Jeff Yang Memorial Scholarship 533 Floral Park Ter South Pasadena, CA 91030

2009 Recipients

Janet Guan
Alhambra High School

Janet Guan is wise beyond her years and she brims with empathy. The scholarship committee quickly and deeply grew attached to Janet after reading her
application. Born with a cleft lip, she has had to endure long bus rides with her mother, doctor visits where she has translated her own condition, and surgeries. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Janet lives life with tremendous gratitude, joy, and determination.

She graduated from Alhambra High School as Valedictorian. Janet will be attending U.C.L.A. and hopes to become an attorney, so that she “can be the ear that listens, the voice that speaks, and the mind that fights for the immigrant community both [her] parents and [she] call home.”

Cesar Rivas
Azusa High School
U.C. Berkeley

Cesar Rivas is remarkable in every sense of the word. He graduated at the top of his class from Azusa High School with impeccable grades, acing all his classes except for one. When his single mother could not afford to pay for his basic needs and school-related activities during senior year of high school, he made shirt designs and sold them at school. Amidst all this, he found time to lead the Varsity Badminton and Cross Country teams as captain.

Cesar and his family left Mexico when he was 11 years old to find a better life here in the United States. Through his application, Cesar showed that he would make this dream a reality. He will be attending U.C. Berkeley with the intent to major in Biology and Political Science, becoming the first in his family to go to college. As an AB540 student, he will continue to face obstacles. However, like previous instances in his life, we are confident Cesar will overcome them and, with this scholarship, we are happy and proud to help him.

Suechu Eng (Julie) Taing
San Gabriel High School

Fierce and focused, Suechu Eng Taing will not be stopped. Her family fled Cambodia because of the Khmer Rouge. She has had to escape similar turmoil in her personal life. Since she was 3 years old, she has lived with and has taken care of her grandparents. With unimaginable resilience, Suechu has thrived. She was Valedictorian of her graduating class from San Gabriel High School. She was also President of the National Honor Society and Head Editor of her school’s newspaper. Suechu is also a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and regularly competes in competitions. She will be attending U.C.L.A.

Though she is unsure of her career path, we have little doubt she will accomplish great things. We are also certain that we do not want to be in the same Tae Kwon Do sparring circle with Suechu!

Wenjing (Sally) Zhu
Temple City High School
Pasadena City College

Wenjing Zhu unabashedly wants to be rich, and we wholeheartedly want her to succeed. She and her family immigrated to the United States in 2005, fleeing from religious persecution in China. Her father was arrested and imprisoned several times for not practicing Christianity in a state-sponsored church. Having only arrived in our country for four years, culture and language presented seemingly insurmountable barriers. “With limited English skills, school work is challenging for [her]. History is not only history but also English.” However, as apparent from her transcript, she did not let these barriers prevent her from doing well.

We were also impressed by Wenjing for having taken the initiative to sell ceramics she made to help supplement her parent’s income. She has had to use “48 hours in a 24 hours day.” With that kind of drive and entrepreneurship, Wenjing will probably make it onto Forbes magazine.

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