Drum roll please, the third ISB Alumni Achievement Award goes to…
A collage of photos of ISB alumni and alumni activity

By Pu Chun Zhu, ISB Alumni Relations, and Nick Yates, ISB Communications

The International School of Beijing’s (ISB) third Alumni Achievement Award goes to Camille Cheng, who is a 2011 graduate, Olympic swimmer, and co-founder of a mental health NGO.

The ISB Alumni Association launched this program at the start of the 2021-2022 academic year to foster a spirit of pride and loyalty, celebrate former students’ achievements and service, and encourage engagement in ISB’s Mission. ISB awards the Alumni Achievement Award (AAA) to those who have demonstrated thinking and leadership in their chosen field of endeavor. The recipients’ accomplishments and contributions shall have embodied the high expectations and values of ISB and positively impacted society.

A photo finish for the 2024 Alumni Achievement Award

According to the award selection committee, deciding the winner this year was especially tough. It took a lot of deliberating between a competitive set of finalists, much like establishing the winner of a closely contested swimming race. The committee members were won over when hearing from a current ISB High School student who remembers the day when she was in Elementary School and heard a speech from Camille Cheng. This student said she was inspired by Camille to keep swimming and be resilient.

Camille Cheng has been swimming competitively since the age of 9. After many records and honors in the pool at ISB, she surged to success in elite adult swimming. Camille represented Hong Kong at the Olympics in Rio in 2016 and in Tokyo in 2021, and she is set to be an Olympian again in Paris in the summer of 2024. Camille is a four-time Asian Games medalist, first-placing in the 2014 Asian Games, and a two-time U.S. collegiate division one national champion.

The 2024 AAA winner studied psychology as an undergraduate at the university of California, Berkeley and has a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology. Along with a couple of other Olympians, she recently established Mind the Waves, a mental health NGO in Hong Kong.

Camille Cheng in the pool at ISB

The other finalists in the 2024 Alumni Achievement Award were:

  • New York Times bestselling author Amélie Wen Zhao, Class of 2010
  • Audio programmer David Su, Class of 2010
  • Justine Sylvester, Class of 2007, a land tenure specialist with the World Bank
  • Insurance and healthcare entrepreneur Mathilda Ström, Class of 2002
  • Content creator and entrepreneur Tina Huang, Class of 2013
  • Lawyer Wendy Qiu, Class of 2011

Strengthening alumni connections, inspiring current students

Camille and the finalists are just a small number of the distinguished former ISB Dragons inspiring the current study body. ISB’s Alumni Association continues to grow year after year. Counting thousands of former students, parents, and faculty as formal members, the organization provides the opportunity for alumni to connect with one another. ISB has almost 45 years of history, and its huge number of graduates are an asset to the school, giving back in ways that include offering mentoring, career, and internship opportunities to current students.

The AAA winner participates in the annual ISB Alumni Pathways program, the main goal of which is to connect Grade 10 students with alumni who are in various stages of their pathway after ISB.

The award caps a busy period for the ISB Alumni Association. Amélie Wen Zhao, celebrated for fantasy novels including the Song of Silver, Flame Like Night duology and the Blood Heir trilogy, visited campus before Spring Break and gave talks to students and parents.

Over 40 people also attended an ISB alumni reunion in Seoul on March 15.


For more ISB alumni news and information, click here. ISB community members should stay tuned for further celebration of the Alumni Achievement Award winner and finalists, including an awards ceremony on campus on Saturday, May 4.

ISB has a set of Strategic Focus Areas (SFAs), drafted to consolidate the school’s efforts and resources around what’s most important. One of the SFAs is ensuring strong, lifelong relationships among the ISB community, including by establishing the greatest alumni network in Asia. To learn more about ISB’s strategic focuses, click here.

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