Artistic senior demonstrates her phenomenal talents through many mediums

Enjelica Sangster, Staff Writer

As her last year in high school comes to an end, Alyssa Leong looks back on all her goals and accomplishments. With her artistic talent, involvement in her community, and outstanding grades, Leong is definitely the brightest star in Central’s galaxy of students.

Alyssa Leong was born and raised in Florida with her parents and older sister, Ashley Leong. Ashley and Alyssa are very close as Ashley continues to inspire her, whether academically or personally. Alyssa’s sister is a graduate of the University of Florida as of last year and motivates Leong to reach her own aspirations.   Ashley was also the one who encouraged her to get into Central’s rigorous AICE coursework, and she immediately fell into the groove of the program. 

When I first entered . . . . I knew little to nothing but learned more through teachers and peers,” Leong explained.  “Being around motivated people made me want to take more AICE classes so I could get my diploma faster.  I’ve always been a naturally motivated person and I knew that AICE classes were my best bet at moving up higher in the ranks. Essentially, I wanted to challenge myself to take the hardest option and try my best.”

In her early academic life, Leong attended a Catholic school and later became the valedictorian of her middle school’s graduating class. However, she enrolled in the public school system for high school. Leong recalls having to quickly adjust to this new way of learning. Attending a new secondary school can be overwhelming at times as many students have friends from their previous years to rely on. Leong was very nervous entering PBC as she did not have as many friends by her side as other students.  Coming from Catholic school, the adjustment proved to be a nerve-wracking one.

“My middle school was very tiny compared to PBC and I had to learn new little things like memorizing my school number and learning to use Google Docs.” commented Leong. 

Fortunately for Leong, Central proved to be a welcoming and friendly environment, and she quickly made a plethora of friends with whom she is still close to to this day. 

“I love having Alyssa as a friend because she is so good at linking people together,” explained senior Asha Patel. “This just means she could be the only common denominator in a group of people who are not familiar with each other and she makes it easier to get to know everyone.” 

In addition to stepping out of her comfort zone socially, Leong was also stepping out of her comfort zone academically. Although her sister had occasionally mentioned it upon her enrollment, she knew little to nothing about the AICE program. However, Alyssa was quickly recommended by her counselors and peers to get involved in the program.

“I’ve always been a naturally motivated person and I knew that AICE classes were my best bet at moving up higher in the ranks,” explained Leong. “Essentially, I wanted to challenge myself to take the hardest option and try my best.”

Freshman year, Leong enrolled in AICE General Papers as well as AICE Environmental Management. She did very well and passed both exams with reasonably high marks. Later on in her sophomore year she took three more AICE classes, then topped it off with five AICE classes in her junior year. Although the workload was often heavy, Leong quickly adjusted.

“Once in a while I come across a student that is so conscientious and thoughtful, I immediately remember why I went into teaching,” explained Alyssa’s AICE Media Studies teacher Ms. Biferie. “Alyssa is one of those students because she is constantly surprising me with her creative and analytical skills.”

Not only did she want to get more involved within her personal grades, but Leong wanted to get more involved within the school. Freshman year she joined UNICEF in hopes to gain community service hours and meet new people, yet over time she grew to love the club due to its focus on women and children. Currently, Alyssa is also a member of FBLA, National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Rho Kappa, varsity cheer, and is the secretary of the Environmental Honor Society. 

Aside from all school-related extracurriculars, Leong has another activity that she is very passionate about: art. She began practicing when she was a child, but it quickly came to an end during middle school. However, the summer before her freshman year is when she volunteered as an art camp counselor and began to practice drawing again. 

“I knew art was my passion when I found an old watercolor set and started painting again,” explained Leong. “Even though I was not very good at that time, it was the feeling of happiness I got when being creative that made me want to keep going.” 

From that time, Leong decided she wanted to improve. Once she made the decision to start her passion once again, she set goals for herself. Leong would set a daily reminder and force herself to practice art every day. 

As a result, she heavily improved in her drawing as well as painting and now often participates in other activities that incorporate her talents. For the past 6 years, she has been participating in the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival with her best friends. This procedure usually takes about two days to complete and some of their designs have even been featured in the local news as well. 

“Not only is she a great friend and a great student, but she is so artistically talented,” commented senior Paola Soto-Perez. “I admire her persistence and drive as she accomplishes her goals within art.”

Leong decided to share her talent through social media in which she has gotten a plethora of admirers. She has an Instagram and Tik Tok account in which she showcases her different creations. Currently she has 26.6k followers on Tik Tok and her viewers enjoy her art videos, tutorials, process videos, final product videos, and collaborations with other artists. Leong also recently opened up a business via Instagram in which she sells her pieces.

“I admire how Alyssa understates her talents,” added Ms. Biferie. “She’s very good at so many things but is never boastful or narcissistic; she is just kind, talented, and hilarious.”

Out of all of Leong’s talents, art plays plays such a large role in her life. As a result, she plans to incorporate it into her future career. Leong recently committed to the University of Florida and plans major in the graphic design field. 

“I have learned that the only way to improve in anything is practice, and it’s something anyone can do if they really want it,” emphasized Leong. “Everyone starts somewhere and you can only get better from there. As for art specifically, I learned that you do not need fancy supplies to be a good artist, you just need drive. It will take time, but in the end it will be totally worth it.”

Leong, not only shares her creations through her Instagram account, but she also sells her designs there as well. If you are interested in her creations please click the following link to check out her page: