Eric Ding:

When I think back to all my experiences at Enlighten Chinese School, I don’t think of DSC03883Enlighten as a place. Rather, I see it as the embodiment of many great memories and struggles of my past self.

Ever since I was in elementary school I’ve went to Enlighten to become educated in the language of Mandarin Chinese. There, I made friends with many remarkable people and experienced the various wonderful cultures of China from all the amazing events held at this school. Having such a connection to this school, I decided that only natural way of repaying the favor was through volunteering.

I began doing so in 6th grade where I would assist teachers and tutor students at Enlighten. However, my time there as a tutor was cut short when certain circumstances required me to undergo separate surgeries for each of my feet. These surgeries prevented me from walking in the summers of 2013 and 2014. Though my mobility was hindered by the surgery my eagerness to help this school did not falter and I resumed my volunteering through correcting student’s papers in my home. I made sure that for every mistake that each student made there was a written solution guide to follow it up so that students could find their error in their reasonings and to learn from their mistakes. Although I was not able to physically participate in assisting Enlighten at the school, I was still doing my part as a volunteer every day. By the time I had fully recovered from the surgery in the summer of 2015 I realized that Enlighten now had a summer camp, equipped with its very own volunteer team.

Upon seeing this new system I was delighted to become a part of this volunteer team, however the transition from a solo volunteer to working with this new team had a few difficulties for a one reason. The volunteer team had a ranking system based on experience and skills working with the summer camp. While the system in itself was not a bad concept, it was still in its earlier stages and was a bit flawed as the ranking system ended up putting a gap between the volunteers’ relationships. Seeing as how I could make this system better, I worked hard to climb the ranks of the volunteer system. During the first 2 years volunteering at Enlighten Summer Camp, not a beat was skipped as I would go long distances just to make sure I put in the maximum amount of time and effort into this volunteering team. And it was the 2nd year where I was finally promoted to a volunteer captain. By the time I reached the rank that I had strived for two year ago, I realized that all this time I wasn’t only giving to Enlighten, but receiving much as well. From all the new friends I made among the volunteers and the campers to all the fun times and experiences that I went through those summers I felt as if a part of me has become one with the school, and that every drop of sweat I put into this establishment, was worth it.







Phillip Peng  :

Being able to tutor people is an opportunity I am fortunate to have. From my own experience when I encounter a problem on my homework it is always very helpful to have someone there to help me be able to get through the problem. Being able to play the other role and be the helper is something that I genuinely enjoy doing. While helping people I also connect and build bonds with them. As I help them with their problems, I become more connected with them and become friends with them. Building these bonds also helps me better understand and better help teach the material to them.So, tutoring isn’t just something I do for pay or for volunteering, it’s for the experiences I receive and the bonds that I make while helping others.DSC05936

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Outside of Enlighten Chinese School, I participate in a multitude of other activities. For instance, Leland’s Speech and Debate team is one of the top teams in the nation. As the proud vice president, I am responsible for the extensive amount of work required to keep this team of 250 members running smoothly. Due to my ample experience in debate, I am now a staff member of the biannual Burnett Speech and Debate Tournament for the middle school students. Another club that is dear to me is the Leland Key Club. Key Club is Leland’s largest club dedicated to community service so officers must constantly manage membership and supervise new service events for their members to participate in.

During my leisure time, I also enjoy volunteering as an exhibit interpreter at the Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose. Additionally, soccer is one of my hobbies and I am a licensed referee for the United States Soccer Federation.

My experience at Enlighten Chinese School has greatly helped me grow as a student, leader, and organizer. My countless years in Enlighten Chinese school have helped me learn to balance my schoolwork, Chinese school, and extracurricular activities. While the weekly visits to Chinese school were enjoyable, most of my memorable experiences are during the summer, at Enlighten Summer Camp, where I can take responsibility as a volunteer captain. This job requires me to lead a group of volunteers for a week while aiding the teachers and elementary school students at the camp. Over the years, I have gained the qualities of a leader and learned to become more assertive. I learned how to plan accordingly based on the program’s needs, varying from games to fundraising to student recruitment. Enlighten Chinese School has been the birthplace of many of my treasured memories as well as a education center where I have mastered many skills; thus I hope to continue to learn and contribute to Enlighten community in the future.

– Matthew Zhang


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Growing up in Silicon Valley as an Asian-American teen is definitely a privilege. We have access to a plethora of opportunity that most could only dream of: the best public schools, parents willing to sacrifice for our benefit, and a great environment filled with other goal-oriented, high-achieving teens. How many other children get the chance to experience such technology and innovation like that of Silicon Valley?

My name is Timothy Yuan, currently a student at Leland High School, and I’m what people would typically expect of a successful Asian teen in the Bay Area (good at math, academically sound, violinist). However, there was nothing really differentiating me from all those others who were just as well-off as I was. As I volunteered more and more in my community, I was given a new perspective that the individualistic and success-driven ideals of the area could not give. I learned to appreciate my own prosperity and realized that our visions of good fortune led to incredible selfishness. From Enlighten Chinese School, I had the chance to work with a multitude of young children (it was horribly frustrating at times, but also an amazing experience). I began to value the growth and development of the next generation, which led to other wonderful volunteering experiences. Later, I worked with White Stag Leadership Development Academy, a nonprofit devoted to building up leaders in an outdoor environment and even created a team of high-school students to tutor kids in my community. I’m incredibly fortunate to have such experiences that helped me grow into a more considerate person. I strongly encourage teens to take initiative to help out in their community and I hope that parents will give their full support for selfless action. The classroom simply cannot cultivate a caring, kindhearted next generation on its own, but luckily volunteering can help us out!

Enlighten Volunteer Experience:


Other Volunteering:

Organized an event to send books to a school in China;Organized an event to send Christmas Boxes for a Children’s Home in Haiti











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连续干旱的加州,在今年迎来多雨的雨季。雨不停地下着,天空是阴沉沉的,然而启明校园里却是一派忙碌喜庆。孩子们穿上了节日传统服装,快乐写在了脸上。大厅里热闹起来,家长们冒雨赶来了。活泼可爱的K班小朋友,表演的“欢欢喜喜迎鸡年”让人眼前一亮,飘舞的红绸带寓意着红红火火,稚嫩的童声传达着新春的祝福。IMG_7433 - Copy一年级小朋友的音乐剧“十二生肖”以他们生动的表演,诙谐幽默的台词,让现场充满欢声笑语。四年级的诗歌朗诵“我骄傲我是中国人”,让我们身在海外的华人们激情澎湃,倍感自豪。二年级的“虫儿飞”、“小拜年”歌舞相伴,IMG_6791黑暗中,孩子们手中的荧光闪闪,带给我们美妙温馨的感受。三年级的 歌剧“新年喜洋洋”形象地表达了传统过新年的欢天喜地。  五年级的同学为我们献上他们排练了很长时间的话剧“金鸡贺岁”,生动的表情,搞笑的表演风格,让现场欢声四起。最后,一曲“新年祝福”把现场的气氛推向了高潮。马老师是流着热泪指挥这个大合唱的,因为感动,因着对孩子们深深的爱!




周日的早上,老师和义工们开始忙碌了。布置桌椅,铺上红红IMG_6808的台布,条条灯谜挂起来,一个个春字灯笼带着谜语条在春风里飘舞着…学生家长们带着美味来了,四位可爱的小主持亮相,你一句我一句,夸美食,传祝福!让我们的新年团圆餐更加的有滋有味!听,舞狮的锣鼓敲响了,威武的双狮腾空跃起,自如翻腾,高年级的舞_MG_8034狮队一如既往,带给低年级小朋友惊喜连连!捡到了狮子抛出的糖果,小朋友更是喜笑颜开。看,是谁站在了颁奖台上?是高年级学生袁鼎斋(Timothy Yuan)和张仕星(Matthew Zhang )!沈慧校长为两位学生颁发了“启明文化教育社会服务”奖状证书,以及总额3000美元的奖学金。两位学生几年来持续的夏令营义工工作、学校夏令营杂志的编辑、启明的舞狮队都有他们努力。IMG_7849启明见证了他们的成长,也为他们骄傲着!再次感谢旧金山总领馆,赠送给启明的礼物-精美的新年纪念册和十二生肖剪纸图册,让中奖的孩子更加欢喜雀跃。紧跟着,游园展台活动开始了,IMG_6820灯谜台排起了长长的队伍,孩子们手持揭下的灯谜条,等待着核对谜底和兑奖。传统的有奖灯谜游戏散发着魔力,让孩子们玩得热闹、玩得开心极了。剪纸艺术、灯笼制作、IMG_6846[1]写春联福字、画年画,各个展台也热闹起来。还有空竹、陀螺、铁环、套圈、沙包,这些传统中国童玩,孩子们越玩越溜,越玩越爱,童趣童玩台成为家长和小朋友的亲子乐园。







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下午5点半,文化汇演开始,律动舞“Try everything” 表达了孩子们汲取多种文化,努力求知探索的进取精神;功夫、说唱童谣、宫灯舞、木兰剧…… 孩子们的表演让在座的观众乐开了怀,尤其是木兰剧,热闹生动地表现了花木兰女扮男装,替父从军,取得赫赫战功的传奇故事。 特地从中国请来的河南豫剧一团国家一级演员范静,演唱的豫剧花木兰,更是荡气回肠,显出强大的艺术魅力和生命气场。









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IMG_6971A queen is flung wildly into the air. With ninja-like alacrity, I dodge it by mere centimeters escaping possible ridicule and even mild brain damage. Grins turn into giggles which then transform into laughter. Finally, my class ends as twenty little chess ruffians race outside…but not before they raid my candy stash.

Enlighten Chinese School Chess Club, in its simplest form, is an amalgamation of unbound energy, frivolous conversations, an elusive yet omnipresent hope of earning candy, and most importantly a powerful bond between the students and coaches.  As the four years flew by, whether it was David learning to “take a minute per move,” Charles seeing that “the King is a fighting piece,” or Oliver paying attention to the “checks, captures, and threats on the board,” the improvement of my students has undoubtedly impressed me. In the riotous atmosphere of my class, my boisterous students were challenged as they studied the peaceful game of chess.Through their rambunctious name calling, wild escapades, and craziness, my students developed an interest for chess. I learned that crazy can be good, that happiness and success should be mutually inclusive, that learning is meant to be fun, and most importantly never mention candy on your flyers.

As my time at Enlighten comes closer and closer to an end, I awakened to the fact that I will not only be leaving behind merely a chess club but also a huge part of my life. Whether it’s the touching notes that my students wrote me or the hundreds of other interesting aspects of chess club, I will always cherish the chess games and time I played and spent with these wonderful little monsters.

I would like to thank Mrs. Shen and the Enlighten Chinese School staff for their unparalleled support and understanding, the numerous times Mrs. Shen encouraged me to keep on keeping on, and all the resources Enlighten helped provide. I would also like to thank my mom and dad for always sending me to Chinese School, teaching me how to play chess when I was small, and most importantly buying the candy. Lastly, huge shoutout to Edward Li, Dennis Chen, Andrew Tang, and Gary Fang for helping me teach chess.

Thanks for all the memories Enlighten Chess Club!Image result for chess fun

我叫唐博轩,我在启明中文学校组织运作下棋俱乐部有四年了。每两到三个星期,在这个热闹又活跃的俱乐部里,十五个小学生一起高高兴兴地学习下棋技巧,跟其他学生分享下棋的乐趣。从这个过程中,我自己也学到了很多,学习到怎样去带领不同年龄不同程度的学生。我想要感谢启明中文学校,感谢沈老师,还有我的帮手Dennis Chen, Andrew Tang, Gary Fang和Edward Li。如果没有他们,不可能有启明下棋俱乐部,我们的俱乐部也不可能如此被学生们喜爱和期待!

  • —-Chuck Tang唐博轩 (Enlighten Chess Club Coach)
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IMG_6975It was hard to imagine spending 8 hours a day at Chinese School over the summer, but the first week caught me by surprise. Through the volunteer training sessions, I met many unfamiliar faces that I see return year after year. Walking in half asleep in the morning on the first day, I still remember the sea of neon yellow in the volunteer room. There is a great sense of camaraderie among the volunteers as we face the long and always eventful day together. A normal day consists of a volunteer meeting, warm-ups, classes, lunch, and games. The best part about volunteering was definitely the people. Volunteers learn to teach kids and work together. I still remember the water fights of the first year and the dart game of the previous one. I would highly recommend that people take advantage of this opportunity. Who doesn’t want to get volunteer hours, experience in leadership, and free food while partying with wonderful people.               ––肖瑶 Linda Xiao

I founded a math team at my old middle school with two of my friends to bridge the divide between the elementary school’s math club and the high school’s math team. The elementary school math club started the year before we founded ours; the three-year gap during middle school would be detrimental to students’ newly budding interest in math. Our math team gives students opportunities in math that they wouldn’t have otherwise; most of the students had never heard of the competitions that they are now taking, like AMC 8 and Math Olympiad. IMG_6978

During meetings, the kids eagerly compete to answer questions when we play Jeopardy and cheer enthusiastically when they win. When we go over the answers and explanations, I am overjoyed when a quiet kid volunteers to explain the question to the class. Some of my favorite moments involve sitting down with students and slowly explaining concepts, and then watching understanding dawn in their eyes. They solve problems that they weren’t able to before, and we rejoice together for their achievements.

These opportunities have encouraged and helped maintain the students’ interest in math; every year, we get new members and more returnees. Graduating eighth graders continue on to the high school team, and members connect with other math students and teams at competitions.

With this math team, I hope to pass on the fascination I hold for math to others and give them opportunities to discover the joy and satisfaction of solving a tricky math problem. 

                                                             —- 张若菲 Elaine Zhang


IMG_6982By far one of my favorite volunteer activities I participated in at Enlighten was lion dancing during the Chinese New Year Program. I was the head of the lion and thinking back, though I’ve already forgotten the soreness of my arms, the memory of excited underclassmen scrambling for the candy that we threw out and the sparkling smiles upon the faces of the audience is one that will forever remain.  The story of my first time lion dancing would be one I would tell time and time again.


                                                                              —-钱依琳   Elaine Chien



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有一种美叫分享,有一种分享叫美味!热热闹闹新年团圆餐,在加州温暖的阳光IMG_2229下,在和煦 的春风里,欢声笑语、新年祝福、美食美味在空气中弥漫飘荡,让人沉醉……
舞狮的锣鼓响起来,高年级学生自组的舞狮队,让孩子们迫不及待,雀跃欢呼!相信,在这 些孩子们中,就有我们启明未来的舞狮队!艳丽威武的狮子,活泼有趣的表演,一张张开心笑容 感染着在场的每一位来宾! IMG_2263
在启明文化教育社会服务奖学金颁奖台上,唐博轩、张若菲、肖瑶和钱依琳,IMG_6986四位阳光朝气 的大 孩子,接过沉甸甸的奖状和 3000 美元的总额奖学金,这样的荣誉、乐于奉献的精神将在启明 的课堂内外传扬,必将激励更多的学生自信自强更加出彩!让自己,也让我们这个社区越来越美!
在启明春令营,在今年 2016 启明欢乐春节,来自北京民间艺术家协会的工艺家们将PIC_8075抖空竹、 剪纸艺术、蛋画、扇面绘画和脸谱绘画艺术带到了启明。IMG_2429活动中各个文化展台,也许只是小小体 验,但孩子们热切专注的眼神,流露出对中华文化的热爱和执着!课内课外,兴趣和爱好,智慧 和能力,尊重和分享,点点滴滴的成长,让我们欣喜!让我们骄傲!孩子们对美的追求,心中也 将留存美好的记忆!这份美好中,有你有我,有我们共同的努力!
在此特别感谢所有学生和家长义工,谢谢你们在用餐服务、各文化展台运作以及摄影等等工 作中的协助!谢谢所有家长对启明中文学校的支持!也感谢中领馆文化部王石和汪骏领事特意赶来参加启 明 2016 新春庆祝活动,谢谢你们对启明中文学校、对启明学生的支持和关心!

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