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Discipline drives Beedie scholar’s passion for learning

By Don Fennell

Published 12:33 PDT, Thu June 25, 2020

The Oxford Dictionary defines self-discipline as the act of or ability to apply oneself, which is a pretty apt portrait of Melody Weng.

At 17 and still in the midst of her teenage years, the 2020 Steveston-London secondary grad is already preparing for the future.

“I’m very independent, and since I’m stuck inside (much of the time) because of COVID-19 I’m trying to be more conscious of my health,” she says. “Some days I run or just do some weight training. I have also been learning to cook, which I enjoy. It’s a life skill that I felt I should learn sooner or later.”

Since the age of nine, Weng has also been training in wushu and has competed in dozens of events around the world. A complex martial art, it is a full-contact sport composed of forms and sparring.

“Wushu is not easy to master. It takes practice, dedication, and a strong mindset as well,” she says. “But I think having a wushu background and getting titles has strengthened my discipline.”

That resolve to learn and succeed permeates through all aspects of her life—including the classroom.

Recently awarded a Beedie Luminaries scholarship, she says it will significantly reduce the financial burden of post-secondary studies.

“I’m extremely thankful,” says Weng, who is enrolled in the sciences at UBC this fall. “It’s so important to me right now, in this pandemic especially when the economy is not doing so well. And tuition can be expensive, especially if you want a degree that can take longer than four years to complete.”

The Beedie scholarships are awarded to “resilient BC students facing financial adversity who have the academic readiness to advance their education, achieve their dreams and inspire others.”

Though still unsure what aspect of the sciences she’ll eventually major in—perhaps biotechnology—Weng is anxious to get started. Trying to understand what makes things tick fascinates her.

During high school, Weng has taken a number of advanced placement courses, and is particularly interested in sciences. 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the logic behind everything and I’ve always liked watching animal documentaries,” she says. “I think science appeals to a lot of people who learn with their senses, plus there’s a lot of benefits in the future if you want a science-related career—for example a doctor or lab technician. It’s a subject that caters to so many different people and personalities.”

Suggesting friends would describe her as passionate and caring, Weng seeks opportunities that reflect her personality and values. She’s been a longtime air cadet and dedicated community volunteer, which have both furthered her leadership skills and confidence.

“There’s quite a few people I look up to, who have a lot of self-discipline and respect,” she says. “I want to become someone who has high standards and inspires others.”

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