Green River Running Start Student Admitted to Harvard
March 17, 2009
"You can go
anywhere from here," has been said many times at Green River Community
College, and this spring, Helen Cho, a Running Start student from Thomas Jefferson High School, has confirmed
this testimonial by getting into two very prestigious institutions - The
Julliard School and Harvard University. Running Start allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses tuition-free.
What makes Helen so exceptional? Not only does she have a 3.95 GPA and
an SAT score of 2150, but she is also an accomplished violinist. Helen
has been playing the violin for thirteen years. She took an interest in
the instrument while living in her native land of Korea. "My parents
took me to classical concerts every week, and one day I heard Sara
Chang," said Helen. Although she was only five years old, on that day
she was convinced of her path in life. Her parents enrolled her in a
Suzuki school and after three months, her instructor told them that she
showed great promise and that they should seek out more quality
At age nine, Helen, along with her family moved to Bellevue, Washington.
She began taking lessons with Margaret Pressley, the Founder and
Director of The Seattle Conservatory. In addition, Helen went to music
summer schools where she was able to meet Sara Chang and other famous
violinists in person.
We would never have known about Helen if she did not play solo jury for
Green River's Music Instructor, Ron Bayer last month. Ron said, "She
only had to play for less than a minute before we realized we had
something very special here." Ron asked her to play for the
Winter Concert a few months ago. She played a beautiful Mozart piece in
celebration of Mozart's 250th anniversary.
With all the musical promise, you would think that the obvious choice
for Helen would be The Julliard School. Helen surprised us all and told
us with great confidence that she has chosen to attend Harvard
University (with a full scholarship) in the fall. She plans on majoring
in Bio Chemistry with a minor in music.
Helen Cho is not the first student to go from Green
River to greatness. Other students have validated the "You can go
anywhere from here" statement including:
- Julius Surya of Indonesia - Cornell
- Ya Chun Wang (Christine) of
Taiwan - University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
- Vonny Salim - Indonesia - Johns
- Asaka Yamanaka - Japan -
University of Colorado Boulder