Currently studying at Stanford, Marc Robert Wong is the Founder and Global Chair at TeenTechSF, an interactive tech community for teenagers to innovate, collaborate, and create. Marc speaks about ISTP's influence on his life and the vast resources available for technological and personal growth.
"I was at ISTP for 8 yrs, from the time I was 4, so I really consider I grew up here. At ISTP, different is normal. Every student is learning in more than one language and the teachers have the same standards for all the kids no matter what their home language is. In the French section, as soon as I could write, I started keeping my own cahier de textes. Just like my father, I was responsible for writing down and keeping track of my own assignments.
Flash forward: During high school, I started an organization, TeenTechSF, to empower the next generation of tech innovators by connecting all teens with tech resources and opportunities. Last spring, I returned to ISTP to organize our first TeenTechSF conference hosted by a middle school.
Sometimes students returning to their old schools say that the school seems smaller to them. I returned to ISTP and found the core of the school expanded to let in more light and accommodate a new digital resource center. My old teachers were discussing the latest EdTech trends. We had a day full of design thinking, coding, rapid prototyping, app creation, robotics, and more.
At the beginning of the day, M. Dietz gave me a cahier de textes. At the end of the day, Mme Colin presented organizers and workshop leaders with the latest in tech. I am grateful for all the opportunities ISTP offers and both the gifts and what they symbolize. The cahier de textes: respecting tradition, structure, and taking charge of your own learning. The latest tech: exploring new options, being open-minded and flexible, continuing to grow and evolve.
ISTP doesn't prepare you for college. It prepares you for life. To be independent and responsible in thought and action. To expect the most of yourself and others. To listen to diverse perspectives and develop your own. To give back. To always keep learning. That different is normal."