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HKIS Scholarship student Andrew Yip '06


Former HKIS High School Counselor Vijay Sathyaraj
attended the Washington Scholoarship ceremony

In October 2008, Andrew Yip ’06 traveled from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon to Washington DC to receive his scholarship to the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. This was the latest trip in what has proven to be an epic adventure for Andrew, during which he has picked up several scholarships along the way.

His first scholarship was awarded by HKIS when he was selected as the recipient of the Annual Fund Merit and Need-Based Scholarship from among 200 of his peers on the Summer Program for Gifted Talented Local Students. Andrew joined HKIS for grade 12 and completed his education at the school. Prior to this Andrew had been studying at a local English Medium of Instruction School in Hong Kong.

He describes studying at HKIS as “exciting.” “HKIS American–style curriculum and approach to education gave me the flexibility to select my own courses and to set my own goals.”

Andrew's Dad and HKIS security guard Philip Yip

Philip Yip, Andrew’s dad and HKIS security guard, says the HKIS scholarship started his son along the road to success. “At HKIS he was able to build the foundations to grow and go from strength to strength. The school helped him to develop his self-confidence and taught him how to work smart. He has and continues to build on this learning much to his own personal success.”

Recognizing his potential, HKIS counselors encouraged Andrew to apply for university scholarships to US universities. And he was successful – on graduating from HKIS, Andrew learned he had received a scholarship to Lewis and Clark College, where he has been able to further test the waters and discover what motivates and interests him academically.

“In my first year I focused on music,” says Andrew, who is a keen organist and former Church of All Nations player. “In my second year at Lewis and Clark I changed focus from music to Economics.” Now in my third year I am shifting my focus towards Mathematics. I am also taking some courses in the Computer Science Department.”

He finds all four disciplines – music, economics, math and computer studies – similar. “Each requires careful analysis on the subject matter as well as interdisciplinary reasoning.”

Andrew with fellow KAUST scholarship recipients

Andrew is still active in playing the organ on campus and in church services at a nearby Lutheran Church. He will complete his studies at Lewis and Clark in 2010 before taking up his latest scholarship place at KAUST. The new University opened this year and is dedicated to inspiring scientific achievement in the Kingdom to benefit the region and the world.

“I received the KAUST Discovery Scholarship for current undergraduate students (junior or above) in Science and Engineering related fields. The application process included an online application, essays, and an interview with the officers from the University,” says Andrew.

He says KAUST is established upon four major interdisciplinary research centers. “I am most interested in projects related to behavioral modeling - I love economics, Artificial Intelligence, and applied mathematics in engineering.”

Andrew is one of just 60 students in North America to receive a scholarship to KAUST. What’s more, this scholarship covers tuition and living expenses for his two remaining years at Lewis and Clark.

“This is a great relief,” says Andrew, who has been working on campus as a tutor and teaching assistant to support his living. “Now it’s not all about money anymore. I can focus more closely on the academic work and research that really interests me, and attend academic conferences and present papers with fewer financial constraints.”

Philip says his son is a good example of the Annual Fund in action, and how the work the fund makes possible often lives on long after its beneficiaries leave HKIS.

As for Andrew, he is always interested to hear about happenings at HKIS from his Dad and teachers. He is still in contact with other alums, including Will Watson and Chris Tang who also study at Lewis and Clark College.

“I am in contact with Jeremy Nelson who is at the nearby Reed College. For friends not in the region, I keep in touch with them through MSN and Facebook. It is always great to hear the latest updates on their academic progress, travels, and when they plan to visit Hong Kong,” he says.

He says he remains thankful to teachers and staff members at HKIS, “For without them and their inspirations, nothing could have happened. I also thank HKIS for caring about me so much even after my graduation.”

Source:  DragonTales Volume 10 Winter Edition 2008