Yula Ye arrived in the United States in 2013 as a sophomore exchange student in a new school, in a new country. But when she first arrived at Peninsula Catholic High School in Newport News, Virginia, she quickly realized she felt right at home.
Several short years later, Yula is heading into her final year as a Peninsula Catholic student. During her time at the school, she has achieved success in school, and at home.
“Peninsula Catholic is a small school with close relationships,” Ye said. “We all know each other well, and we make a lot of friends.”
At school, Yula earned Honors in Art 3, Achievement in Art 2, Achievement in Honors English 11, and was selected to the Mu Alpha Theta National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society.
An accomplished artist, Yula hopes to be an interior designer after college. She has been heavily involved with her school’s Art Club for all three of her years in the school, so much so, that she will be taking over as president next year. In the Art Club, Yula and her fellow students participate in contests, where they have received numerous awards.
In addition to her school’s Art Club, Yula applied for and will attend Virginia Commonwealth University’s Summer Art Program in the summer of 2015, a program which promotes cross-disciplinary approaches to creative activity; and imparts practical knowledge and skills to prepare performing artists for college auditions and visual artists for the creation of their application portfolios. [VCU Arts]
Since art is such a big part of Yula’s life, she found a way to give back to her host family using her artistic talent. The night before Mother’s Day in 2015, Yula a waited anxiously for her host mom to go to sleep. Once her mother was sleeping, she was up. She had a long night ahead of her.
While the host mom slept, Yula and Nancy worked through the night to decorate the host family’s kitchen with balloons and artwork with Mother’s Day messages on them. The mother awoke to quite a surprise, declaring how much she loved it!
Yula’s interest in art can be accredited largely in part to her art teacher, Ms. Kovalcik, who has helped her throughout her time at the high school. In 2016, Yula will serve as her teaching assistant.
Having made connections with many other teachers, Yula said her Honors English 11 teacher, Ms. O’Brien is also always willing to help her, is very friendly and has a wonderful personality.
Entering her senior year, Yula will be working with Lizzie Lixin Liu, her academic adviser at New Oasis, to prepare for the TOEFL and SAT tests.