Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jennifer Simms

NHS Seniors Well Prepared for Future


Photo by Jennifer Simms Niwot High School IB Programme graduates (from left) Vidhya Dev, Eva Kitlen, Tino Mo, and Qing Xia feel they are well prepared for college and future careers thanks to their experiences at NHS.

The Washington Post, which recently named Niwot High School to its U.S. Most Challenging School’s list, confirmed what NHS students and staff already know - the school does an excellent job of preparing students for success in college and beyond. But it’s not just the AP and IB classes that make the school great.

Four exceptional IB students from the Class of 2017, Vidhya Dev, Eva Kitlen, Tina Mo, and Qing Xia, spoke to the Courier about how a variety of aspects of their four years at Niwot have prepared them to pursue their post-graduation dreams.

Vidhya Dev

Erie resident Vidhya Dev is grateful for the growth she’s experienced as a student in the IB program. “I am very glad to have gone through IB because it has made me stronger both academically, emotionally and in juggling the many activities in my life,” Dev said.

While a student at NHS, Dev participated in a variety of activities including band, the Interact Club, forensics team, and the Bollywood Dancing club, where she served as co-president and choreographer her senior year. She has also studied Indian dance extensively outside of school.

For Dev, the experiences that have most prepared her for college have been her science classes. “I think that the main thing that will help from Niwot is all of the education in the sciences I have had. I took the three sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics) under IB and have learned so much from these three classes,” she said.

Next year she plans to attend California Institute of Technology (known as Caltech) and is considering a major in chemical engineering. “As cheesy as this might sound, all I really want to do is help other people ~ I’m hoping to fulfill this dream through research in some scientific field,” Dev said.

Eva Kitlen

Eva Kitlen is a Niwot resident and graduate of Niwot Elementary School and Sunset Middle School.

While at NHS, Kitlen was involved in many activities which she sees as instrumental in shaping her future plans.

“Being involved with clubs and sports at Niwot has helped me consider what career I want to pursue because being in Best Buddies [a club that pairs students with and without disabilities to encourage friendship] and being a leader on the swim team has made me realize that I love being around people and finding ways to help others,” Kitlen said.

Kitlen also enjoyed helping others outside of school, volunteering with the local and regional spelling bees, doing research as a member of the International Youth Neuroscience Association, and tutoring with the I Have a Dream Foundation.

Next year she plans to attend Brown University in Rhode Island where she will study both neuroscience and English literature. “I think the IB program will be very helpful as I begin college because I’ve learned how to balance a heavy course load with all of my activities and passions. Going through IB has helped me learn how to write and study well so hopefully these skills will help me succeed academically next year,” Kitlen said.

Tina Mo

Longmont resident Tina Mo credits her two older sisters with inspiring many of her high school decisions, including her participation in the IB program. “I followed both of my sisters’ footsteps to join because of how knowledgeable and accomplished they seemed after completing the program,” Mo said.

During her four years at NHS, Mo participated in many activities including the Science Tutoring Club, the Interact Club, and her favorite, the Weekly Wellness Club, where members discuss ways to stay healthy and participate in stress-relieving activities such as coloring and yoga.

Next year she will attend Purdue University to study engineering. After graduation, she hopes to gain experience in the field, and then pursue a graduate degree, possibly to prepare her for a career as a patent lawyer.

“I think that my experiences at NHS will definitely help achieve my goals,” said Mo. “The parents, teachers, and students at Niwot are extremely kind and have shown that if you ask for help and are genuinely interested in a subject, they will help you back. I think that this is a very important life lesson because you should always reach out if you need help with a problem or want to try something new.”

Qing Xia

Qing Xia, called Qing Qing (pronounced ‘ching’) by her friends, was born in Beijing, China, and moved to the U.S. when she was five. Xia lives near Skyline High School, but chose to attend NHS so she could obtain the IB Diploma, which she hopes will open doors for her in the future.

A member of several NHS clubs, including Key Club, and an accomplished pianist, Xia will attend CU-Boulder next fall where she will room with a friend and study biochemistry in pursuit of a career as a pharmacist.

Xia cites several aspects of the IB program, such as the Group 4 Project, where students investigate a science-related topic, and writing an extended essay, have prepared her to do college-level work.

In addition, she feels the climate at NHS has prepared her for college life. “Niwot High School is very diverse and the students here are very open-minded, and I think that this characteristic has really made me become a more outgoing person. I think that being able to attend NHS and the IB program will help in achieving my goals in college because I have already been exposed to such an internationally well-rounded environment,” Xia said.


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