By Vivian Nguyen ’21
In the latest Freshman Spotlight column, The Bamboo is pleased to feature another talented freshman: Cecilia Jeong. Introducing individuals of the conglomerate of a freshman body is a great way to get to get a peek at the newest Pandas! Here’s a closer look at Jeong’s story.
According to Jeong, this freshman specializes in “life” as well as “reciting poetry and being hyperactive while talking.” Her aptitude for brain-work inspires her, every day, to explore the verbal arts. As a former IH Middle School Student Council President and a current member of the Freshman Council, Jeong feels a very close connection to Immaculate Heart. Of her elementary school journey, Cecilia states there were “several times when I was about to leave this school. But the community had such a strong grasp that I am still here. The sisterhood here is so tight and loving.”
An international student from South Korea, Jeong has only been in the United States since age nine. Yet, her impressive prowess and passion of the English language sets her apart from many students. Aside from placing highly in the 2017 Los Angeles Archdiocese Academic Decathlon, Jeong has found that many of her own talents lie in drama. Her roles as Pharaoh in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and as Humpty Dumpty himself are among the most special highlights of her theatre career.
It seems as if Jeong’s endeavors have no end in sight. Recently, she made it to the high school’s semifinals of Poetry Out Loud! Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry reciting program urging students to re-explore the wonders of poetry and bring it to life by performance and personal expression. Students have competed in classrooms thus far, but only a select few have made it to the school-wide level. Her performance in front of the entire school will take place come early December, so stay tuned!
In regards to her choice of poem, Jeong selected “Peach” by Jennifer Tonge because of its seemingly bright and sweet tone. But as any English teacher will tell you, a poem’s initial read may change entirely upon close inspection. “When I talked to Dr. Binggeli and Ms.Aguilar, my eyes opened about the poem’s new interpretation. I was very shocked about its meaning. Somehow, I made it!” exclaims an exuberant Jeong on her forthcoming contests.
Behind every great artist is the raw passion of the art, and Jeong says her love of verbal arts extends from an ever deeper part of her mindset. “It’s like dumping out your brain with words,” Cecilia exudes. “It’s kind of like escaping reality. It’s my way of getting rid of stress, and when I have an audience, it’s even better.”
Muhammad Ali once said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” For many of those at Immaculate Heart, American culture urges us to be bold and to dream big. In the future, Jeong says she would like to work for the United Nations, travel, and help the world become a better place. Aside from poetry, she likes to chill, bike, scooter, and spend time at a cafe. Is there anything more beautiful than to stop and love life sometimes like Cecilia Jeong does? We, at The Bamboo, think not.