Student Spotlight: Leo Zhang 

Leo Zhang, senior at Leesville, accomplished his dream of being accepted into Duke University. His hard work and determination has paid off. ( Photo used with Permission of Leo Zhang).

When Zhang applied to Duke University he was ranked number one for the senior class of Leesville Road High School, with a GPA of 4.66.

Zhang took every AP class available throughout his high school career, except AP United States Government and Politics and AP European History. He completed AP World History his freshman year, took five AP classes sophomore year, eight junior year, and four his senior year.

The college application process is very tedious, and Zhang chose to apply Early Decision to Duke, spending the majority of his day editing essays, supplementals, and all aspects of Duke’s application process. 

While applying to Duke, he spent 12 hours a day working on his application, making sure to perfect all aspects of his applicant profile. One of the things he focused on while perfecting his application was making sure his essays were engaging and unique. Because of this, he wrote about his sport, Jujitsu, and alluded to how this activity shaped who he is.

When asked why he chose Duke, Zhang said, “Duke is very collaborative and has a very nice atmosphere that doesnt have so much competitiveness like other schools. They have a strong engineering program, and I’m very interested in pursuing biomedical and electrical engineering.” 

This past summer, Zhang took part in a summer camp, “Beaver Works”, which revolves around electrical engineering. This is an experience that led to growth in the field of electrical engineering and further solidified his application to Duke. 

His time at Leesville also played a pivotal role in Zhang’s successful admission to Duke, by providing an environment where exceptional teaching and dedication to students’ success are paramount.  

Zhang appreciates how the teachers at Leesville helped him succeed, “Leesville has extremely good teachers, every teacher seems to be really passionate about their job, taking grading seriously and giving instant feedback which is very helpful.”

He spends his time away from school participating in extracurriculars and working at Mathnasium, a tutoring center. He is also a part of an organization called “DeAP Learning,” where he is a prompting director. 

“As a prompting director, manage the prompting team, basically prompting Chat GPT and having it do what we want,” said Zhang. 

Recently, senior superlatives were given out and Zhang won, “Smartest Cookie,” many students at Leesville know Zhang for his intelligence and being ranked number two [at the moment] out of the 2024 graduating class. 

Zhang is a very talented and smart student who is eager to extend his learning career at Duke University, he is the only student apart of the 2024 class, who was accepted. 


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