Her Journey to Success

BY: CLAIRE KIM

Prof. Fei-Fei Li is a renowned Stanford professor in the A.I. domain and has been engaged in several projects with Samsung. Along with being a professor, she is also the director of Stanford University’s artificial intelligence lab which is really impressive. Since she is so successful now as a professor at Stanford, I didn’t consider her past in which she struggled the most in her life. After reading her story, it really stroke an impact on me and what ups and downs I have to be prepared for when I encounter them.

Starting off, what really surprised me about Fei-Fei Li was that she was an immigrant from China. She started her life in the US for the first time at the age of 16, which to me seems like her prime high school era. With the language barrier and other nuisances in the way, I was so amazed that she pulled off being 6th in her class and graduating with a great application to attend Princeton.

Before attending Princeton, she had a rough experience in her high school called Parsippany High School. She claimed that during her high school moments, she didn’t create many friendships and often focused on just surviving and not building in high school. Especially since she was weak in English, many people didn’t pay any close attention to her except some of her teachers which she really valued. I know how it feels to not have friends around, so it is amazing how well she endured those moments so well in her whole high school era.

Contradicting her life in high school, university seemed like her breakthrough from her rough school life. While attending Princeton, she was able to meet great intellectuals that really supported her and made her happy. Yet with the good, she still had to handle her struggling family back in Parsippany. Throughout her time at the university, she went back and forth to help out her family at times, which is really exceptional. I like how she thinks of her family first and works hard to help them out at times of need.

Along with studying for school and taking care of her parents, she also played a big role in her family’s financial stability. It’s so incredible how she spent her time to work and earn money for her family while balancing her time for studying. This really shows her dedication and outlook on life in her perspective. To me, she definitely shows role model quality.

“The real existential challenge is to live up to your fullest potential, along with living up to your intense sense of responsibility and to be honest to yourself about what you want”, said by Fei-Fei Li. This quote from her really inspires me. Another quote that I really favor from her is that “It just takes a couple and that makes a huge difference”. This really leaves a mark in my persona.

I have also learned that Fei-Fei Li was nominated as a Great Immigrant of 2016 by the Carnegie Corporation recently, and I fully support this name for her. She really deserves this award.

From this article, I have learned that she went through such a difficult time in the past to finally reach this moment. I have also gained a lot of realizations about my life and ever since then, I have tried to dedicate my time more wisely. She has influenced me a lot and I can easily say that she is definitely one of my role models.

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