How often do we encounter a school student who becomes a startup founder before enrolling in a university, particularly from Malaysia? Such instances are indeed a rare spectacle. However, one particular student from Alice Smith School has proved to be the exception — Zhongyi Ho.
Zhongyi, who is currently pursuing his first-year degree in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, is the founder of Yi MakesItEasy.
“I started Yi MakesItEasy, a platform driven by my desire to enable accessible learning,” Zhongyi says. “Utilising platforms like YouTube, Instagram and my website, Yi MakesItEasy provides a wealth of educational resources for five subjects across (I)GCSE and A-Level, including learning materials, video tutorials and on-demand 1-to-1 assistance. This initiative ensures these resources are free to anyone, anytime and anywhere.”
Yi MakesItEasy embodies the principle that education should be easily accessible by anyone, anytime and anywhere.
The Alice Smith School Experience
Zhongyi’s student journey at the Alice Smith School has shaped his entrepreneurial spirit and academic excellence. The school is more than just a place of learning; it’s a hub of inspiration and growth that profoundly shapes the educational path of its students, like Zhongyi.
Here, students are at the heart of everything the school does and are assured of a quality education. Alice Smith utilises a teaching model based on the British National Curriculum to ensure its learners receive an internationally recognised education that prepares them for any aspiration. Every class requires active participation, challenging students to speak up, ask questions and actively engage in discussion.
Zhongyi took Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Further Mathematics for his A Levels at the Alice Smith School.
Pair that with state-of-the-art facilities for sports, well-equipped classrooms and a welcoming library, you’ll find an inspiring environment that enhances the educational experience — something Zhongyi can attest to.
He says, “Alice Smith School has a great learning environment. Not only are the facilities outstanding, but the support from the pastoral team, dedicated teachers and the Higher Education team is truly remarkable. They extend a helping hand whenever needed, some going above and beyond. I sincerely appreciate the invaluable assistance they've offered me.”
So, it’s little surprise that Zhongyi achieved an impressive 4A* in his A Levels. The school's commitment to holistic education is evident in its rich assortment of co-curricular activities. There's something for everyone, from various sports clubs like badminton, basketball, football, rugby and volleyball, to engaging non-sports clubs like Eco Club, Model United Nations Club and orchestra.
For Zhongyi, participating in various co-curricular activities (CCAs) including the Eco Club and sports gave him a meaningful platform to express his authentic enthusiasm for multiple interests and causes. Assuming leadership roles within these activities also enabled him to refine his interpersonal skills, a vital component of modern organisational functioning.
“As a student who applied to UK universities through UCAS, I linked my academic knowledge with my involvement in CCAs, reinforcing the depth of my personal statement. Through participation in CCAs, I also demonstrated my adept time management abilities, effectively harmonising my academic pursuits with extracurricular commitments.”
Zhongyi leveraged the skills and knowledge gained from his time at the school during his internship at the Research Centre for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Utilisation (CCDCU) at Sunway University. “Although this internship wasn't part of the Alice Smith programme, the hands-on experience and adherence to strict safety standards during my A-Level chemistry lab sessions prepared me well for this opportunity,” he says.
Securing a Spot at Imperial College London
All UK university applications start with writing a personal statement. At Alice Smith School, the Higher Education Team was instrumental in offering guidance and detailed feedback on his personal statement, ensuring it was impactful and impressive.
“Their wealth of insights and detailed feedback on my personal statement were invaluable, shedding light on strengths and areas for improvement, ultimately guiding me towards a more impactful personal statement,” Zhongyi says.
Above all, it’s about the array of opportunities that the school extended to him. This includes the ready availability of support from teachers, culminating in exceptional guidance throughout the application process. These factors enriched his academic journey, setting a solid foundation for his future.
Zhongyi’s love for science, especially chemistry, grew in school through engaging experiments by his teachers. This played a role in his decision to pursue a Master of Engineering - MEng, Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. He shares, “Apart from that, living in Malaysia’s tropical climate, coupled with the installation of solar panels in Alice Smith, stimulated my interest in renewable energy. Through these experiences, I began to grasp the immense potential of renewable sources and how a degree in chemical engineering could serve as a stepping stone for my future in the renewable energy industry.
“Imperial College London is my dream university, and I'm thrilled about the opportunity to live in the UK, surrounded by diverse cultures and new faces. Its distinction as one of the UK universities with its own carbon capture pilot plant is an extraordinary opportunity to deepen my understanding of this vital field. I hope to contribute meaningfully to society, leaving a positive mark on the world through the insights gained at Imperial.”
Zhongyi advises students to adopt the 'live life in crescendo’ mantra.
Global Perspective Through International Schooling
Zhongyi's international schooling experience has helped him develop strong communication skills and an appreciation for diverse cultures. “This upbringing has enabled me to cultivate enduring friendships and meaningful connections with peers from around the world, and it’s also an enriching experience for which I’ll forever hold gratitude.”
Engaging with classmates from diverse cultural backgrounds also ignited a genuine curiosity that fueled his interest in deepening his understanding of the world, fostering cultural empathy and a global perspective.
Zhongyi Ho’s story is an inspiration for students embarking on their academic journeys. His time at Alice Smith School and his commitment to accessible education through Yi MakesItEasy showcase the incredible potential of driven individuals.
Click here to check out the Yi MakesItEasy YouTube channel.