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BCIS Scholarship Program: Interview with Awardees of Year 2016-2017 Part II

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BCIS Scholarship Program: Interview with Awardees Part II

Recently, two BCIS Scholarship awardees were kind enough to conduct an interview with us: Ms. Yasmine Rayyis and Ms. Grace Wang. This is Part II of our scholarship series.

Yasmine is a student whose determination to succeed is unparalleled. She can often be found confidently speaking in front of large audiences, or leading a group of students in the various projects she has undertaken, which are in fact, many. She has been the Student Head of Speech and Debate for three years now, as well as the Student Head of Model UN. Her other roles include Editor at BCIS Editorial, the school’s student-run newspaper, actress in theater productions, which she has won great praise and awards for, ballet dancer, and more.

Grace is an outstanding student that has excelled in her passions: music and sports. She can often be found on a field, court, or stage giving her all to achieve successful performances. She has been given the gift of musical abilities in the form of a powerful voice, which she has fully employed, having already recorded an EP in a professional studio. She has also displayed great strength and quick action in various sports fields, particularly volleyball. In addition, she has been a model citizen, giving back to the community by volunteering at the Migrant Children’s Foundation and helping organize events such as the Banana Arts Festival.

Please read on further for their stories.


1. Why and how did you apply for the Scholarship? Do you have any experiences during the application process or suggestions you would like to share with future applicants and their families? 

Yasmine: I applied because without a scholarship, I would have had to transfer schools. I applied from information I found on the website. I asked for letters of recommendation from two teachers, and wrote a short essay about why I believe I qualify, and how I will contribute to BCIS. I was requested for an interview, so I prepared based on the prompts I was provided with, and went in with confidence. Do not apply from a place of arrogance or superiority. Know your worth and your contribution to the school, but understand that you are a part of a larger community and one of many deserving applicants.

Grace: I have known about the scholarship program for years. And so last year, I finally decided to apply for it. I did this for several reasons. First, I felt if I was able to get the Scholarship, it would make me feel recognized (my efforts), and I would have more confidence in doing the things I love. I also applied because I wanted to be more financially independent and start saving up for university. A lot has happened last year that has made me realize that anything can happen at any point, so I wanted to be more independent. This would also help take a lot of the financial pressure off my parents. Another reason why I applied for the Scholarship is that it is a source of motivation. By receiving it, I will push myself harder to achieve more and always remind myself to work hard. I don’t really think I have any experiences to share regarding this, but if anyone is applying in the future, I think what is really important is that you really should show-off your “dazzling point,” meaning what you love, who you are, what you’re really good at and how you can give back to the Community. Also, be true to the real you.

2. How will you benefit from the Scholarship this school year and beyond, particularly in the field that you are pursuing?  (academic, sports, arts, or social projects) 

Yasmine: Without my scholarship, attending BCIS would not have been a financial possibility for me, so my award means that I am able to continue receiving the quality education and overall learning experience this school offers. Because I have been motivated to do more, and go further with activities I have already been doing, I believe my scholarship has made me a more dynamic and passionate IB student, which will make me more attractive as a prospective college student.

Grace: The Scholarship has become a type of motivation for the IB DP program for me that is helping me to push myself to achieve better results academically. In my area, which is music and business, I feel I have benefited highly from the Scholarship. It has given me a chance to develop my musical skills. For example, I have started taking vocal lessons, I have pushed myself to try and get internships at record labels, and more. Furthermore, I wish to create more music and hopefully produce more demo tracks now that it is more possible financially. I also anticipate in participating in a summer program at one of the US or UK colleges in relation to either music or business, which I think will largely push me to discover more in depth about my interests and the field that I am pursuing. Furthermore, I have deepened my involvement in social projects including MCF, Banana Arts Foundation, as well as sports teams including Volleyball and soon Badminton.

3. How will you give back to the Community/Society as a scholarship awardee?

Yasmine: I am in my third year as student head of Speech and Debate, and first year as student head of Model United Nations. In both, I manage training and practice, motivate the team, try to recruit new students, handle a majority of conference/tournament correspondence, and aid in logistical planning, along with attend conferences/tournaments as a high-level competitor. I am also an editor of BCIS Editorial, an active member of the Student Government, take a large part in drama productions, have entered the Avenir business competition, and am a member of the Flux Film Festival committee, along with a few personal CAS projects and initiatives. Basically, I try to position myself to be an active and involved member of the community.

Grace: As a Scholarship awardee, I hope that I can really give back to the community. I wish that I can be a source of motivation and inspiration for others so they can believe and pursue what they wish for. I am also trying my best to maintain my grades academically and be actively involved in the community, whether it be through sports, music, social projects, and more. Through all these ways, I wish to enhance the community, and at the same time, contribute to society. With MCF and Banana Arts Foundation, I am also trying to make a bigger impact, not only for the school, but in society as well.

4. Do you feel any pressure to meet the high expectations that come along with receiving the Scholarship?

Yasmine: As I was recognized by the Scholarship committee as a leader that contributes to the school community, I have felt more drive to give back and demonstrate I am worthy of such recognition. I believe it creates a standard for me, which has led me to be more aware of myself and the image I project. I have made an attempt to conduct myself in a manner that is more positive, professional, and passionate than before.

Grace: I wouldn’t call it pressure. Like I said, it’s more like a source of motivation, pushing me forward and to work harder.

5. What do you think are main the qualities necessary for someone to receive the Scholarship?

Yasmine: You have to be involved and contribute to BCIS way beyond what you do in the classroom. You have to have an area (or areas) of passion in which you are particularly skilled in comparison to your peers (you should have proof of this claim). You have to strive to be a physical embodiment of the MYP learner profile traits through any means necessary.


  • Talent: something that you’re good at; something that you’re passionate about; something that makes you different and makes you “you.”
  • Personality: that you’re a positive person that wishes to make a difference in others and yourself.
  • Integrity: that you’re honest about who you are.
  • Uniqueness: how are you different?

BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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