Designing the American Dream

Ken Chin and his mother Rotary Bookmark Award 1.21.2017

International students entering US schools can feel overwhelmedby the cultural transition. Students face challenges, obstacles, and pressures for the opportunity and hope to achieve the “American Dream.”Southwestern Academy student, Ken Chin, hasworked to learn in hopes of achieving his own dream.

Ken is Japanese-born with a Chinese heritage. Hehas been a student at Southwestern Academy for four years.While growing up and living in Japan,with supportive parents, Ken was raised to be prepared and work hard in order to achieve his goals.

His talent with drawing was discovered by his mother when Ken was ten. Ken chose to draw everyday objects, which he would morph into geometric shapes.His attention to detail impressed his mother, so she encouraged him to pursue art. He realized at a young age that he had a passion and desire to modify and improve upon the design of everyday useful products.At his mother’s suggestion, Ken researched career options and found that he wanted to become a product designer.

When Ken arrived at Southwestern Academy, he explored his abilities in visual and performing arts class. Ken’s talent managed to capture the attention of his Artteacher, Mr. John Kohn. Through the encouragement of Mr. Kohn, Ken entered the San Marino Rotary bookmark contest in 2016 and 2017, and won both years. Ken loves entering art competitions because he’s extremely ambitious and expresses how much he loves the challenge.

Ken hopes to be accepted into his first choice college, ArtCenter in Pasadena.

Southwestern Academy, 2800 Monterey Rd., San Marino, (626) 799-5010 or visit




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