JERSEYVILLE - Vivian Dong has been selected by Jersey Community High School as a Student of the Month for November. As a senior at JCHS, she currently plans on pursuing a double major in architecture and civil engineering when she graduates, though she has a much wider range of interests.

Dong was recently selected as a JCHS November Student of the Month for Jersey County Circuit Court Clerk Dan Schetter. Vivian Dong

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For over seven years, Dong said she dedicated almost half of her life to working at her family’s restaurant, where she moved up the ladder to become a manager while staying involved in the community.

“Starting from simple tasks such as prepping vegetables, I eventually progressed to the role of manager where I assumed greater responsibilities,” Dong said. “Despite my position, I have participated in community events with the limitation of hours.”

Dong has been a member of the JCHS Gay-Straight Alliance Club for two years. While she hasn’t been heavily involved in many other clubs or sports at JCHS, she said there’s one particular achievement she cherishes for its personal significance to her.

“Winning the 3rd place medal in the local drafting competition was a turning point for me,” she said. “As someone who often shy away from the center of attention, I’ve always preferred working behind the scenes. However, my competitiveness surfaces when it comes to subjects I am passionate about.

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“Before that competition, I was a bored girl with dreams of naught. The bronze medal, although not gold or silver, became a symbol of something I now hold with great regard. It marked the discovery of a passion I never thought I was capable of. It wasn’t anything about how I placed, it was about finding the motivation to explore, step out of my comfort zone, and discover what could very well be my future career.”

Dong typically embraces her creative side during her spare time. For the past four years, she said she’s developed a passion for clothing illustration and has accepted the occasional commission request for custom drawings. She also enjoys constructing virtual house models on an online platform and creating room models on a smaller scale. Other interests of hers include nail art and competitive online gaming, “where teamwork is essential,” she said.

After graduating from JCHS, Dong said her current plan is to attend a university with a focus on architecture. While she’s leaning towards a double major in civil engineering, she said there’s still a wide variety of fields that interest her, including environmental science, computer programming, and pharmaceutical engineering.

“I am fully aware that my interests may seem ambitious,” Dong said. “Regardless of the path I choose, I am confident that I excel with enthusiasm, making the most of what opportunities are available to me.”

Regardless of which career she chooses, Dong said she hopes to give back to those who have supported her over the years.

“I am motivated to reciprocate the investment and sacrifices my parents have made for me and the community that has constantly shown me kindness and support,” she said. “I hope that, in the future, I can give back in ways that reflect the values I hold from those who have believed in my potential.”

Congratulations to Dong for this recognition by Jersey Community High School and Jersey County Circuit Court Clerk Dan Schetter!

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