iOS app Android app

Grace Li
GET UPDATES FROM Grace Li
Grace Li is a sophomore at Duke University and an Angier B. Duke Scholar. She is still trying to figure out what to do with her life, largely through process of elimination, also known as taking courses in anything and everything. She is passionate about genetics, bioethics, and writing, and is a two-time Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medalist. In high school, she started a nonprofit organization, We Care Act, with her two siblings, for which she has been featured on PARADE magazine as part of the All-America High School Service Team and was named one of MSN's 16 Incredible Kids Who Are Saving the World. In her free time, you can find her buying more books than she knows what to do with, playing club table tennis, and having existential crises. Not all at the same time -- usually.

Entries by Grace Li

Reflections From Ivy Day

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 10:12 AM

I sat outside today. I'm telling you this because it's not a common occurrence -- for me or for most people in college. We don't just sit. We might walk, to class or from a meeting, while scrolling through Facebook or listening to music or making a phone call, but...

Read Post

Three Wise Men (And Women)

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 8:47 AM

My teacher is leaving. We had a meeting on a chilly Friday afternoon, and we talked about my plans for the coming semester and the research we were working on, and the Monday after he sent me an email telling me that he would be gone come January. I was...

Read Post

What I Learned From 10 Days Without Shampoo

(11) Comments | Posted October 18, 2014 | 3:02 PM

This past July, I went backpacking through Spain with a group of seven friends -- you know, the quintessential (and very cliché) American college student summer experience. It was the first and only time in my life I had ever done something over the summer just for fun, unless you're...

Read Post

Vegetarianism and a Clash of Cultures

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 2:39 PM

This past summer, a few weeks before my nineteenth birthday, I became a vegetarian. It was an abrupt transition - one day, I just decided to stop eating meat. I was taking a philosophy course, you see, and I was reading Peter Singer and other such philosophers, and I arrived...

Read Post

Why Am I Speaking Chinese in England?

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 12:04 PM

I haven't been home in two months. I've been bouncing from country to country - from doing research in Hong Kong to backpacking through Spain to studying abroad in Oxford - and I feel very lucky to have all the opportunities to do so. But it's the summer after my...

Read Post

In Memory of

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 10:05 PM

Memory is a strange thing.

I don't remember what I ate for breakfast, but I can tell you in painstaking detail what I was doing when the Twin Towers fell. I was seven years old, and I lived in Manhattan, and I saw the smoke from my window and,...

Read Post

Hi, I'm Typing This From My Tent (The Musings of a Duke Freshman)

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 10:25 AM

Most nights for the next couple of months, you will find me shivering beneath a tent outside of Cameron Stadium. Like so many other Duke students, I'm tenting for the Duke-UNC game in March. I have been doing so since January.

Telling people you're tenting always gets you a...

Read Post

Hong Kong Baby Formula Smugglers Drain Milk Supply, City Takes Action As Citizens Appeal To U.S. For Help

(4) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 3:20 PM


By Grace Li

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong introduced measures on Friday to tackle a shortage of baby milk formula as food-safety-conscious mainland Chinese people flock to the city to stock up on supplies ahead of a Lunar New Year holiday.

The Hong Kong government cut the luggage allowance...

Read Post

'I Couldn't Just Stand By And Let Disasters Happen'

(3) Comments | Posted May 6, 2012 | 12:41 AM


This is part of our new series "Gen: Change," in partnership with Youth Service America, featuring stories from the 25 most influential and powerful young people in the world. Click here to read more about Grace and her amazing story....

Read Post

I am Thankful and Please Help A School in Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2011 | 8:15 AM

It's Thanksgiving.

Today, I'm thankful for...

My little brother, who seems to be growing up much too fast and yet is still just a child, because he can seem so wise at times but also so silly, and knows all the small ways to make me smile.

My younger...

Read Post

A Letter to Mr. Biden -- Promoting Service-Learning in China

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2011 | 10:53 AM

Dear Mr. Biden:

I'm writing to you because I read about your trip to China and Japan, and I hope that you will be able to encourage the schools there to get involved in service-learning. My parents were born and raised in China, and came to the U.S. for their...

Read Post

Dear Mrs. Obama

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 1:33 PM

Dear Mrs. Obama,

I am writing to ask for a meeting with you, if possible. Please see my story below.

My mom grew up in a small village in Hunan, China. She was the third daughter in a family that wanted a son. She doesn't tell me much about...

Read Post

A Teacher, An Inspiration

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2011 | 3:17 PM

Dear Mrs. Morales,

Although I can speak only for myself, I can honestly say that the people you've impacted through the past two years are truly a huge group, and that you've managed to inspire each and every one of us in a different way.

To be perfectly...

Read Post

To the Most Important Man in My Life - Happy Father's Day!

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2011 | 5:06 PM

Dear Dad,

I can spin a beautiful story, but, somehow, the truth always seems to come harder. Ink spilled across paper, painting a world of my creation -- that, I can do. But somehow it's infinitely more difficult for me to put how much I love you into words,...

Read Post

A Long Overdue 'Thank You' to Youth Service America

(1) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 3:08 PM

I was 14-years-old and had never spoken in front of an audience. I couldn't pronounce the word "eloquent" correctly and I was wearing a black dress I had borrowed from my sister. In my hands were two sheets of wrinkled paper with multiple creases, formed from the countless times pacing...

Read Post

Letters to Japan

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2011 | 4:44 PM

Do you remember what it felt like to be young? Like all the world was in front of you? The feeling of invincibility and an infinite amount of hope?

As we grow older, we lose that, and we become cynics, looking but never truly believing, and reflect on the...

Read Post