Article submitted by Charlestown High School
Charlestown High School student Yiming Yu received the School and Youth Action Award at the “We Are Boston” 2012 Gala on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Yu received this award for his courage, perseverance, idealism, contributions to his community and promotion of cross-cultural understanding. “I was nervous at first,” Yu said after receiving the award. “But it was great.”
The “We Are Boston” Gala is a special event where community members, business executives, educators, and city leaders, including Mayor Thomas Menino, come together to honor Boston’s diversity and recognize the contributions of Boston’s immigrant population. The gala is the culminating annual event of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians.
“I got to meet a lot of very important people and shake hands. It was my pleasure," Yu said about the gala.
The School and Youth Action Award is given out specifically to a new Bostonian who is under the age of 21 and whose parents are immigrants. Yu and his parents immigrated to America from China three years ago. They came from the GuangDong province. Student Sherley Belizaire from Boston International Newcomers Academy was also honored.
At first, Yu said he struggled in America and wanted to go back to China. However, thanks to the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and thanks to his teachers at Charlestown High School, Yu has become very happy here.
“Now I feel at home here. America is a great country. I get a great education,” Yu said.
Yu was joined onstage by Charlestown High School headmaster William Thomas to accept the award. Yu’s father and teachers were also at the gala.
Charlestown High School administrator Chikae Yamatin said, “It was a fantastic event to honor the immigrants in our city. Yiming is an amazing member of our school community.”
This is just one of many honors Yu has recently received. Last year he and his classmates in the Chinese Immigrant Student Leadership program visited the White House after they won the “Champions of Change” video challenge. Yiming said that although, unfortunately, he did not get to meet President Obama on this visit, it was a wonderful experience.
As a senior at Charlestown High School, Yu is almost finished with the college application process. He’s applying to colleges in Boston and around New England. He hopes to study business.
“I can’t wait,” Yu said about his future.