In her 18-years on this planet, Grace Wang has found her passion – biology and humanitarianism.
Grace is involved in a number of charitable organizations. She’s the chair of the London Red Cross youth group, is president of the SCROOGE club at Lucas that raises money and non-perishable food for the Salvation Army, plays on the school's rugby team and has volunteered for several organizations in the past, including Women's Community House and the London Chinese school. Grace actively tries to mobilize the youth in her community.
"There's not really a point in living in a community unless you immerse yourself in your community," said the Grade 12 student.
"I think it also gives a warm fuzzy feeling. I feel our population should foster a generation of givers, not just takers."
This young scientist is extremely busy! In addition to her charitable work, in 2011 Grace placed fourth at the Intel international science and engineering fair in Los Angeles -- the world's largest pre-college science fair competition.
Grace is turning her charitable work and biological prowess into a bright future. Wang has also been awarded a scholarship to the University of Western Ontario and plans to pursue biological and medical sciences.
"At the moment, being a doctor would be nice," said Wang of her future profession, though she's planning to keep her options open.
Grace’s inspiration comes from the work of Operation Smile, where doctors travel to developing countries to perform cleft lip and palette surgeries on children.
Grace’s grandfather also played a huge role in forming her world view. When an earthquake struck China in the 1970s, Wang's grandfather was one of the doctors who rescued people, she said. One of the men he rescued spent decades trying to track down the doctor who saved his life. The two met recently after a story about the rescued man's quest hit the news. It's stories like that that have driven Wang to give back to her community.
"Volunteering takes you out of your own little world and let's you see the world around you from a new perspective. Young people, especially high school students ... don't really have that much real world experience. Volunteering really does expose you to the real world. It exposes you to nice people and not so nice people. It let's you think outside your box."
Modified from Giving back in Grace Wang’s genes By KELLY PEDRO, The London Free Press. To see the full story, visit http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/inperson/2012/04/29/19693751.html