Senior Tong Jing is Miami Palmetto High School's Silver Knight nominee for Math. In middle school he saw friends struggling with math classes that he breezed through. He founded Southwood Middle School's Math Club and offered free math tutoring along with other math scholars.
'I've always like helping people,' he says.
When he arrived at Palmetto, he saw the same problems occurring with students in his pre-calculus class.
'Because of the large volume of students who wanted to receive my help, I created an organization named Math Palace, where I could review lessons and provide private tutoring with the help of a couple of friends,' he says. 'As the number of clients increased, we expanded to history and science subjects and rebranded ourselves as Academic Abode.'
Later, following the philosophy of Academic Abode, he started Coding Kingdom, to help Computer Science students.
'As an experienced web developer, I created a website that hosts tutorials for classic coding problems and a catalog of a variety of beginning java problems with solutions,' he says.
The next step was the creation of an introductory and advanced course for the Advanced Placement computer science students. The classes took place over the summer via Zoom meetings. Students could sign up for the Google Classroom.
'Although we followed a class schedule, anyone could join and listen to a lesson,' he says.
'For our tutoring sessions, students could contact me for an on-demand tutoring session for an upcoming test.'
Approximately 11 students signed up for the classes that met for four weeks. The classes are on hold now that school is in session, but the tutoring sessions continue.
Jing has already finished all the computer science and AP science classes at Palmetto and he also finished the deal enrollment computer science classes at Miami-Dade College.
He taught himself Python starting in sixth grade and learned java in ninth grade. He expects to major in Computer Science in college.
He has applied to the University at California, Berkely; the University of California at San Diego, UCLA; and the University of California at Santa Barbara. He's been accepted to Penn State University, and applied to the University of Florida, Purdue, and the University of Washington in Seattle.
At Palmetto, he's president of Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society. He's participated in numerous math competitions and done quite well. Club members look for competitions they can send members to.
'We are also expanded to computer science competitions,' he says.
Jing is president of the Asian Culture Club.
'We make presentations, we inform the people about the different Asian countries about their cultures and religions,' he says.
He's also the vice president of tutoring for the Science National Honor Society. He also participates in competitions. He's working on the requirements for Innovate, an environmental science contest.
'We conduct an experiment, we write a research paper, and we film a video' he says.
He's chief minister of the Robotics Club. In fact, he helped convince the science department to fund and continue the club. Due to his efforts, the club now has enough funding to create the robots that can compete in SECME and VEX robotics competitions.
In addition to being in Science Bowl competitions, Jing is also on the History Bowl team that qualified for the national competition.
Jing has taken part in the Summer Scholars program at the University of Miami, where he took two college courses. He's also participated in the University of Florida CPET Global Health Institute where he learned about Global Health Equity.
Jing plays badminton for Palmetto. The team won the Greater Miami Athletics Conference last year.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld
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