Meet Our Senior International Baccalaureate (IB) Students!

Jurgen Bonilla(12)
What inspired your decision to enroll in the IB diploma program?

“The doors and the opportunities that could be open through the IB program was a chance I could not pass up. It also gives me a higher chance of being accepted by the colleges that I want to go to.”

So far, what has been your favorite IB course, and why?
“Theory of Knowledge has been my favorite course because there are so many discussions and our conversations can be deep and insightful. The class is completely different from any other class I have taken before.”

How has being in IB enriched your educational experience?
“It has allowed me to think more in-depth and from different perspectives. It also taught me how to manage my time and overcome difficult obstacles.”

Chick-fil-A or Raising Cane’s?
“Raising Cane’s.”

Sirjen Kaur(12)
What career do you plan to pursue after high school, and do you think that your IB education will be especially beneficial in your career?

“I am planning to pursue a career as a physician, hopefully in pediatrics or OB-GYN. I think that IB helps me think about problems as a whole, and as a doctor, the skills I learned allow me to see the humanities aspect of medicine rather than just the hard sciences.”

How do you balance your IB courses and other projects with other extracurriculars and personal time?
“It is really difficult sometimes, but writing down everything I need to do on Post-It notes and putting reminders for meetings on my Google Calendar helps me stay organized.”

If you were not in IB, which other pathways/courses would you have pursued during your time at Wilson?
“If I had known that I wanted to pursue medicine before entering high school, I probably would have taken the biomedical science pathway.”

What is your dream college?
“Stanford or USC for undergraduate, and Stanford for medical school.”

If you could live in the world of any book or other fictional universe, which one would you choose, and why?
“I would live in the world of Crazy Rich Asians because I loved the book.”

Jasmine Saldano(12)
Describe your experience in the IB diploma program, starting from when you first decided to join up to now.
“I first decided to join IB in eighth grade, and I feel that my experiences in the program have allowed me to learn and think from a global perspective, considering people from a wide variety of backgrounds, needs, and beliefs.”

Overall, how would you compare the course content and emphasis in your IB courses to the many AP courses you have taken in the past?
“While my AP courses were mostly about memorization, vocabulary, and test-based, my IB courses focus more on the real-world implications of the content we are learning, and have more hands-on activities to reinforce our knowledge.”

As there are dozens of IB courses offered globally, and not all of them are offered here at Wilson, which IB courses would you have wanted to take if they were available to you?
“I would take IB Italian and Turkish.”

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to visit?
“Ethiopia, because I find it quite fascinating that they are the only predominantly Christian country in its region, especially given its proximity to the Middle East.”

Denise Thuong (12)

If you could give one piece of advice to a freshman or sophomore considering IB, what would it be?
“Definitely to develop time management skills, because IB takes up so much of your time, and you also have to complete several research-based essays.”

What is your Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course about, and has it shaped any of your perspectives regarding learning, education, etc.?
“In TOK, you are given a quote and are asked to reflect on the philosophy of it. In this class, you learn how to think outside the box such as your own feelings or philosophies of life, and how that relates to what you are learning.”

Since there are so few IB diploma candidates, how does it feel being in a class that has less than 10 students?
“I like it because it gives me more confidence since I often feel intimidated and overwhelmed when I am in a large class.”

What is your favorite thing to do while procrastinating on IB homework?
“If I am procrastinating on IB homework, I would be watching MasterChef.”

If $100,000 just appeared right in front of you, and you only have one week to spend it, what would you do with it?
“I would first tell my parents and listen to their advice on what to do with it because I am usually not very wise with my money.”

Nyah Zhang (12)

Since the IB class is so small, how would you describe your relationships with your fellow diploma candidates? Is it a competitive, or highly collaborative and friendly environment?
“The IB program is not a competitive program; we do not compete against each other at all. We are all in this together and always try to help each other out. The program gives us a lot of freedom to research our own topics, so there is no need to compare to others. It is a highly collaborative environment where we constantly work together.”

Did you know any upperclassmen in previous years who joined the IB program? If so, did they give you any advice about being in IB?
“I knew some upperclassmen in IB, but we were not that close. They helped me out a lot in junior year when I was still confused about how the program worked. IB is definitely not a program for everyone, but it is great for people who want to explore their own interests outside a textbook learning environment.”

What do you plan to study in college, and how do you hope that your IB experience will benefit you in that?
“I plan on pursuing a STEM major and I feel that all of the research and investigations that I did in IB will be quite beneficial.”

What is your favorite de-stressing activity?
“My favorite de-stressing activity is to binge-watch TV shows.”

If you could learn any language, which would you pick and why?
“If I could learn any language, I would definitely pick Spanish. I have always wanted to learn Spanish since it is one of the top three most spoken languages in the world.”

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