When Jacob Siu moved to the area at age 5, he was already proficient in Spanish and English. Now the 12-year-old Martinez resident can add Chinese to the list.
With an ancestry that is Chinese and Hispanic, the Evans Middle School pupil was eager to learn as much as he could to communicate with those around him. Born in Miami, Jacob's family moved to South America shortly afterward and lived there until he was 5. His basic Spanish language skills were learned from those around him, but last year Jacob decided to enroll in Chinese school to learn another language.
The son of Esther and Jacobo Siu, Jacob is a high achiever. His teachers say he is "one in a million" and is always willing to "go the extra mile."
"He is such a conscientious student," said Lynn Chapman, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Evans Middle. "Several times he has had a 100 average and will still go that extra mile and do extra-credit activities."
Math teacher Terri Gibbs concurs:
"He completes extra-credit assignments even when he has a 100 average, just for the educational benefit."
Jacob says he wants to learn as much as he can, even if it means completing additional assigned work that won't improve his grade. But he admits that his mother often encourages him to do the extra-credit work.
"Sometimes if I fail something, it brings my grade up," said Jacob. "But I also do it because my mom says I should."
Among his favorite subjects are math and social studies. The rising seventh-grader also enjoys reading, especially Jerry Spinelli books. Earlier this year, Jacob signed up for the mentor program at Evans Middle.
"I help kids who need help on, for example, math," said Jacob. "If they don't get a question, I work with them and help them get the answer."
"He is a trustworthy and reliable young man and has done a wonderful job with the Evans Middle School mentor program," said Chapman.
"He is an enthusiastic student and he eagerly accepts the challenge of mentoring struggling students in math," added Gibbs. "I feel lucky to have such a student."
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