It is no exaggeration to describe IB student YiRan Liu as extraordinary. Her exceptional academic strength has been clear throughout her time at BSB. It enabled her to achieve a full complement of A*s for her IGCSEs; it has been recognized time and again with end of year subject awards which most recently saw her receive the Year 12 IB Chinese A and Economics prizes; it can be seen in the competitions beyond the classroom she has participated in, such as being part of the winning team in the High Four Competition of Math & Science. In her own words: “BSB has great teachers that have supported me in many different fields of inquiry." With an approach to learning like YiRan’s, it is certainly our pleasure!
YiRan’s unique approach to learning can also be seen in the incredible range of activities she participates in beyond the classroom. Within school, one of these was being Secretary General of our school’s Model United Nations (MUN) club. Last year this led to YiRan’s proudest achievement at BSB: hosting the annual MUN Conference, BRITMUN: “I've never been responsible for such a huge event before. It was a completely new experience that challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone.” Outside of school, YiRan considers herself to be an amateur painter: “not only does it relax me from heavy academic work, but art also inspires me to express thoughts without limitations.” On weekends, YiRan volunteers at the Cochlear Training and Education Center, which helps children with auditory disabilities. Reading short stories to the children and leading painting workshops, as well as simply getting to know them, has been really moving for YiRan: “this experience has taught me how my knowledge in biomedical sciences could eventually help children.”
Indeed, what is perhaps most impressive about YiRan is her sincere desire to make a positive impact on the world, something that drives her to seek as many opportunities as possible to make a difference. A passionate Biologist with a particular interest in Neurobiology, her ambition is to become a research practitioner. This has been inspired by many of YiRan’s experiences, not least through her current position as a research assistant at UMass’ Horae Gene Therapy Center where she is “currently studying how AAV-based therapy can treat ultra-rare diseases.” Her work there led to an encounter with a patient that has made a huge impact: “During the internship experience, I met a patient diagnosed with leukoencephalopathy, an ultra-rare disease. Seeing their struggles personally, I felt even more eager to be able to use my knowledge to help these desperate patients and develop treatment in the biomedical sciences.” YiRan’s very real commitment to science combined with her genuine compassion for others really makes her special. We have no doubt she is going to have an extraordinary impact on our world, and we’re proud to have helped to shape her!