Hantong Wu '19

Hi, my name is Hantong Wu and I graduated from Northwest in 2019. I recently graduated from Amherst College where I studied Asian Civilizations and Languages (Arabic) and Political Science. I’m now a Freelance Journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon. 🇱🇧

Sitting at the first Northwest Community Meeting, I saw students—some even in middle school—invite the school to join them in rowing, model UN clubs, and other niche hobbies that I could barely understand as an international student. I distinctively remember saying to myself: by the end of the year, I will find my own passion and share that with everyone. I began trying out things as curiosity shielded me from the fear of failure. This determination led to a series of unforgettable memories—from the cross-country team, orchestra, and other activities I loved.

We also dared to dream. NWS is a place where wild thinking flourishes—perhaps prompted by some naivety, a lack of judgmental attitude, and mostly a shared faith in making the world a better place. Bob Martin, the retired Maintenance Manager, built a school in Ethiopia. Steven Wilbur, a Northwest Math Teacher, founded an education NGO in Lebanon.

I found Northwest’s Humanities program especially beneficial for my study of social sciences in college. NWS teachers synthesized history, literature, and politics in their presentations and led students through seminar-style discussions, so the liberal arts education at college was immediately familiar to me.

Although I do not know the exact profession to pursue, I know I want to dedicate myself to understanding, practicing, and—hopefully—improving humanitarian work. It was undoubtedly my experiences at NWS—its spirit to fearlessly dream for a better world—that planted the seed. The critical thinking that I began to develop at NWS also helped me become aware of the different dimensions—including harmful ones—of humanitarian and other social-impact work.