Although English is her craft, the Beijing-born Nan’s native language is Mandarin. As a 5-year-old, she immigrated with her parents to Lexington, Kentucky where she quickly learned to love her adopted language. An avid reader and writer, young Nan first distinguished herself by winning 1st Place in Fayette County’s Young Author’s Prize at age 10.
- Two years later, she won her first national creative writing prize in the National PTA Reflections Contest.
- When not writing and reading, Nan was a fiercely competitive Mathlete, earning a perfect score in the International 2001 AMC 8 contest.
- She was a two-year starter in Lexington Traditional Magnet School’s #1-ranked Mathcounts and the highest scorer on the #1-ranked KY Academic Team state-wide.
- In addition, Nan won honors as a pianist as the 2000 state winner of the Kentucky Music Teacher’s Association.
- In Duke’s Talent Identification Program, her 1460 (800M, 660V) in at age 13 earned placed her in the top 10 spots in the entire region, for which she won a scholarship to Davidson College’s TIP programs.
Although Nan loves her Old Kentucky Home, she knew that she had outgrown the beautiful, but provincial southern town. With a determination to pursue her literary dreams, Nan was accepted to both Philips Academies before ultimately choosing The Lawrenceville School for its beauty and generous scholarship.
- Nan was one of the two freshmen to take AP Calculus BC in the School’s history and the first to take AP Physics C (e/m) her sophomore year.
- She also served as the math team captain and qualified for the AIME every single year
- Nan’s most meaningful activity, however, was certainly her stint as the Editor-in-Chief of The Lawrence, the School’s award-winning weekly newspaper.
- As EIC, she authored editorials, project managed each publication, and represented The Lawrence at various alumni functions
- Nan furthered her journalism career as a chosen attendee of J-camp, a fee-free journalism camp hosted by the AAJA.
- After earning a perfect PSAT score her sophomore year and a lengthy applicaiton process, Nan was delighted part of the 5% of students selected to The Telluride Association Summer Program, where she studied international law under Cornell professors with 32 elite peers.
- After 17 drafts of her college essays, Nan was accepted to Harvard College (EA) on her 18th birthday on 12/12/2005. She went on to win several 5th form honors from The Lawrenceville School and also had the honor of giving the Valedictory Speech.