Jinhai’s exemplary work ethic and passion for learning made him a leader among his peers. When he joined the Early College Options program at Clackamas Web Academy in 2020, it was clear that he was determined to reach for excellence and inspire others to do the same–a quality he had cultivated from a young age.
In 2015, he joined the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition. Jinhai had become interested in robotics when his parents bought him a LEGO EV3 robot for Christmas. He soon learned how to assemble, modify, and program it, and was then challenged by his dad to make it perform various advanced tasks. When Jinhai joined the robotics competition, he quickly became the lead programmer of the team and hosted the meetings at his house. His team reached the finals his first year, and the semifinals in 2016. In 2017, Jinhai became a junior coach, and managed a team until 2021.
Jinhai graduated as one of the top students from Clackamas Web Academy in 2022 with 74 college credits and big goals. That fall, he began classes at the University of Maryland as a Computer Science major. His short term goal is to get into the 5-year combined BS/MS program at UMD, which he hopes to compete in 3.5-4 years instead of 5. His long term goal is to become either a software engineer or AI researcher.
Despite being a busy college student, Jinhai continues to be interested in robotics. Currently, he’s working with a professor at UMD on a machine learning navigation project. The goal is to create a robot that can find a location or target object by using sensory data to observe its environment, and then use machine learning to figure out how to navigate it. When asked about what kinds of projects he would like to work on in the future, Jinhai said that he hopes to “work on projects involving robotics, computer vision, natural language processing, and/or artificial general intelligence.” Doubtless, Jinhai will be a leader wherever he goes.
Muyang began coding when he was just eight years old, using a coding platform for kids called Scratch to make little games. He became so enthusiastic about coding that he wrote a proposal to his school principal to start a coding class. This proposal was approved, and as a third grade student, Muyang proceeded to teach his peers coding using the platform Scratch.
By the time he was in middle school, he was teaching his peers how to use Unity, a 3D coding platform. He also studied geometry, algebra 2, and precalculus on his own, and by the time he was in 8th grade (he skipped 7th grade) he was taking calculus.
Having exhausted all the math and science courses at his neighborhood high school, Muyang joined Clackamas Web Academy his sophomore year, enrolling in the Early College Options program so that he could take classes at the community college while still in high school. Muyang was an exemplary student, encouraging and helping his peers while excelling in his college classes.
Having exhausted the math and science classes at the community college, Muyang graduated early at the age of 16 and became a National Merit Scholarship Winner. The National Merit Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship awarded to students who are considered the best of the best based on accomplishments, skills, and future potential. And Muyang is certainly brimming over with potential.
He is currently attending Purdue University, pursuing a degree in computer science. Muyang is interested in a variety of fields, from robotics, to data science, to AI and machine learning. Recently, he started conducting research with a professor in the computer science department, working on generative AI. He is also an officer in a competitive students robotics team.
When asked what he hopes to do in the future, Muyang said: “I would love to be an AI researcher, hopefully at a top lab/institution. I want to bridge the gap between implicit and explicit understanding in machine learning models.” He also hopes to become more rigorous in his lifestyle and thinking, though to most of us, Muyang is already the definition of rigor.
Kira, an Honors Computer Science and Software Engineering major at Oregon State University and CWA class of 2018 alum, dreams of using the power of today’s technology to create long-term solutions to environmental problems. Her love for all living things has inspired her to use her technology expertise to make the world a better place—an expertise she has been developing since a young age.
She was just eleven years old when her grandfather introduced her to programming. Around this age she started using her computer skills to help her mom start an LLC (Limited Liability Company) which sold items created by people in third world countries. Kira managed all of the products, website, and the technical side of things.
She joined the robotics team in 2013 when she was thirteen years old, participating in a First Robotics Competition (FRC) and was later nominated to team captain. In 2017 she started as a high school software developer for Autodesk, working on a project called Synthesis, a virtual robotics simulator. She was promoted to Project Manager in 2018, leading three development teams, and is currently a college intern for Autodesk, working on Project Synthesis as a developer and Product Manager.
Kira’s commitment to making the world a better place was evident throughout her time at CWA. “There was never a time when Kira wasn’t giving and contributing to the betterment of our school,” said her CWA counselor, Susan Roberts. “Whether it was her key work on producing CWA’s first Yearbook in 2014, the leadership and resources she brought to her fellow ECO students, or the personal encouragement she gave to staff and students alike, CWA is a better place for having had Kira as a student.”
In college she continues to use technology to make the world a better place. She is part of the Leadership Academy with the National Academy of Engineering, where she is currently doing research on plastic biodegradation, researching how to make a breaching world population of 10 billion people sustainable. Our future is in good hands.
Class of 2017 graduate, Xaun Wilson was a leader among her peers in the Early College program at CWA and in her role in student government at Clackamas Community College. Working to make the world a better place for the people and wildlife around her, Xaun explains, “My interest in conservation goes beyond what most people think of when they imagine the word ‘environment’. I care about more than trees and oceans; I care about people. It’s all connected.” Xaun plans to use her major in applied mathematics and minor in biology to pursue a career in conservation.
Xaun is interested in conducting research related to climate change, studying the environmental impacts on communities of humans and animals. In the summer of 2018, Xaun took part in the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of California-Santa Cruz, where she conducted conservation biology research throughout northern California on sudden oak death, migratory deer populations, and the impact of elevation on lichen.
Xaun earned a full scholarship into the Bison STEM Scholars Program at Howard University, a Howard-specific scholarship program designed to support Howard students that plan to further their education after completing an undergraduate degree. She spent her first two years at Howard and is currently working at a policy research company while continuing coursework in Arizona. Xaun will return to Howard University in the spring of 2020. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a master’s degree and PhD in mathematics to develop the skills she needs to best serve her community in her conservation efforts.
We are grateful for Xaun’s past leadership at CWA and proud of her leadership as she continues making the world a better place for all!
Born in Humble, Texas, Hailey was adopted at birth and raised by her parents in the small town of Happy Valley, Oregon. Starting at age six, she was involved with a local children’s choir. While she has studied classical, jazz, opera, country, and gospel, her love has always been musical theatre. In high school, she competed at the local, state and national level for singing. She won second place in the August Wilson Monologue Competition in Portland, and competed at the National August Wilson Monologue Competition in New York. Regional credits include: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Woman, Portland Center Stage), Our Town (Rebecca Gibbs, Portland Center Stage), PWP Perfect Works In Progress (Donald Webster), Romeo and Juliet (Prince, Ensemble), Crumbs From The Table Of Joy (Ermina) and The Colored Museum. She has recently graduated from Clackamas Web Academy and is staring as Ti Moune in the hit Broadway revival of the musical Once on This Island.
Hailey was just nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical! Congratulations!
Hailey's IMDB Page - Click Here
Ruta Kuzmickas, a former Clackamas Web Academy graduate, began her piano studies at age 6. Since moving to Portland in 2008, Ruta has attended Portland Summer Ensembles in 2010, the Duxbury Music Festival in 2011, and the Aspen Music Festival and School as a student of renowned pianist Ann Schein in 2012 and 2013. She has performed in masterclasses for esteemed pianists Arnaldo Cohen, Simone Dinnerstein, Hans Boepple, Kirill Gerstein, Nelita True, Jeffrey Kahane, and Gianluca Luisi. Ruta was selected as a Chamber Music Northwest Young Artist Fellow for the year 2010-2011 and has performed various chamber works. She has been awarded with a scholarship from the Chopin Foundation of the United States in 2011 and appeared as a soloist and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award recipient on NPR.s From the Top. Ruta was also selected as first place winner of the MTNA State Senior Division in 2012 and is now a two-time winner of the MetroArts Van Buren Concerto Competition, having performed as a concerto soloist in both 2009 and 2013. In addition, she has been recognized as a 2014 YoungArts Winner. Among her wide-spanning interests, she enjoys film, reading, and working with visual art. Ruta currently studies with Dr. Jean-David Coen and is studying at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas.