enrollment, Mrs. Yekiazarian, went to Vietnam and met up with alumni, Lia Surianingrat (1993) and her sister, Osie Surianingrat (1998). Currently, they are both stay at home moms. Lia has three girls, and Osie has two girls.

Admissions on the Road



Presenting on "How to Apply to High Schools in the USA"

Mrs. Yekiazarian visited Sunrise Vietnam Education Consulting in Hanoi (pictured with agent Pham Phung Mai on the right).

On November 8th, Mrs. Yekiazarian went to Jakarta, Indonesia and delivered a presentation at "The @america Center Education USA" on "How to Apply to High schools in the USA.” (Photo above from: @america)
Stay in "the know" with "Admissions On The Road":http://www.southwesternacademy.edu/currentfamilies/admissions_events.html

The Great Woman of Maize

We love to hear about successes our alumni have in college and beyond. On this past November 1st, recent graduate Nancy Ruiz Vasquez (2013) read her poem "The Great Woman of Maize" in front of the English Department at CSUN. The poem, a bilingual evocation of her mother and her culture, won a first-place prize in a contest that included graduate students. Congratulations, Nancy! 



Southwestern Academy's Class of 2016 University & College Acceptances List


Sports Awards (2015 - 2016)

SPORTS AWARDS – 2015-2016


SOCCER:     ALL-LEAGUE HONORS – 1ST   JAYDEN OU, PETER ZHANG
                                                                      2ND  ADAM BROWN, ALBERT LOPEZ
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -   ISAIAH GLENN
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   GAIA UEDA
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   KEN CHIN
  

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL:    ALL-LEAGUE HONORS    1ST  SHIHO KATAGIRI, SUMMI KIM
                                                                                             2ND SILVIA DONG, JOLIE LIU
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -  YE SONG
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -  MARIE XU
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -  ELIZABETH MUSIEIEVA

JV GIRLS VOLLEYBALL:   
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -   ADA HUANG
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   SELINA HUANG
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   MAGGIE LOPEZ

  
BOYS BASKETBALL:    ALL-LEAGUE HONORS     - LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER- JEFFREY WAN
LEAGUE CHAMPS  12-7                                                 1ST JAYDEN OU, ADAM BROWN, SHUNJI HIRONAKA
                                                                                              2ND RAIN LIANG, PETER ZHANG
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -   JEFFREY WAN
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   SHUNJI HIRONAKA
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   JAYDEN OU

GIRLS BASKETBALL:       ALL-LEAGUE HONORS – 1ST  SHIHO KATAGIRI
                                                                                                2ND ADA HUANG, SARAH ALLEN
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -   SHIHO KATAGIRI
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   ADA HUANG
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   SARAH ALLEN

BASEBALL:                            ALL-LEAGUE HONORS  -    1ST EDWARD YEN, MAC KHAN
                                                                                                     2ND GYO NAKATANI, GAIA UEDA
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -   EDWARD YEN
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   GAIA UEDA
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   MAC KHAN

BOYS VOLLEYBALL:     ALL-LEAGUE  HONORS – LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER- JEFFREY WAN
LEAGUE CHAMPS  17-2                                                  1ST ISAIAH GLENN, PAVEL KLIMOV, ADAM BROWN
                                                                                              2ND JAYDEN OU, DANIEL GORIN
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -   ISAIAH GLENN & JEFFREY WAN
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   JASON WEI
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   CEE RUANGPANYAPOT

JV BOYS VOLLEYBALL
   TEAM MOST VALUABLE PLAYER     -     DERVIN LOPEZ
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -    ANDELO PUTRA
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYERS    -    JARRRAH ALLIAHA

SPRING GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
   TEAM MOST INSPIRATIONAL             -   KOKO MAI
   TEAM MOST IMPROVED PLAYER      -   JASMINE YANG


ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – 2015-2016

ZHONGNI “JEFFREY” WAN

Haochen "Vincent" Wang from China (Class of 2007)

Before & After

Currently, Haochen "Vincent" lives in Chicago and works as a Application Engineer for one of the leading Japanese machine tools manufacturing company.

How Southwestern Academy helped him achieve to where he is now:
"I have met some of my best friends and greatest teachers in my life during my years in Southwestern Academy. Without their help and encouragement, I probably would not survive engineering school all these years."

His fondest memory: 
"That would be the Chinese New Year Celebration event. (Was it called the Chinese dinner?) I still could not believe I managed to cook Chinese food for 100 people in just one afternoon."

Jacob Dean Skillett from U.S.A. (Class of 2012)

Before & After

Jacob is currently starting his Junior year at The University Of North Dakota, Majoring in Commercial Aviation. Since graduation he has received a Private Pilot's license and is an Instrument rated Pilot. This upcoming year he will be receiving his Commercial Pilot's License, with an Aerobatic/Multi-engine rating, and will be flying cargo around the Upper Middle West (U.S.A.). 


How Southwestern Academy helped him achieve to where he is now:
"Southwestern Academy really helped me get focused and understand the amount of work that goes into achieving your goals. The workload from Southwestern Academy prepared me to deal with the workload that any college/university usually gives its students."

His fondest memory: 
"My Fondest memory/memories at Southwestern were the sheer diversity of the students and getting to understand their cultures. I remember more specifically a time sitting with a Japanese student,  I learned and asked questions that showed me how different my culture and upbringing is compared to his. That is by far the greatest memory I got from Southwestern Academy."

Yi-Fan Chu from Taiwan (Class of 1999)

Before & After


Yi-Fan is currently working as Executive Chef at Dusit D2 in Patong Phuket. It is a resort that has over 340 rooms, and 6 outlets. He has been cooking over 14 years and will never stop cooking. “Cooking is my passion and my life.”  He is engaged and is looking forward to his upcoming wedding this December. Yi-Fan recently was a competitor on show called Iron Chef, and finished for the 2nd Rematch battle. The video has not yet been released.

Here are two article links which highlight Yi-Fan's current success:



How Southwestern Academy helped him achieve to where he is now
"Southwestern Academy taught me how to be myself, to be independent and to show us that, no matter where we are coming from and what our family back ground is…if we work hard good things will come to us." 

His fondest memory:
"I love Southwestern Academy. Every moment is memorable, but I never forget this: back in 1996 we lost a great volleyball player named Boonyarit Thanapoomikul. We went to our last playoff game against Providence High School.  We hoped that 'we will win for him' but lost that game and our team was so sad. While everyone was heartbroken, sad and crying, Mr. Gibbs comforted each player one by one. I remember he said to me, 'keep your head up and don’t give up!!' From that moment, I pushed myself. Since then, I had fallen in love with volleyball.  Even now, whenever I go through difficulties, I keep remembering what Mr. Gibbs told me that day....and I never let myself give up."