Jack Wen-Jye Chu
Jack Chu personifies the qualities the Jeff Yang Scholarship hopes to promote: a drive to always better oneself, commitment to serve others, and appreciation for people and things in our lives. He was Valedictorian of his graduating class from Mark Keppel High School. In addition to excelling academically, Jack was active on and off campus as President of Crown & Scepter, Co-President of Student Advocacy for Voting Empowerment, and Chief Facilitator for the City of Monterey Park’s Harmony Festival. It was, however, Jack’s commitment and love for his immigrant parents, who have struggled to provide for him and his siblings, that made him stand out above the competitive applicant pool. Jack will be attending the University of Pennsylvania, where he plans to major in Psychology, Business or Internal Studies. He hopes to eventually become a financial advisor that provides services, advice, and resources to Asian immigrant families, many who lack basic financial knowledge.
Raquel Gomez has an unwavering determination to make life better for her family and for the Latino community in general. With the intention of majoring in Legal Studies and Political Science, Raquel will attend the University of California at Berkeley. She hopes to eventually “become a lawyer for the people, a spokeswoman for those who feel that they do not have a voice in this country.” Advocating for immigrant rights, irrespective of ethnicity, she intends to help undocumented individuals find a path to citizenship. Raquel also understands that, with higher education, she will be better able to take care of her mother and three sisters. Examining her past accomplishments, we have little doubt she will succeed in all she tries. Raquel graduating at the top of her class from Azusa High School with a 4.32 weighted GPA.
Gabriela Monico has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles through handwork and perseverance. Arriving from El Salvador merely five years ago, she faced enormous language and cultural barriers. Yet, she met those challenges with the same strength that she saw everyday in her father as he provided for and raised Gabriela and her brother on his own. Despite those impediments, including her AB540 status, Gabriela graduated at the top of her class from Azusa High School. She has also won numerous awards, including First Place for the Rotary Club’s Speech Contest and a Gold Medal in an Academic Decathlon. She will be attending the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in Legal Studies. Her dream is to become a judge one day.
Diane Nguyen embodies the hopes and aspirations of her Vietnamese refugee parents, who escaped the turmoils of Vietnam by traversing the waters of the Pacific Ocean for two years in a small wooden boat. We believe she will not let them down. Diane graduated from West Covina High School with a weighted GPA of 4.49, while juggling numerous activities such as being President of the Interact Rotary Club, Vice-President of the National Honor Society, and Captain of the Varsity Tennis and Badminton teams. She will be attending the University of California at Los Angeles and majoring in Environmental Science. Diane hopes to help find a way to provide affordable and clean water for everyone.