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Three students from MMI Preparatory School were selected to participate in a Chinese-sponsored international conference in Beijing, China, this summer.

ACE MMISeniors Tristan Gibbons, son of Russell and Edna Gibbons, Mountaintop; Medina Saeed, daughter of Zubeen Saeed, Mountaintop; and Emily Seratch, daughter of Frank and Sarah Seratch of Hazleton, were three of only five American students chosen for the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation’s summer program, called Ameson Chinese Elite (ACE).

“The review process was especially competitive this year as we selected only five American students for the summer program. The fact that three of the students are from your school is extraordinary. They were each very strong and compelling candidates,” said Doris Davis, senior vice president of the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation.

Seratch said, “This program gave me the chance to meet people from around the world. I not only learned about China, but also France, Russia and the United Kingdom. It was so great learning about different traditions and celebrations around the world. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” 

She said she most enjoyed interacting with the other students who were part of the program. “I made so many new friends that I still stay in touch with, even though they are around the world. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly,” Seratch said.

ACE is the first China-wide program dedicated to providing a formative cross-cultural experience to top-performing students from China and the United States. ACE’s goal is to help today’s youth develop into tomorrow’s leaders. The program brings students from top-ranked high schools across China and a few of America’s top students together in an environment designed to foster leadership and cross-cultural understanding. This year’s program included 250 Chinese students and 19 students from other countries, including the United States.

Students hear lectures from and interact with academic and government leaders, elect representatives to organize clubs and events, and engage in international summit discussions. Students also participate in the program’s flagship activity, the Model CPPCC, an event designed to give students an firsthand understanding of how policy decisions are made in the Chinese government by simulating the process used in the CPPCC: identifying social issues, drafting a proposal to respond to these issues, presenting a case for the proposal, and responding to inquiries and criticisms. 

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