Morehouse College

Major: Psychology
Minor: Mandarin
Hometown: Oak Lawn

“Having D.J. in Mandarin class nearly every day for four years has been a journey of many smiles and laughs. He is a natural leader, a top tennis player, and a true scholar with indispensable qualities like persistence, creativity, curiosity, and an analytical mind.”

“As he has grown into a young man, I’ve seen many changes in him, but he always has the same shining smile every day. He studies Mandarin not because he has to but because he loves the language and culture. He is always excited when we learn new words and new expressions and when we discuss the unique Chinese culture.

“In four years, D.J. left behind so many memorable moments: creative visuals for the traditional clothing project and the ancient architecture project; singing and dancing in the Lunar New Year celebration; trying all kinds of ‘weird’ food in Chinatown; and getting stuck on the wrong train with his classmates because of wrong directions from their teacher. It has been a journey with laughing all the way.”

— Mandarin teacher Heng Zhao