Cassandra Hsiao dreamed of studying college in an Ivy League school but did not expect that she will make it into not one but eight Ivy League schools!
The 17-year-old emigrated to the United States from Malaysia with her family when she was just 5 years old.
She is a school president and the school paper’s editor-in-chief.
Hsiao’s key to the Ivies, aside from her impressive resume, is her college application essay which she sent to all her target schools.
In this essay, she talked about her and her family’s struggles in learning the English language and how her mother inspired her to do better.
“My mother asked me to teach her proper English so old white ladies at Target wouldn’t laugh at her pronunciation. It has not been easy. There is a measure of guilt when I saw her letters together. Long vowels, double consonants—I am still learning myself. Sometimes, I let the brokenness slide to spare her pride, but perhaps, I have hurt her more to spare mine,” she wrote in her essay.
Hsiao said that her parents are a huge part of why she was able to accomplish what she had.
“You can’t do without the support of your parents. They believed in me and encouraged me to follow my passions”.