Student Picture
Student Name
Xin Wen
Student Descriptor
Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, Senior at Cornell, PA '15
Years with YDO
Program or Club
MIT STEM, Science Olympiad, Ceramics Instructor, YDO Summer Staff

YDO changed my life.  I have learned so much through opportunities given to me - things that I definitely would not have learned in school and interests that I would not have explored.  I don't believe I would have ever considered attending Phillips Academy for high school if I had not gone to YDO programs there every week starting in 6th grade.  The founder of YDO, Howard, became a very close friend and mentor to me throughout high school, and he's still someone whom I look to for advice.  


I felt so positively impacted by my YDO experience that I wanted to contribute something to the organization.  In high school, I had taken some classes in ceramics, which then became a passion of mine.  In 2013, I had the idea of starting a YDO ceramics class so Lawrence kids could have a chance to work with 3D art.  At first, the class consisted of one table in the corner of the main YDO room, less than 20 pieces of tools, and a small storage space in an adjacent room.  Now we have our own ceramics classroom, multiple tables, and a shelf dedicated to all the variety of tools accumulated over the past few years.  When I walk into the class now, I am thrilled to see that my idea has led to a solid ceramics program and that I was able to give something back to YDO.


At Cornell, I am majoring in Biological Sciences, and I intend on concentrating in Ecology. Ideally, I want to work with macrobiology and design to improve people's lives. I love the idea of incorporating nature into our daily lives!