Mandarin Immersion Senior Profile: Delaney Adan

The Capistrano Valley Class of 2024 will include the first ever graduates of the Mandarin Immersion Program. CUSD Insider asked the seniors to reflect on their time with the program and share what they have planned for after graduation.

Delaney Adan

Delaney Adan of the Mandarin Immersion Program at Capistrano Valley High.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider


When did you start in the Mandarin Immersion Program?

First grade- 2011

Why did you join the Mandarin Immersion Program?

The majority of my friends growing up were Chinese and spoke Chinese. I didn’t want to be left out of their conversations, so I asked my mom to sign me up for Chinese classes. While looking for Chinese classes, she heard about the Mandarin Immersion Program. She asked if I would be interested in learning in Chinese. I was extremely excited to learn a new language to communicate with other people.

What are your plans after you graduate from CUSD?

After graduating from CUSD, I am planning to attend a four-year college and get my BSN (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing). I plan to become a registered nurse that specializes in pediatrics.

What other activities were you involved with in high school?

I have played volleyball for all four years of high school, and I have been on varsity for the last three years. I was Faction Leader for NHS (National Honor Society), member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), member of NCHS (National Chinese Honor Society), and member of CSF (California Scholarship Federation).

What was your favorite part of the Mandarin Immersion Program experience?

My favorite part of the Mandarin Immersion Program are our Chinese New Year celebrations. It is a tradition that starts in elementary school and continues through to high school. Every year my class would have a potluck, receive red envelopes, and decorate our classroom with red lanterns and paper cuttings. This was my favorite part because we learned about and experienced different Chinese customs and traditions.

What aspect of the Mandarin Immersion Program surprised you the most?

The aspect of the Mandarin Immersion Program that surprised me the most was that it continued through high school. As part of the inaugural class, we didn’t know if the program would make it past elementary school, but it has grown into an exemplary K-12 program. I was worried that it would be hard to continue learning Chinese in middle and high school, but all of my Chinese teachers were well equipped and qualified to adjust to the changes in schedule and curriculum.

How has the Mandarin Immersion Program prepared you for life after graduation?

The Mandarin Immersion Program has taught me how to speak, read and write Chinese, immersing me in Chinese culture. Regardless of what college I end up going to after graduation, I will be interacting with people from all kinds of cultural backgrounds. The Mandarin Immersion Program has not only prepared me for communicating with others in Chinese, but has also opened my mind to learning about new cultures. I am not Chinese, so all the customs and traditions were new to me. Because of this I have always been more aware of the norms and customs of different cultures. We live in a very diverse society, making it vital to be culturally aware and respectful. Thanks to all of my experiences and knowledge gained through the Mandarin Immersion Program, I look forward to using my Chinese skills to communicate with more people and am open to broadening my cultural horizons.

How will you use your Mandarin knowledge in your daily life?

As someone who wants to work in the medical field, I will be interacting with patients of diverse cultures and backgrounds everyday. My Mandarin knowledge will allow me to communicate and connect with more people, allowing me to provide them the best care possible.

What advice would you give other students considering joining the Mandarin Immersion Program?

Join the Mandarin Immersion Program! It is such a unique and amazing experience. The things you learn can help you in life, no matter what you decide to do after graduating high school. Also, you get to stay with your class from first through twelfth grade. Aside from gaining Chinese knowledge, you gain a family. Not only that, you get to try some really delicious Chinese food and desserts.

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