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Senior Spotlight: James Seokhyun Cho '22 New York University

June 02, 2022

When James Seokhyun Cho was looking for a high school from his home in South Korea, he was excited to find Léman. “I knew I was looking for a more challenging school and my parents were happy to support me. My mom agreed to move here with me so I could go to Léman,” he said. In addition to being a member of the National Honor Society and the Intercultural Club, and a writer for the Léman Science Journal, James has spent a lot of his high school career focusing on subjects he's passionate about, math and science. In 2019-2020, James won the AMC 10 Math competition, and, in the summer of 2021, he was accepted into the prestigious Brown pre-college program as part of a neuroscience study. All these experiences will be helpful for James when he enrolls at NYU in the fall where he hopes to study chemistry with the goal of becoming an anesthesiologist. He said, “I’m really interested in chemicals and wildlife and how those things interact, and I think being an anesthesiologist will allow me to continue studying those things."

James will be well prepared for the challenges of NYU because of his time as a full IB Diploma Candidate. “A lot of my friends warned me that the IB would be very difficult, and it was, but I’m so glad I did it because it gave me all of these opportunities to study subjects that I’m interested in. I was able to write my extended essay on a subject I was interested in learning about and do hands-on experiments on a subject of my choosing. I also feel like my writing is way ahead of where my classmates’ will be when I get to college, so that was a good opportunity and experience for me,” he said.

The faculty and administration at Léman also recognize James’ potential, as he was the winner of four awards at the 2022 Léman Senior Awards Ceremony including Excellence in Mathematics, Chemistry and the Study of Physics as well as the prestigious Léman Manhattan Head’s Award. "When they started calling my name at the ceremony, I was really shocked. I know I worked hard but I have a lot of peers who are brilliant and I expected them to get it. For the Heads Award, I wasn't really aware of what it was but, when I got back to my seat, my friends said, 'that's the big one!' which was really exciting," he said. 

When asked how he feels about leaving Léman, he said, "I have a mix of feelings about it. I'm excited and nervous and happy and sad. I'm really going to miss my teachers and my friends and classmates. Léman is really a unique place because it's so internationally inclusive. When I came here I was nervous that I would be the only Korean person but I realized that didn't matter because I met people from all over the world. It gave me an opportunity I wouldn't have had anywhere else." 

Congratulations, James! We know you'll be successful at NYU and beyond! 

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