Student Spotlight: Patrick Conroy

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Student Spotlight: Patrick Conroy

Katie Fleming, Editor-in-chief and Design Team

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While Keystone School prides itself in the diverse interests of its students, the true mark of a Keystonian is their dedication to their art and their tenacity in its pursuit. Patrick Conroy is no exception.

Patrick fell in love with Chinese the moment he heard it almost a decade ago. At the age of five, his parents enrolled him in Chinese classes with the hopes of broadening his horizons; this investment seems to have paid off. Since then, he has worked his way through schools and tutors in order to achieve near fluency. His hard work has greatly rewarded him as it pushes him to greater and greater achievements. Over the summer, Patrick participated in the Summer Language Institute (SLI) at the University of North Georgia, obtaining both high marks and eight college credits. The youngest and only high school student, Patrick was thrilled to expand his knowledge of the language. More recently, after an intensive application and interview,  Patrick was accepted into the highly prestigious National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) study abroad program. He hopes to spend his next summer in either Taiwan, Taipei, or Beijing.

When asked “Why Chinese?” Patrick’s answer was simple: “I think that Chinese will give me more career opportunities and the ability to do small things, such as speaking to a waiter at a Chinese restaurant. ”Patrick finds joy in the language and sees both its practical use in a world built around “China’s strategic importance” and the beauty of China’s rich culture. Patrick’s dedication to the language is unparalleled. He hopes to minor in the language after graduation at a Chinese flagship college and even apply it to future careers.

Patrick urges others to pursue their linguistic passions as well: “Keystone has a great Spanish program… However, I do believe that it is very crucial for Keystone students to learn other strategic languages and look into a program like SLI.” As Patrick listed the various benefits of learning other languages, his enthusiasm shone through in a way that was completely Keystone. Patrick doesn’t spend hours of his day trying to differentiate tones because his parents are making him; he’s doing it because he is truly passionate about understanding it.

In conclusion, Patrick Conroy is an exemplary example of a Keystone student. He sees language as an extraordinary tool, and his commitment has put him in a prime position for a bright future.

 

Interested in being in the next student spotlight? Contact Katie Fleming for more information.