Bai Hao

BAI HAO arrived in New York via China twelve years ago. Shortly after arriving, Bai Hao was found to have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Treatment,  which eventually lasted four years, required him to leave school for some time. Bai Hao says that this experience "altered my life because it taught me persistence,"  "the value of time, and "began my career as an autodidact."

One of his teachers at the New York City Lab School for Cooperative Studies in Manhattan called Bai Hao "one of the most persistent and relentless students I have ever encountered."  "Everyone," the teacher wrote,  "can learn from the fascinating questions he asks in class."

Bai Hao points out that there was a time in his life when he awaited surgery as a turning point in his life. "I realized then," he wrote, "that there are things that cannot wait until later. Now I try to make every second of my life count."

Outside the classroom, Bai Hao learned to sail Manhattan's waters — despite initial seasickness — as a member of Hudson River Community Sailing, whose nine boats sail from the pier at West 26th Street.

Bai Hao's next port of call will be Lehigh University, in  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he will enroll in a program that combines engineering and business studies. His goal is to join what he describes as a "mission-driven" company — one that contributes to community projects.