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12-year-old MDC Student Wins Top Award at Chinese Speech and Skit Competition


Madison Conroy, right, stands with Dr. Wenghui Zhang, co-director of MDC's Confucius Institute.

Miami, May 2, 2013 - Years of intense training in Mandarin Chinese have paid off for 12-year-old Madison Conroy, a student at Miami Dade College (MDC)’s prestigious Confucius Institute (CI), and the Language Center of Department of Continuing Education and Professional Development at MDC’s Wolfson Campus. On April 13, the child prodigy outpaced hundreds of college and high school students to win first place at the highest level of Florida International University’s 6th Annual International Chinese Speech and Skit Competition.

“It’s amazing what she’s done,” said her mother, Trisha Conroy. Madison, a student at the Key Biscayne K-8 Center, began private Mandarin instruction at the CI’s Language Center last September with Chinese language instructor, Professor Wensheng “Kevin” Yang. Preparation for the speech and skit competition took about a month. Madison wrote her winning speech on her adventurous journey of studying Chinese, which began at age 4 and took her to Beijing when she was in kindergarten. Professor Yang helped refine Madison’s speech and authentic delivery.

Students from nine South Florida schools - ranging from elementary to college - participated in the competition.

MDC opened the Confucius Institute - a language, culture, and business center that is the first of its kind in South Florida - in 2010. Housed at Wolfson Campus, the Institute is a non-profit learning hub in partnership with China’s Jiangsu Normal University. CI offers credit and non-credit Chinese Mandarin instruction; educational, cultural and business seminars; and supports MDC’s study abroad programs, international education, and community outreach involving China.

“CI has been providing customized programs for our students of all age groups, utilizing great resources available at Miami Dade College. Madison is an excellent example of our high-achieving students, and we look forward to her many achievements in the future,” said Xuejun (Jim) Yu, Director of Confucius Institute.

For more information, contact MDC’s Confucius Institute Director Dr. Xuejun (Jim) Yu at 305-237-7581 or

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