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Graduate voices throughout 2017

These IB diploma graduates wrote about their experiences throughout the course of 2017, sharing stories that are unforgettable. Don’t miss our stories from last year and get ready to welcome a new cohort of authors in 2018. Learn more about the IB Alumni Network at

Aseel Al-Naser

Aseel completed her IB diploma at Mashrek International School in Amman, Jordan. She recently finished her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Hochschule Furtwangen University (HFU) in Germany.

In her essays, she guides students through preparing for IB exams and international mindedness.

Rachon Sweiss

With an IB diploma from Granada Hills Charter High School, Rachon is currently pursuing a BS/BA in Biology and Psychology at University of California, Irvine.

He writes about what he learned failing calculus (twice) and offers advice on pushing through the DP.

Ishanee Chanda

Ishanee Chanda graduated from Texas A&M University. Her passions revolve around helping those in need, shaping public policy, and studying the effects of politics on a sense of identity.

Her stories how to see through the smoke and gold gilded tongues are great reads!

Lachezar Arabadzhiev

Lachezar Arabadzhiev graduated from the British International School Shanghai with the IB diploma in 2013 before completing a degree in international business at the University of Toronto Scarborough. His ultimate goal is to build technology that has a positive impact on people’s lives.

He writes about the third culture generationthe influence of his parents and continuing to learn throughout life.

Diana Ton

Diana Ton completed her IB Diploma Programme at Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts, Canada in 2012 and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from MacEwan University in 2016.

Her stories explore sources of inspiration and creating room for self-growth.

Byron Dolon

Byron received his IB diploma from the Shanghai American School, China. He is currently a student at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

His essays cover lifelong learning, managing free time, and motivation.

Kristen Leer

Kristen is a Wisconsin, US native, where she both received her IB diploma and is now completing her undergraduate degree in psychology.

She shares her perspective on the topics of empathy and listening.

Benjamin Reid-Howells

Ben Reid-Howells graduated from Pearson United World College in 2008 before completing his undergraduate studies in sustainability at Dalhousie University.

He has since spent two years teaching at Mahindra UWC of India and is now on a two year, project-driven motorcycle journey from India to Scotland, the Vasudhaiva Ride.

Nicole Wambui

Nicole Wambui received her IB diploma from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the African Leadership College in Mauritius and is a trained classical violinist and pianist.

Nicole writes about the perfect post-exam holiday and her experience taking online IB courses with Pamoja.

Ocie Marie Grimsley

Ocie Marie Grimsley graduated from Clarke County High School with the IB diploma in 2015. They are Currently pursuing a BA in English at George Mason University.

Ocie’s stories talk about finding confidence and time management.

Tammy Do

Tammy Do followed her interest in design by earning a bachelor of landscape architecture and later becoming a landscape architect in Maryland, US.  She wrote an inspiring open letter to students about the impact of the IB diploma after six years.

Read more stories from our 2016 graduates authors. To contribute an article join the alumni network and write to