Since BLACKPINK‘s Lisa auditioned to join YG Entertainment when she was just 13 years old, her childhood was cut relatively short by the pressures of idol trainee life. That said, there’s one person who still remembers just what Lisa was like at her child: her old school teacher, who recently revealed all in a new interview.
To fans, BLACKPINK’s main dancer is known as Lisa. To her old school teacher, Ratchadaporn Ruengrit, however, Lisa is still “Pokpak”—the nickname she used as a child. In an interview with VICE, Ruengrit revealed she first met Lisa in her elementary school days and knew her right up until she left for South Korea in 2011. So, who better to share what Lisa was like as a child?
As with many children, Ruengrit says Lisa was playful, generous, and cheerful in her younger days. However, she also had a much more mature streak. According to her former teacher, Lisa “has always been determined and responsible,” even when she was little.
Ratchadaporn Ruengrit also recalled that Lisa loved to participate in various activities. “Whenever there were performances or competitions,” says the teacher, “she would always join all of them.” That’s something dedicated fans may already know about Lisa, who participated in dance competitions with a crew that also included GOT7‘s Bambam throughout her childhood.
At the age of around 11, Lisa also participated in a singing contest as a representative for her school, going on to win a runner-up prize.
The Thailand school teacher went on to reveal that Lisa was always just as sweet as she is now, explaining, “She loved helping people out, like the teachers.” And even then, teachers like Ruengrit could see Lisa was destined for stardom.
She has always been a leader. She has always had that star quality
— Ratchadaporn Ruengrit
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that when Lisa asked her teacher for advice about whether she should go to South Korea to become an idol, Ruengrit encouraged her. However, Lisa has never forgotten where she came from. Ruengrit says Lisa even used to visit her old school occasionally during her trainee days, though she was unable to keep in contact as BLACKPINK became more famous.
Even so, Ratchadaporn Ruengrit is confident that Lisa will always keep her roots in her heart. “She won’t forget [Thailand],” said the teacher, adding, “Given the opportunity, she’ll always connect with her family and childhood friends.” On top of that, even Lisa no longer has the time to visit her old school, her legacy lives on. Ruengrit says that these days, Lisa is “an inspiration to so many of the younger kids.”
I wish I could tell her that the determination and perseverance she had ever since she was a child really paid off. I wish her to continue to find success doing what she loves.
— Ratchadaporn Ruengrit