Mandarin Immersion Senior Profile: Dylan LaMaison

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.

Dylan LaMaison


Dylan Lamaison 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?

All my friends were in the class and my best friend just had transferred in as well. I knew that I would have more fun with my friends while learning a different language.

What are your plans after you graduate from CUSD?

Go to college, likely major in international business and hopefully use my skills that I built. After college I hope to get a job or create a business that involves overseas business where I could use my skills.

What other activities were you involved with in high school?

I played baseball and hope to continue into college.

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

Just being with your friends everyday knowing that I have life long friends that I can always count on. Making unforgettable memories with them in and out of school. I also like the rich culture it has brought into my life.

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

How you learn not just the language but a lot about Chinese culture. You learn about how things are different over there. You learn about their past life, the different religions and beliefs, and my favorite the different food they have. There is never ending culture there from kung fu to the terracotta warriors to the great wall of china, you learn something new every day.

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

It made me manage my time better and procrastinate a lot less. I am enriched in culture able to understand different point of views from all types of people and religions.

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

I will use it to order food in a Chinese restaurant, to shop in Chinese markets, and it will help me with any job I get being able to talk with them. There is countless things I could use it for, just look at places like Irvine and Garden Grove that are filled with Chinese speakers. Also if take international business I will use it a lot at school and after school at a job.

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

Make sure you really want to do Mandarin for a long time because all of it goes to waste if you drop out after a couple of years. I would also say that you are required to take a language in high school, most people just take a couple of years of Spanish then never touch Spanish again, so take Chinese and use it in the future. You don’t miss out on anything a non speaking student would do.

Sharing is caring!