The kid behind the score

Senior Jordan Chong has made his last four years at Capo count, and that goes beyond standardized testing.

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Photo Courtesy of Jordan Chong

Chong is excited for the year to come.

Sophia Sandhu, Copy Editor

It can be said without hesitation that Jordan Chong is a name known well on campus. It is a name that bears greatness — and for good reason. He is the student who got a 36 on the ACT, is the president of NHS and is quite the talent when it comes to playing the violin. Regardless of how you know him, I encourage you to look beyond his impressive accomplishments and get to know the kid behind the score.

Whenever the ACT is brought up in a discussion, Chong’s name is usually not far from mentioning. He is an anomaly, but at the same time, he isn’t. 

“It doesn’t feel right to get so much recognition because there are so many kids who also got really good scores. Every time testing gets brought up I feel like they are getting wronged,” Chong expressed. “The difference between a 35 and 36 is so small and a lot of it comes down to luck.”

Chong’s 36 seems to get more attention because of the idea that it is “perfect.” Anything less than perfect doesn’t get the same recognition, despite how impressive the score is. Chong is proud of his accomplishment but wishes that the praise gets distributed to where it is deserved. 

“It was nice at first, but ultimately I don’t really like all the attention,” Chong admitted.

For those who are lucky enough to get to know him, you learn quickly about his humility. Chong is never one who boasts about his achievements. He doesn’t need the authentication of others to feel accomplished.

“I had studied really hard the summer going into my junior year. I wasn’t expecting to get a 36, and seeing the result of all my hard work was really validating,” Chong emphasized.

Now some people may be wondering, How did he do it? How did he manage to do so well in high school? For Chong, it was as simple as this: Make sure you enjoy what you are doing. 

“I try to enjoy everything that I do. All the clubs that I am in I am really passionate about. Safe Rides in particular has been one of my greatest achievements,” Chong recounted.

Chong has made sure that his time spent at Capo has been filled with meaningful experiences. Experiences that will make an impact on him for the betterment of his future because ultimately, he believes what you learn in school should be applicable to life. While it may be hard for students at this age to find what they are passionate about, Chong has managed to find his true calling in computer science and teaching. 

“For the longest time I wanted to be a teacher, and still want to. Whether it’s high school or college level I’m not sure,” Chong pondered. “I really enjoy tutoring other people. It’s nice to see that clicking moment when you are helping someone and they finally understand something. I think the whole process is a lot of fun.”

From freelance tutoring to Musical Mentors, Chong has expressed his love for teaching in a variety of ways; sometimes it’s when he simply chooses to help a friend out with homework. His generosity and dedication to service is something that a score on the ACT can’t quite portray. 

While teaching has been a long-standing passion of his, he has found inspiration for something a little different in one of our very own on-campus, Dina Kubba.

“Mrs. Kubba has been my greatest inspiration because I took Comp Sci with her last year and it was my favorite class. I found out that she worked as an engineer before teaching, so I think teaching would be something I come back to in the far future,” Chong elaborated. 

Chong has found the perfect model in Kubba as he hopes to follow in her footsteps after graduation in June. He has all the intention of continuing his educational journey by majoring in computer science in college, but will always keep his passion for teaching close to his heart. For now, he is focused on the next four years, and his plans are top-notch, to say the least.

“I applied Early Decision to Columbia and Early Action to Northeastern. I applied to a couple of other out-of-state private schools but most of the schools I am applying to are UC’s and Cal States,” Chong listed. 

College applications can be stressful, but all that he has accomplished and learned in the past four years are sure to give him the future that he is hoping for, and he knows that he has not gotten to where he is today without the support of others.

“All the people I have met and the adults I have worked with have made everything worthwhile,” Chong beamed.

In times like these, we can learn a thing or two from each other. From Chong, we can learn to start looking at our lives and filling them with meaningful moments and most importantly, meaningful people.