Green River College
Partners Newsletter
Keeping you Informed
Issue No 23
 Spring Quarter
May 2006

Green River Running Start Student Admitted to Harvard

April 03, 2015

Helen Cho, Green River student, transfers to Harvard."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 instruction.

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 Hopkins University
  • Asaka Yamanaka - Japan - University of Colorado Boulder