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Merion Mercy Academy’s Justine Weng is Main Line Student of the Week (Jan. 22-28)

Howley Scholar, Justine Weng, was recently selected as the Main Line Student of the Week and we are so proud of her! Read more about her from today’s issue of the Main Line Times & Suburban publication.

A junior at Merion Mercy, Justine Weng is a member of National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Blue Key Society and Rho Kappa Honor Society. She also belongs to Student Diversity Leadership Team, Varsity Mathletes, ASIA (affinity group), Mock Trial (two-time district champions), Student Council, Image Explosion (literary magazine) and Ricordia (school newspaper). She was Highly Commended at the ScienceBees UK Intermediate Biology Olympiad and received the Bronze Award for the ScienceBees UK Biology Challenge. She also performs calligraphy, and started her own club, Calligraphy Club.

Main Line Media News: In Mock Trial, what has been the most interesting trial you participated in?

Justine Weng: For me, the most interesting trial was during my freshman year at the Benjamin Franklin Invitational at the University of Pennsylvania. This was the first official competition that I participated in, and the competition was over Zoom due to COVID-19, so there were teams from other states. I was part of the Blue Defense team (JV team), and we went against a team from Texas in our second round. Unfortunately, as the Texas Mock Trial had a few rules of evidence that were different from the Pennsylvania Mock Trial rules, it caused some confusion during the round. However, we tried to be professional and adapt as much as possible throughout the trial to present our side of the case. Ultimately, I believe that the judges saw the professionalism and level of skill, and we won that round! This trial was a phenomenal example of when we needed to stay calm in confusing situations and try to adapt to the case at hand, and I definitely learned a lot from this experience.

Main Line Media News: Can you tell us a little about your favorite contributions to Image Explosion and Ricordia?

Justine Weng: My favorite spread for the Image Explosion magazine included many gorgeous photographs of sunsets and a poem by MMA students. For Ricordia, my favorite article that I have written is the interview with the former Student Council President, Kathryn Wert. I enjoyed talking to Kathryn about her passion for setting up the many events at MMA, such as the mixers, Mission Week, and Galentine’s Day. Her dedication to this school and her position inspire me!

Main Line Media News: What has been (in your opinion) the Students Council’s most meaningful accomplishment in your tenure as a Student Council member?

Justine Weng: To me, Student Council’s most meaningful accomplishment would probably be raising money for the Mercy Girl Effect Project. The Mercy Girl Effect Project is a cause that many Mercy schools around the world contribute to, including Merion Mercy. We help raise money to help support girls in severe poverty in developing countries. Last year, we were able to make around $11,000 from all the fundraisers, events, and dances that Student Council took charge of! It was such an amazing achievement because we exceeded our goal of $6,000, and it was such a meaningful moment when the school found out how much we made as a community.

Main Line Media News: What is the most important thing you have learned about leadership as a member of the Blue Key Society?

Justine Weng: The most important thing I learned from being a member and leader of Blue Key Society is how you make the other person feel. When we are hosting events, the prospective students are typically really nervous and anxious, so it’s really important to make sure that they feel welcomed and get excited about Merion!

Main Line Media News: Tell us a little about ASIA – its purpose and its most interesting activities.

Justine Weng: ASIA is a club that explores Asian culture while doing many fun activities. During meetings, we often watch an Asian movie or TV show, play Kahoots about the culture, and learn about some of the countries that interest us. We do all these activities while enjoying Asian snacks, many of which I actually grew up loving! The purpose of this club is to create a welcoming environment for Asian students in our community as well as a club for anyone, regardless of whether they are Asian, to explore the distinct and unique cultures in Asia. We also participate in preparing for the AAPI showcase that happens in May, where we execute various performances that range from K-Pop dances to the traditional lion dance.

Main Line Media News: As a member of several honor societies, tell us a little about the most worthwhile service activity you’ve participated in through these societies.

Justine Weng: One of my favorite services I did was for the National Art Honor Society by creating an art piece for the art auction. I designed a piece of art with calligraphy for the art auction, and the proceeds will go to the Mercy Girl Effect Project. I love seeing every single art piece that is in the auction that the students created with their skills and talents!

Main Line Media News: What sparked your interest in calligraphy?

Justine Weng: When I was in 6th grade, I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a few posts with some gorgeous calligraphy lettering on them, and I really wanted to learn how to write like that! So, I decided to look it up on Youtube and learned how to do calligraphy through some Youtube videos and practice.

Main Line Media News: What is your favorite book, and why?

Justine Weng: At the moment, my favorite book is The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This book is about Avery, a teenager who just inherited billions of dollars from a billionaire who has no relation to her. However, in order to fulfill the will, she must live in Hawthorne’s Mansion for a year, and she starts to discover the secrets of this family and her own family. I really enjoyed this book because of all the tiny hints you figure out as you read and the huge reveal at the end! I really loved trying to put the puzzle together and making theories about what I thought the truth was.

(To be selected as Main Line Student of the Week, a student must first be nominated by his or her school.)