Tal­ented teen off to US art school

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KATASHA McCUL­LOUGH

Cherry Yang is one of only two Ki­wis to be ac­cepted into one of the most pres­ti­gious art schools in the world.

Yang, 18, will start at Rhode Is­land School of De­sign in Septem­ber, where she plans to study ar­chi­tec­ture.

She ap­plied to 14 uni­ver­si­ties in the United States and oth­ers in Australia and New Zealand.

In the end it came down to gut in­stinct, Yang says.

She was choos­ing be­tween the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia and Rhode Is­land.

‘‘I re­alised it was not about the rank­ing or pres­tige, it’s about what I want to do and where I’ll be happy.’’

Yang, who lives in Mil­ford, at­tended St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege.

She opted for the In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate (IB) pro­gramme over NCEA and says her fi­nal year of school was ‘‘sleep-de­priv­ing’’.

But those mo­ments of ex­haus­tion are not what Yang re­mem­bers, in­stead she thinks about chore­ograph­ing for the Chi­nese dance group or go­ing to band prac­tice.

‘‘That’s why I still turn up even though it’s hard phys­i­cally. There are nights you have to stay up un­til 3am.’’

Be­tween classes Yang spent time in the li­brary de­bat­ing any­thing that came to mind with her ‘‘ IB co­hort’’.

‘‘We were re­ally sup­port­ive and wanted the best for each other. There was no com­pet­i­tive ten­sion.’’

Yang was hon­oured in the IB Top Schol­ars’ Award Cer­e­mony at Gov­ern­ment House ear­lier this year for her score of 44 out of a pos­si­ble 45.

St Cuth­bert’s prin­ci­pal Lynda Reid says there is no doubt Yang will make the most of this great op­por­tu­nity.

‘‘Cherry is a gen­uine all­rounder in the class­room, a tal­ented mu­si­cian and an artist with a grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion.’’

Yang does not start her stud­ies un­til Septem­ber but is leav­ing New Zealand in June. She will visit fam­ily in China, spend eight weeks coun­selling at an Amer­i­can sum­mer camp be­fore fly­ing to Canada for three weeks.

Yang signed up to work at the sum­mer camp be­cause she wanted to step out­side her com­fort zone.

But she says she is more ex­cited than ner­vous.

‘‘I felt like I needed to go out and do some­thing, have a bit of an adventure.’’

Cherry Yang, 18, is mov­ing to the United States to study at Rhode Is­land School of De­sign.

Cherry Yang’s art­work Up Ahead won first prize at the Sec­ondary Schools Art Awards, hosted by the James Wal­lace Arts Trust.

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