Keelen Chen '23

Meet Northwest Alum ‘23 Keelen: “Hi, my name is Keelen Chen! I graduated from Northwest in 2023. Currently, I’m a first-year student at Sciences Po France majoring in Political Science and Economics.

I loved Northwest for its sense of family! Unlike conventional learning methods that value self-directed study and individual competition, Northwest focused on creating a positive, encouraging environment for students to learn and bond as a community. As an international student, I had a smooth transition academically and in life, thanks to the assistance of Northwest dorm faculty. At school, students were encouraged to call their teachers, coaches, and other faculty by their first names as the curriculum emphasized mutual respect and active communication. Faculty and students would even sit together and enjoy meals together at lunch. I don’t recall anyone being unapproachable. Our dining and kitchen faculty even developed a close-knit relationship with us, and I enjoyed our lunchtime conversations.

I found Northwest’s academic curriculum challenging and intriguing. In the Humanities program, faculty and students worked together to create interactive sessions in history, social sciences, and politics. The program focused not only on uncovering past events but also encouraged discussions about current events, foreign history, and international politics. I was grateful to practice my public speaking and critical thinking skills during my 11th grade Humanities course. I learned logic and self-reflection through this course, essential to my pursuits in politics and social sciences. Furthermore, the math teachers at Northwest encouraged students to challenge themselves intellectually. My senior year calculus and statistics courses helped me develop my interest in economics and prepared me well for my advanced university studies from every aspect.

In the end, I take deep pride in calling myself a Northwest alum as it’s shaped my personality, mentality, and made me who I am today. I credit my sense of perseverance, creativity, and curiosity to my interactions with classmates, experiences on sports teams, and other leadership roles at Northwest.“