How Nancy thrived as an International student at New Life Academy
Coming to New Life Academy exceeded Nancy Wang’s, Class of 2020, expectations. She thought high school was going to be, well, just school. “You get your diploma and that’s it.” What Nancy wasn’t anticipating were all the opportunities awaiting her and how much she would grow by the end of her four years in high school.
As an international student from China, Nancy arrived her freshmen year at New Life shy about beginning a new school and anxious over not fully knowing the language. However, she set aside her nerves and went outside her comfort zone to discover something more valuable than comfort. “If I never tried, I never could do it. If I never got involved with band or fine arts, I wouldn’t know I had so much potential. You never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try,” remarks Nancy reflecting back on her time.
Getting involved was a self-discovery process. She said she was “horrible” with science but she just tried it and ended up winning the 2018 Twin Cities Regional Science Fair Award. The same held true for music and art, two subjects she’s equally passionate about. In China she never had many opportunities to practice or grow in the subjects she was interested in. Here at New Life, she was amazed at how the school put so much attention into each subject and all the opportunity that existed.
The academics weren’t the only area that helped Nancy grow. The community at New Life really helped her improve her faith. She dealt with a lot of difficult experiences in her early years at New Life, but the community at school checked in on her and helped her. “This is what Christianity is supposed to be like.” Over time, she grew in a deeper understanding of what being a Christian means. Chapel speakers and the Mexico Junior mission trip really helped her figure out how to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Now she’s ready to move on to college, where she will be studying architecture at the U of M- Twin Cities. Nancy credits New Life to helping her learn what she wants to study in college and she’s grateful that she won’t have to spend that much time exploring because she’s tried so much at New Life.
For incoming students her advice is: “Don’t be nervous. This is the place where you can feel comfortable. Here you feel valued and you can find your own worth from something you love. If you stay comfortable there’s no difference than going to school in your native country. If you’re going to stick with your comfortable circle, you’ll just stay there. Learn the language. There are so many opportunities here, you just have to try.”
View Nancy’s Disaster Relief housing project that she spent 3 years working on.