When he moved to the U.S. from Hong Kong at 10 years old, Wan Chan didn’t speak any English. He’s come a long way since then. Chan will be one of the top five graduates in his class when he walks across the stage at North Gaston High School. From there, he has his sights set on a Ph.D. in stem cell research.
School counselor Stephanie Smith has no doubt he’ll be able to achieve his goal. “He’s a determined person. He will find a way, and then get there,” she said.
Smith said Chan is a leader around the school and especially in the band program. In the fall, you’ll find him in marching band; in the spring, he’s part of the concert band, and he serves as flute section leader.
Chan, who was a Junior Marshal, works hard not just at school and in the band room, but also at home where he helps his parents with their business.
“He’s one of those kids, when you meet him, you know he has a lot of potential,” Smith said. “He’s a very outgoing, very friendly student.”
Colleges have noticed his potential as well. Chan was accepted at Western Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State, and UNC-Asheville. He recently decided on Western Carolina, and this fall he’ll begin studying biology there, the next step on his way to that Ph.D.