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Featured Alumna - Ashley Vielma, ‘15 (8th Grade)

Featured Alumna - Ashley Vielma, ‘15 (8th Grade)

Silicon Valley International School (INTL) takes pride in the accomplishments of its alumni, and Ashley Vielma stands as an example of the school's dedication to bilingual excellence and holistic inquiry-based education. Ashley's journey began at INTL as a Kindergartener in 2006, immersing herself in the Chinese Language Program. Her time at INTL shaped not only her academic prowess but also her cultural appreciation and language fluency.

Early photos of Ashley at INTL in the Chinese Language Immersion Program including winning an award

Reflecting on her formative years at INTL, Ashley reminisced, "I remember during our 8th-grade graduation all the students were asked to prepare a brief speech in our respective program languages. At the time, it felt like second nature and a normal everyday task. Looking back, as an adult, I realize how valuable and precious it was to be able to communicate fluently and effectively in three different languages."

While Ashley treasures memories of all her teachers, one individual made an indelible mark on her—her Chinese History teacher, JingYao Qi. Ashley fondly recalled, "she would teach us the events in history through storytelling. She had the whole class engaged and on their toes about what would happen next. Till this day, I still remember all of her teachings and the creative way she taught us important parts of our curriculum."

Ashley and four friends at a museum on the cultural exchange trip to China.

Equipped with her bilingual skills and a strong educational foundation from INTL, Ashley pursued higher education at Florida Atlantic University, graduating with a degree in International Business. Her collegiate journey was enriched by her participation as a member of the Division I women's tennis team, where her passion for the sport flourished.

Ashley about to hit a forehand shot on the tennis court in college.

Post-graduation, Ashley's commitment to bilingualism continues to create opportunities in unexpected ways. She shared, "till this day, I am still fluent in Mandarin, Spanish, and English. I can honestly say that my languages have opened so many doors for me in every single field that I have pursued. Not only does INTL teach language, they also teach history and culture from a young age which has taught me to be open minded and respectful when interacting with people from different parts of the world. Also, knowing stories and legends of Chinese culture have allowed me to have some really great conversations with people around me. I have been able to use Mandarin when traveling abroad to Taiwan and to communicate with people everywhere I go. I can honestly say that out of the three languages I speak, Mandarin has definitely caused a lot of impressive reactions from people because it is so unexpected." 

Ashley throwing her cap into the air in front of the FAU school sign upon graduation.

Now fully engaged in her role as a Real Estate Agent at Korman Realty in Boca Raton, Florida, Ashley attributes her success to her diverse skill set and her desire to guide others through significant milestones. She remarked, "I found my passion for real estate after going through the process of purchasing my first home. I thought that I could bring a lot of value to future homeowners by guiding them through the stressful, but rewarding journey. Real estate is such a versatile field and there are so many benefits and paths to homeownership that I would love for people to experience. I love the idea of being able to build wealth that can last for generations to come as well as building a home that your family and loved ones will remember for the rest of their lives. I am currently licensed and serve the South Florida real estate market. In the future, I hope to expand into California."

Ashley's journey exemplifies the versatility of a bilingual education and how it has the power to unlock new opportunities. Reflecting on her experiences, Ashley said, "I truly believe that if I wasn’t immersed in a bilingual program, I would not speak Mandarin as fluently as I do now. It was a program and education that seemed so second nature to me at the time, but now I realize that my educational experience was a privilege as not many people have mastered three major languages used in almost every single part of the world."

As Ashley continues to make strides in the real estate industry, INTL celebrates her accomplishments and eagerly looks forward to her future endeavors. Ashley Vielma is a great example of a global scholar who both appreciates bilingualism in education and practices the lessons that define the essence of Silicon Valley International School.

If you are an INTL alumni who would like to have your own story shared with the community, please can submit an alumni update form here

To be a part of all that INTL has to offer and start your international journey today, please visit INTL's admissions page.

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