Congratulations to Acelynn from Grade 12 for being awarded the Grand Prize for her paper “The Potential Clinical and Therapeutic Implications of Co-Infections Between Malaria and COVID-19” at the 2022 KingLead Global Academician Forum.
The Global Academician Forum is devoted to igniting young people's passion for innovation and scientific research and cultivating future talents. Each year, teenagers from international schools around the world are encouraged to submit research papers within six disciplines: Humanities & Social Sciences, Economy & Management, Science, Information & Engineering, Medicine & Healthcare, as well as Art & Design.
This year’s forum took place on September 30 and was held at Dehong Beijing International Chinese School. The event brought together one Nobel Prize Winner, experts and scholars from Harvard University, Cambridge University and Oxford University and dozens of students to discuss "innovative talent cultivation and improvements in scientific research literacy".
In Acelynn’s acceptance speech, she chronicled the origins and journey of her interest in malaria prevention, starting from her Grade 5 PYP exhibition project at WAB. When Acelynn learned about malaria and its impact on children, she was shocked as she’d never heard of the disease before that. This led her to find out more about the disease and dedicate her project to it.
“Growing up and going to school in Beijing, I had my fair share of annoying experiences with mosquitos. But I’d never known that they could cause a potentially fatal illness, so I suddenly felt very fortunate, and obligated to help those in need. I feel passionate about making a difference because as members of a global community, I believe we have a duty to help those in our community. We are never alone, we are all connected,” Acelynn said.
She quickly found out about a UN campaign called Nothing but Nets (now known as United to Beat Malaria) that has helped protect more than 39 million of the world’s most vulnerable people by providing mosquito nets and other life-saving tools, in addition to successfully advocating for increased funding for global malaria programs.
When Acelynn was in Grade 5, she decided to hold a cake sale to raise money for Nothing but Nets and raised over 3,000 RMB.
“With this, I was able to donate 40 mosquito nets to families endangered by malaria. The day I donated the money, I had a major revelation. I realized that I was much more capable than I had thought: I was making a tangible difference in the lives of families across the globe! It was an amazing feeling, and I wanted to savor it.”
It was a defining moment for Acelynn, one that would shape her time at WAB. She has since held several more successful fundraisers and has founded the first Nothing but Nets school chapter in the world. Through the club, Acelynn has been inspiring students across all school sections at WAB to take action to save lives.
“Looking back on these years of hard work, I can’t even begin to fathom the challenges I’ve endured and how much I’ve grown. To this day, malaria is still an issue I believe needs to be talked about more. Though the world moves on quickly, accepting the new and neglecting the old, malaria is one thing we should never neglect when millions of lives are still in danger.”
Her winning research paper on the connection between Malaria contraction and immune response towards COVID-19, is just one more step in her inspiring journey. After she graduates from WAB, Acelynn plans to study biotechnology and biomedicine in college as she’s hoping to find a long-term feasible cure for malaria, and if possible other endemic diseases.
We are excited to see where she goes and wish her the best of luck!