CAIS Alumni Council
We are pleased to introduce the inaugural members of the CAIS Alumni Council. The Council aims to keep alumni connected with each other and the school, steer alumni programming, and model the CAIS mission: embracing Chinese, becoming their best selves, and creating their place in the world.
Alumni Council President Bakari Smith ’11 says, “When I reflect upon the decisions and experiences that have brought me to where I stand today, CAIS stands out, second to none. The school’s community, culture, and education vested in me a desire to become an explorer, an innovator, and a change-maker. The rigor of CAIS academics, and its magical way of subtly instilling a desire to challenge oneself and to push one’s own boundaries makes the CAIS experience incredibly formative. I intend to see the CAIS community develop into a more cohesive network with greater mutual support among alums, parents, and students. With more alumni programming and the sharing of resources across the alumni network, the CAIS community can continue to thrive and live up to its promise of being both life-changing and world-changing.”
Alumni Council President Bakari Smith ’11 is a senior at Stanford University, majoring in International Relations and East Asian Studies. During his time at Stanford, he interned at Bloomberg LP and served as a Zhi-Xing China Fellow, and will be starting as a Business Associate in Visa’s New Graduate Development Program after graduation.
Bonnie Young ’10 attended San Leandro High School and UC Berkeley, receiving a B.A. in Economics and a Minor in Chinese. During her time in college, she studied abroad at both The University of Hong Kong and National Taiwan University, taking courses in Chinese literature, social studies and culture. She believes her CAIS education allowed her to easily immerse herself in these Chinese-speaking environments while also engaging in meaningful cultural exchange. Bonnie maintains her Chinese proficiency by talking to friends in China/Taiwan and watching Chinese TV shows. She currently works as an Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.
Maddie Wu ’11 attended The College Preparatory School and then moved across the country to NYC, where she’s currently a senior at Barnard College studying Computer Science. After she graduates this May, she’ll be staying in New York City to work as a software engineer for Amazon. In addition, she is a lifelong dancer (ballet and modern as well as Chinese dance during her time at CAIS) and also enjoys film photography. Her younger sister Vivian is a also CAIS alumna (Class of 2015) and her parents loved being involved with the school during their time there, so she’s excited about the opportunity to get more involved in the CAIS alumni community!
Siena Belda ’11 is a fourth-year Economics major with minors in Mathematics and Chinese at the University of California, Davis. After graduating from CAIS in 2011, she attended Berkeley High School and graduated with the International Baccalaureate Diploma. That summer she interned at Rich Relevance working in project management and client services. Siena then moved to Boston and competed as a synchronized figure skater with Lexettes for Team USA. During this time, she was the 2017 Mozart Cup Champion and competed at the Junior World Championships. In 2017, Siena interned in Washington, D.C. at the Atlantic Council as the Business Development and Board Relations Intern. She then transferred to UC Davis where she interned in the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Finance, Operations and Administration. During the summer of 2018, Siena was a software development intern in Prague, Czech Republic and traveled through Europe. Siena is now the Vice President of Delta Epsilon Mu, a professional pre-health co-ed fraternity at UC Davis. She looks forward to graduation and traveling more in the future.
Since graduating, Oscar Wong ’16 has continued to build and grow aspects of his identity that CAIS helped him recognize, be it in his cross country and track accomplishments at the Urban School of San Francisco, where he is a varsity runner with the record for the fastest mile during his freshman year, or through his passion for science and math, which blossomed during his time at CAIS.Through his love of science, he was able to shadow trauma surgeons in the operating room and the ER, and observe surgical procedures. He has also done work with leadership groups at Urban, with a special focus on MultiCulti Leadership Team and Health Initiative for Peer Education (HIPE), and has attended several conferences on race and participated in diversity panels at Urban. He is also employed as a swim instructor and lifeguard at UCSF and has found lots of growth through teaching and professional development.
Cassie Eng ’17 is a sophomore at the Urban School of San Francisco. At Urban, she is a peer tutor in Chinese, one of the sophomore class representatives, on the Student Admissions Committee, and an active member in the Community Outreach club. Outside of school, she is a Chinese tutor, dances on the competitive hip hop team APT, and continues her work in philanthropy, specifically her project Cassie’s Bag of Dreams where she gives backpacks and school supplies to impoverished children throughout the Philippines. She is also serving on the CAIS Strategic Vision Advisory Team.
Maddie Han ’17 is a sophomore at the Urban School of San Francisco. She looks back on her time at CAIS fondly and keeps in touch with many of her old classmates. At Urban, she is on the Varsity Tennis and Lacrosse teams. She is a peer tutor, as well as a member of API (Asian Pacific Islander Affinity Space), Pie Club, Global Cuisine, and Baking For Smiles. She is excited to join the CAIS Alumni Council.