Talented teen off to US art school
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.