Changyue ’16 loves engaging with history. So, when the opportunity arose during junior year to interview residents at Kimball Farms, a retirement community in nearby Lenox, Changyue spent Saturdays gathering recollections of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s leadership through The Great Depression and World War II. Her resulting documentary earned a first place prize in the Massachusetts History Day’s regional competition.
During senior year, Changyue interviewed Kimball Farms residents about their experiences during World War II, and she published a book based on the interviews. “I love stories and what you can learn from them,” explains Changyue, who wanted to capture the perspectives of witnesses to history. Her work earned a state award from the National Archives for research and scholarship, and she received the School’s Paul C. Cabot, Jr. History Prize at Commencement.
The experiences, Changyue adds, also shaped her views on leadership and opened her eyes to the possibilities at MHS. She found that if she wanted to pursue interests, whether serving as a Proctor or as President of the School’s International Student Alliance, or participating in the Model United Nations, collaboration could make it happen. “I learned that if you don’t reach out, you won’t achieve many of the things that you could achieve,” says Changyue, who is now a freshwoman at Manhattan College and considering becoming a teacher. “You just have to ask.”