Just WANGing It

Natali Coronado, Contributor

Jennifer Wang didn’t come from the typical American family. Her parents immigrated to America from China in the 90s due to economic problems in the country. They moved to New York City, where Wang was born, and then, 5 years later moved to the small town of Azle.

Wang is a senior, valedictorian of the 2018 graduating class; she has led the math and science team to many victories. Wang took fourth place in the 5A Number Sense competition at the University Interscholastic League State Academic Meet in Austin Friday, May 4th.

“I think she was so successful because she put a lot of work and effort into it she’s been working since she was in fifth grade on number sense,” Shayna Reasoner, Wang’s number sense coach said.

Since Wang started so early in the number sense game, Reasoner added that they “have been confident for many years” about Wang going to state.

“She had the ability to get there, and she got very close several times,” Reasoner said. “We had faith in her for sure.”

With having gone to state, Wang was excited about going so far, especially since it’s her senior year.

“It was a surprise, there was a lot of higher scores though,” Wang said.

In math and science team there are two math events, Number Sense and Calculator. Wang mentions that she stuck to number sense because she “couldn’t do calculator.”

“I could do both of them; I just thought number sense was easier,” Wang said.

Wang’s achievements and intelligence have earned her many scholarship opportunities, but the lucky school that Wang choose was Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois.

“They’re one of the top schools in the U.S.; they’re number 11 right now,” Wang said.

Although Northwestern didn’t offer Wang a full scholarship, she mentions that what they offered her was “pretty much a full ride.” That’s without even factoring in her math and science team scholarship.

“They gave my family a really incredible financial aid package,” Wang said.

While attending Northwestern, Wang plans to major in computer science but says she’ll probably change majors.

“I don’t do very well with sticking with one thing so I’ll probably tag on a minor or so along the way,” Wang said.

Wang adds that she plans to use her computer science major to stay behind the scenes.

“I want to help, but I don’t want to go into, like, the health field or become a lawyer or anything,” Wang said. “That’s a lot of schooling, and that’s a lot of social interaction.”

Wang’s victories have inspired others from, her teammates to her coach.

“It was encouraging to see our future, and she has many great things ahead of her,” Reasoner said. “She did a really good job also of encouraging the younger students.”

Another individual that Wang helped inspire is her teammate and really good friend and senior Kelly Jo Thetford.

“She’s, like, really smart, so she’s kind of a role model for me to look up to,” Thetford said.

Although Wang and Thetford are both on the math and science team, Thetford mentions that she didn’t feel that Wang was competition.

“I know I can’t beat her,” Thetford said. “I don’t really feel like I’m competing against her because there’s not really a competition there; I’m more supportive of her competing with other people.”

One thing that stood out about Wang in the math and science team was her hard work and dedication.

“She didn’t quit when other people might have found it boring,” Ms. Reasoner said. “You take practice tests over and over and over again and some people might have stopped at one point, because it does get a little repetitive, but she persevered and kept going, and it paid off.”