Humans of Wilcox: Ankie Tong

Ankie+Tong+and+her+sister%2C+Annie+Tong%2C+performing+their+duet+of+Piano+and+Guzheng+playing+the+piece+called%2C+Emperor+Of+West+Chu+Curtesy+of+Studio+One

Ankie Tong and her sister, Annie Tong, performing their duet of Piano and Guzheng playing the piece called, “Emperor Of West Chu” Curtesy of Studio One

Maithili Munjewar, Staff Writer

 

Ankie Tong, a senior at Wilcox High School, excels academically l and participates in a variety of extracurriculars. She has attended Wilcox for the past four years  and is heavily involved in the school’s athletic community, participating in two sports, badminton and track and field. Ankie also serves as an officer for three different clubs on Wilcox campus: Chinese, Indian, and Music Club. She successfully balances her school life and personal life by doing activities she enjoys.

Ankie is an exemplary athlete, having played for Wilcox and outside of school. In her freshman year, she joined the Wilcox badminton team as one of the select underclassmen who qualified for  Varsity and played the highest doubles position of V1 Girls. Training at Bintang Badminton Academy for the past four years helped her achieve this position at an early start of her high school career. In addition to her involvement in badminton her freshman and sophomore year, Ankie  also joined Track and Field her junior year. In an interview with Ankie, she mentioned, “My mom signed me up for club badminton when I was in fifth grade, and ever since then I’ve really loved the sport. I played for the school team since freshman year, but in junior year, the pandemic hit. I joined track and field instead since it is somewhat a safer option because it’s an outdoors sport.” No matter what sport she was partaking in, she made sure to show her support towards her teammates, always cheering them on. 

While she is passionate about athletics, she also takes an interest in music in playing the piano. Since the young age of six, she has been sitting on a bench in front of the piano, practicing for hours on end along with her sister who plays the Guzheng to perfect music pieces. This hard work was well worth it, as Ankie and her sister performed a duet winning an award and playing a highly complex piece –  “In the autumn of 2018, my sister and I participated in American Protégé, an international music competition featuring instruments of all kinds. She played the guzheng, the Chinese harp, while I played the piano. We sent in a video of our song, the Emperor of West Chu, for the auditions, and performed in Carnegie Hall in the following spring, where we received our awards for first place.” When asked about her feelings playing the piano,  Ankie replied,“When I play the piano, I feel relaxed and peaceful, unless the music exam is coming up. It takes my mind off of other stressful things, and provides a safe haven that I can relax in. Although sometimes my relationship with the piano is a love-hate relationship, we always manage to get what we need done.” She expresses her musical talent at Wilcox by playing the piano for the school’s Music Club at different events around the community. Members of that club also recognize her talent and leadership skills, offering her an officer position.Along with Music Club, Ankie  is the first non-Indian officer, treasurer,  Indian club has ever had. Despite not culturally identifying with the association, she manages to dedicate the same amount of time and effort to this club as she does for other groups. “As the Vice President of the Chinese Club and the Treasurer of the Indian Club, I seek to promote different cultures across this school and introduce people to the beauty of the variety of backgrounds that make up this school. I really enjoy my role in both the clubs as well as this school.”

In her free time, Ankie often enjoys crocheting and even has a website on Etsy where she crochets coasters in varying different colors. Ankie started her Etsy shop “in October 2020 during quarantine, and opened it officially in November. I started it because it has always been my goal to become a businesswoman and I thought that opening a shop in high school could be my first steps towards my entrepreneurial dream. With the profits from this shop as well as trading stock, I donated the money to great causes — Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Tech4kids, which is an organization that donates technology to kids in underdeveloped countries.” Her devotion to pursue her personal interests and give back to her community demonstrates her genuine and caring character. There is no doubt that her variety of involvements positively impact her peers both inside and outside the Wilcox community.