Born and raised a coastal Californian, HanLing Petredean ventured eastward to complete her undergraduate degree at Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies and Energy and the Environment. She has had the fortune to travel extensively throughout numerous diverse urban and rural areas of the world, experiences that have both solidified her passion to pursue life in the international sector and to facilitate cultural and academic exchange through the realm of education. She received her TEFL Certification in 2015 and has extensive experience in teaching English and creative and analytical writing to students both within national and international settings.
Hear from her:
"I have loved the classroom since I was a young girl, it was a place for adventure, creativity, and stimulation. As I grew older, I expanded my classroom by studying abroad and teaching overseas and the classroom felt like a second home wherever in the world I was. My experiences inspired me to build upon my passion for education in my undergraduate studies, education and human development research, and career. From my involvement in girls’ education, rural education, English as a foreign language, and health education, I have seen the successes of an innovative, experiential, and interactive pedagogy that is core to The Open Classroom and I am excited to teach their rich and unique curriculum. The education field is constantly evolving and The Open Classroom is at the forefront of promoting excellence both academically and personally and I am happy to be a part of this empowering community."
Nicole Liu is a rising sophomore at Columbia University, with a potential double major in history and econ-philosophy. She grew up in Guangzhou, China, graduated high school as the valedictorian of her class, and participated in Wharton’s highly selective program of Management & Technology Summer Institute in 2014. She is active outside of the classroom and passionate about public relations. She leads the PR team of CU Link, the Columbia chapter of a national human rights organization devoted to helping North Korea defectors, and works for the Varsity Show, whose annual musical production is the most attended event at Columbia every year. A former intern at an educational center in Guangzhou, she loves working with students and exploring individual interests and strengths with them.
Hear from her:
"I believe that when we speak and write, we make an integrated impression on the audience that says more than what the actual content implies. To explore the strengths in major forms of communication, therefore, improves our overall performance from daily interaction with others to group discussions in a classroom, from articulating our ideas in a debate to giving a public speech in front of a large crowd of people. I wholeheartedly endorse Columbia’s Core curriculum for this reason, and I am glad to have a set of essential skills always at my disposal in different settings. I look forward to tapping these skills with the students at The Open Classroom, and aiding them in the discovery of a better self."
Kevin Li is a rising junior at Columbia University majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Economics. He was born and raised in Hong Kong and graduated from Chinese International School with an IB Diploma. At Columbia, Kevin serves as an Executive Committee Member on the board of one of Columbia’s largest cultural clubs, Chinese Students Club. In this role, he has to plan and execute events hosting 1000+ attendees and was selected as the sponsorship committee head for Lunar Gala, the organisation’s largest event of the year. Kevin spent his last two years in High School volunteering for Rotary Hands, an organisation that helps local school kids with English. He taught vocabulary, grammar, and syntax to classes of 16 local students aged 8-14 for 2+ hours a week.
Hear from him:
"I love being able to help people and have a history of volunteering. During my time at Rotary Hands, I developed a connection with the kids I taught and took incredible pride when I saw them doing well and becoming more self-assured in their English skills. During my middle school and early high school years, I was not the strongest student; I therefore feel hugely indebted to the tutors and mentors who had instilled in me the confidence I have today. I am delighted to be a part of a group like The Open Classroom which aims to do just this, and help students reach their potential. I look forward to this summer and hope I can make a positive impact."
Rong is a rising sophomore attending the University of Pennsylvania where she intends on majoring in International Relations and minoring in Fine Arts. On campus, she serves as an Under-Secretary-General for the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference and as an Assistant Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement board; in both roles, Rong has worked vigorously with high school students to cultivate their leadership skills and empower their understanding of global affairs. Prior to her current work, Rong served as the President of her high school’s honors and tutoring society and a children’s art teacher at her local Chinese school. She looks forward to applying her leadership experiences to her involvement at The Open Classroom.
Hear from her:
"I aim to help students hone their communication skills and presentation abilities. More than all others, the ability to communicate – whether through speech, writing, or even text – distinguishes a great leader from a good one. The leaders I admire and respect most are those who understand their audience and their vision, and adjust their presentation strategy accordingly. The power to communicate is the power to transmit knowledge meaningfully, and I look forward to helping students develop this skill this summer. I am absolutely ecstatic to be a part of The Open Classroom and its mission of integrating leadership skills and global awareness into student education. TOC champions a philosophy that other educational institutions ought to take note of: students should not learn for school, but learn for themselves."