Why Church Farm School

Chengwei Jia '20, Bucknell University

Chengwei Jia started at CFS as an 8th grader, a “five-year-fighter” as those that matriculated to CFS in middle school are known. Coming from China and speaking very little English, Chengwei suffered initially from worry and lack of confidence, being away from his parents for the first time in his life in an unfamiliar place. With the help of new friends and devoted faculty, Chengwei’s confidence grew. He notes Choir Director Mr. Gress, in particular, for being an effective, albeit tough, mentor. “He is strict, but because of this, I have had the chance to meet and learn from this almost perfect music teacher. He is the one who lit up my passion for music and guides me all the way through.” His own growth in the areas of leadership and responsibility make Chengwei most proud of what he has accomplished at Church Farm School. These skills will serve him well next year at Bucknell University.

“Chengwei is a young man that has grown and matured so much since arriving at CFS as an 8th grade student. He has turned into a dedicated student, a caring friend and someone that looks to make a connection with so many across our community. I have really enjoyed our long conversations, his quirky sense of humor and the care he has shown for the younger students in our advisee group. We wish him the best of luck as he sets out for Bucknell University in the fall!” says his advisor, Mr. Eric Fulmer.

Sungho Yoo '17, Johns Hopkins University

Sungho Yoo ’17 came to the United States from Korea as a 9th grader, leaving his family behind to pursue his studies. He was initially placed in a day school in Kansas. “Hollywood movies were the only window through which I had seen America when I lived in Korea. The portrayals were mostly wealthy white people. Even during my time in Kansas, I didn’t feel like I really had a feel for true American culture,” he recalls. That all changed when he transferred to Church Farm School in 10th grade. “The environment was so diverse! It was something that I never expected to exist in America. It opened up my perspective to a completely opposite view of that world.”

Living within a diverse environment—ethnically, financially and otherwise—was important to Sungho. “Like Korea, America suffers through economic division. Church Farm School has helped me to develop my passion, which is to help resolve that division.” Sungho hopes to pursue that passion while studying at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). “I selected Johns Hopkins [over Rice University in Texas] because Baltimore has an underserved population and the school is very much involved in helping achieve economic equality there.” Sungho plans to study neuroscience, and says JHU offered the most federal grants for undergraduate research.

Sungho was a stellar student at Church Farm School. He embraced all of the opportunities the school offered to excel in class, on the athletic field and through clubs and extra-curricular activities. He enjoyed AP Calculus and Physics, plus serving on the Student Council; the TEDx, DECA, Greystock News and Robotics clubs; and varsity golf, tennis and track teams. “At first I hated the idea of mandatory sports,” Sungho says. “But ultimately it made me stronger and more interested in sports than I ever was.”

Through it all, Sungho says the school “helped me become more fluent in communicating with people of other backgrounds.” Boarding school has also prepared him well for being independent and living alone. “I’ve grown into a young adult here. The school has helped me get out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways.”

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Marvin Garcia

    Marvin Garcia 

    Acting Director of Admission
  • Photo of Michael Agosto

    Michael Agosto 

    International Admissions/Cottage Faculty
  • Photo of Barbara Scudder

    Barbara Scudder 

    Admission Coordinator
The Church Farm School is an independent boarding and day school for boys in grades 9-12 located in Exton, PA. Founded in 1918 to provide an excellent education to young men from limited means, Church Farm School now serves boys from a range of socio-economic circumstances who are seeking an extraordinary educational opportunity. The school offers a challenging college preparatory curriculum and an exceptional level of personal attention, with class sizes averaging between just 7 and 12 students.