“‘Spotlight’ was a share-out activity used by our cohort to get to know each other better. Every few weeks, a couple of people would share their personal stories with the entire cohort. I never expected this activity to leave such a lasting collection of memories that eventually became my most memorable moments at Stanford.
“I remember the first night we got together. I felt anxious even though I was not the first one to share. I had no idea what to expect or what I was going to gain. Little did I know that I was going to receive the most beautiful gift from each of my classmates.
“Every ‘Spotlight’ touched my heart deeply. We were able to strip away the façade of ‘I always have it together’ and be vulnerable with each other. We expressed our rawest emotions and shared every aspect of our lives.
“During those moments, we laughed, cried, listened, and empathized with each other. I learned that although we came from diverse backgrounds and even different countries, we shared so many similarities. We struggled along our paths to Stanford, but we all ended up there with the desire to make a positive impact on education.
“During my nine months at Stanford, I grew tremendously — professionally and personally. Not only did I gain knowledge from my professors, but I was also inspired to lead and persevere by my POLS cohort. This special bond with my cohort is an eternal treasure that I cherish. I am proud to have been a part of this group of amazing individuals. Their collective spotlights shine brightly on my own journey in life.”
Judy Liang earned her MA in 2013 in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies. She works as an administrator and math teacher at the Kang Chiao International School in Taipei, Taiwan.