Patch readers first heard Emmanuel Kim's name last fall, when he was one of six Ward Melville students named . You heard his name again when it came time for the , during which he and his research partner Anna Sato were named regional finalists. He played violin in the chamber orchestra and in the pit orchestra when the school produced for its musical.
In fact, Dr. George Baldo, one of Kim's teachers, described him as a rare kind of student who "naturally possesses the qualities required of a productive, mature research scientist," and predicted great things for his future.
"Emmanuel’s intelligence, creativity, and work ethic are striking," Baldo said. "Combined with his natural curiosity, enthusiasm for learning, and easy going manner, I am positive he will make substantial contributions to the scientific community and, through these, the world at large."
Patch recently got the chance to chat with Kim, the valedictorian of Ward Melville's Class of 2011, and here's what he had to say.
Patch: What are your college plans and how did you choose where to go?
Emmanuel Kim: I'm going to Dartmouth College. When I was looking at colleges, I looked at the academics, the prestige, and how the professors are. Dartmouth is a college where the teachers go to teach students and not just to further their career. ... The community and the alumni and everybody just loves the school. Dartmouth’s campus is also very beautiful. It’s a great place to study but also have fun and make connections.
Patch: What are your expectations for college?
EK: I think things will exceed my expectations. It’s going to be an experience that I’m very excited about because there will be surprises. I like surprises.
Patch: What are you proud of having achieved at Ward Melville?
EK: My InSTAR research and Model Congress. That’s something that I founded at Ward Melville. That goes along with my passion for voicing my opinion and not being afraid to show who you are. Our school … is very strong with sciences and giving people an opportunity to show talents, but we didn’t have a place to talk to each other about who we were, what we believed in, and what we think the future should be for our generation with politics, economics, that kind of thing. I wanted to give people an opportunity to do that.
Patch: What would you say was your biggest achievement?
EK: On paper, the biggest achievement was going to Siemens and showing my project to all those amazing professors and scientists. But for me the greatest achievement was finding my passion. I’m really passionate about helping people. I’m really into the whole technology thing with helping people. It’s really fitting in with my interests and how I want to help people.
Patch: What was your favorite moment of the school year?
EK: It was the day when in Mr. Preddice’s class – my orchestra teacher – it was just really special because we got to conduct the orchestra. It showed us how we are all the same and we are all in it together. He let everybody choose a song and he let us conduct. It’s something that he did every year but this year it was his last session. Everybody chose a song that really related to each person. It was kind of a nice way of wrapping the whole year.
Patch: How will you spend the summer?
EK: Just relax. Hang out with friends before we leave for college. I’m going to miss my friends. I’m just going to stay home and spend some quality time with family, maybe go somewhere and do some sightseeing. I’ll probably read some books and get ready for college, but nothing major.
Patch: What advice do you have for the underclassmen at Ward Melville?
EK: Be who you are. I know it’s very cliché, but I think people don’t really take that internally. ... Find out how to manage your time really well. Everybody’s different. Everybody has a different way of doing things. Be respectful to everyone. We’re all human beings. Be respectful not just to your teachers but also to your friends and people you don’t like. Just do your best and everything will be fine.
Patch: What message do you have for your fellow graduates in the Class of 2011?
EK: The most important thing I want to say to the class is don’t be afraid to show your colors, to be who you are, to pursue what you want to pursue.