Stanley Zhong, an 18-year-old software engineer from the San Francisco Bay Area, has an inspiring story of overcoming rejection and achieving success. Stanley, who graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2023, was rejected by 16 of the 18 colleges he applied to, including prestigious schools like MIT and Stanford. He had a stellar academic record, with a 3.97 unweighted GPA, a 4.42 weighted GPA, and a SAT score of 1590. He also started his own e-signing firm called RabbitSign during his sophomore year. However, none of these achievements seemed to impress the college admission officers.
But Stanley did not let the rejection letters discourage him. Instead, he pursued his passion for coding and software development. He got in touch with Google, one of the top tech companies in the world, and went through the interview process. He impressed the hiring managers with his skills and enthusiasm, and received a full-time software engineering position at Google. He decided to postpone his college plans and accept the job offer.
The Role of Parenting Styles in Stanley’s Success
Stanley’s father, Nan Zhong, is an engineer and a software engineering manager at Google. He introduced coding to Stanley at a young age and encouraged him to explore his interests. Nan Zhong has an unconventional parenting style that he believes has helped his son succeed. He does not pressure his son to follow a conventional path of education and career, but rather supports him to pursue his own goals and dreams. He also does not interfere with his son’s choices, but respects his autonomy and independence.
Nan Zhong says that he does not believe in the traditional Asian parenting style that is often characterized by strictness, high expectations, and control. He says that such a style can stifle a child’s creativity, curiosity, and self-confidence. He prefers a more flexible, nurturing, and democratic parenting style that fosters a child’s intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and problem-solving skills. He says that he wants his son to be happy, fulfilled, and passionate about what he does, rather than stressed, anxious, and bored.
The Impact of College Admissions Policies on Students
Stanley’s story has sparked a nationwide debate about the college admissions process and its impact on students. Many people have questioned the fairness, transparency, and validity of the college admissions criteria and policies, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling from last summer that outlawed affirmative action in college admissions and complicated university policies. Some people have argued that the college admissions process is biased, arbitrary, and unpredictable, and that it does not reflect the true potential and talent of the applicants. Some people have also suggested that the college admissions process is too competitive, stressful, and costly, and that it puts too much pressure and burden on the students and their families.
On the other hand, some people have defended the college admissions process and its outcomes, saying that it is based on a holistic and comprehensive evaluation of the applicants, and that it considers a variety of factors, such as academic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal essays, recommendations, and diversity. Some people have also pointed out that the college admissions process is not the only or the most important determinant of a student’s success and happiness, and that there are many alternative and viable paths to pursue one’s education and career goals.
Stanley’s Future Plans and Aspirations
Stanley says that he is very excited and grateful for the opportunity to work at Google, and that he is looking forward to learning from his colleagues and contributing to the company’s projects and products. He says that he is passionate about software engineering and that he enjoys solving challenging problems and creating innovative solutions. He says that he hopes to make a positive impact on the world through his work.
Stanley also says that he has not given up on his college plans, and that he intends to enroll in a college in the future, when he feels ready and motivated. He says that he is interested in studying computer science, mathematics, and physics, and that he would like to attend a college that offers a flexible and personalized curriculum that suits his needs and interests. He says that he is open to exploring different options and opportunities, and that he is not fixated on any particular college or ranking.
Stanley’s story is an example of how a teenager can overcome rejection and achieve success with the support of his parents and his own passion and perseverance. His story also shows how the college admissions process and its policies can affect the students and their families, and how there are different ways to pursue one’s education and career goals.