Jeff Yang Memorial Scholarship 533 Floral Park Ter South Pasadena, CA 91030 [email protected]

2017 Recipients

Hoyt Gong
South Pasadena High
University of Pennsylvania

Hoyt Gong’s accomplishments are incredible and his passion to help the underserved is an inspiration. Hoyt graduated as a valedictorian for his graduating class. He obtained this honor while juggling numerous extracurricular activities, including being Editor-in-Chief of his high school yearbook, President of the Leo Club, and Youth Board Executive President for the Los Angeles American Red Cross. Hoyt has been a laboratory intern for the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, where he researched cancer tumor suppression, and a laboratory intern for the Geological and Planetary Science Department at CalTech, where he researched on climate change. We were, however, more impressed with Hoyt’s empathy for the underprivileged and his sincere commitment to help others who grew up disadvantaged, as he did. We are thrilled to help Hoyt achieve his goal of pursuing a career in nonprofit management.

 

Sheena Horiki
Gabrielino High School
U.C. Berkeley

Sheena Horiki has a steadfast commitment to serving others. Sheena plans to major in molecular cell biology and eventually go to medical school. Her hope is to serve the Japanese American community, especially seniors, through her language fluency. She also intends to break professional barriers. We have no doubt she will succeed based on her past achievements. Sheena graduated first in her class while sitting as first violinist for the Olympia Youth Orchestra and while performing as a ballet soloist. She was a student researcher for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, where she nurtured beating mouse embryonic stem cells. Sheena also interned for San Gabriel City Councilmember Jason Pu and strategized on ways to encourage collaboration between businesses and city government.

John Hua
South El Monte High School
U.C. Irvine

John Hua has achieved incredible success in the face of tremendous adversity. Growing up, John’s family moved around frequently, forcing him to change schools on numerous occasions. He was raised by his mother and they, along with his siblings, had to rely on social programs and food banks. Rather than allow these circumstances to limit him, John has used these adversities to motivate him to do better. He graduated valedictorian of his graduating class with a weighted G.P.A. of 4.29 and was elected California Boys State Representative by the American Legion. He was also captain of his Varsity Tennis team. John intends to major in computer science or engineering at U.C. Irvine. We cannot wait to see John’s continued success in college and beyond.

Laura Martinez
Nogales High School
U.C. Berkeley

Laura Martinez has an individual voice that shines through, and we know her strong sense of identity and history will carry her far toward her goals. Laura recalls how she and her family escaped a dangerous life in Mexico and began again as newcomers in California. Despite these difficult beginnings, Laura has racked up an incredible raft of accomplishments, including serving as ASB Executive President and student representative to the District Board, obtaining a GPA well above 4.0, and having a dedicated record of volunteering. Laura hopes to one day help future immigrant communities by creating full service shelters for those in need. We know she will do everything she sets her mind to do.

2016 Recipients

Alejandra Hernandez
Nogales High Schooll
University of California, Los Angeles

Alejandra Hernandez has an impressive record of volunteerism and an equally impressive academic record. She has earned a 4.29 weighted GPA while giving back to her community by volunteering many hours at the local library and community center, tutoring, helping with environmental non-profits, and promoting the International Baccalaureate program. Alejandra got her drive to succeed from her mother, and Alejandra hopes to show her mother that her mother’s hard work raising their family on her own were not in vain. Alejandra has high hopes of achieving her doctorate degree and becoming an optometrist, and we have no doubt she will do all that and more.

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2015 Recipients

Eli Canseco
Montebello High School
U.C.L.A.

Eli Canseco is unstoppable, and he will not let anything-not his immigration status, not the bullying he experienced as a child, and not the fact he was raised by a single mother-prevent him from achieving his dream of becoming a physician. Eli was salutatorian of his graduating class, which consisted of 675 students. He was also Vice President of the Montebello Scholarship Federation, helping to raise money for scholarships for graduating seniors, and a mentor in the Montebello High School Mentoring Program, tutoring underclassmen in Algebra.

Eli will be the first in his family to attend college. Eventually, he hopes to return to the City of Montebello and open a clinic for immigrants and low-income Californians. His motivation comes from his mother and grandmother. He wants “to complete [his] education and make them proud by repaying them for everything they ever did for [him].” We have no doubt that Eli will make everyone he meets, including us, proud of him and his accomplishments.

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2014 Recipients

Elaine Cheung
Mark Keppel High School
U.C.L.A.

Elaine Cheung will undoubtedly accomplish great things. She graduated from Mark Keppel High School with a 4.23 weighted GPA and earned many academic honors, like being an Advanced Placement Scholar and winning first place in the National Ocean Science Bowl. Elaine achieved these successes while working part-time at her parents’ small accounting business and volunteering at various community organizations.

She served food to the homeless with Union Station Homeless Services and organized events at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Chinatown Branch. We were also impressed by her leadership. She is president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Youth Council and vice president of the City of Monterey Park’s Youth Advisory Board. After losing her father to a stroke, Elaine dreams of becoming a dependable doctor who improves the lives of patients. We are happy to help her reach her goals and are excited to see how she’ll pay it forward.

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2013 Recipients

Xiao-Yi Chen
Mountain View High School
U.C.L.A.

Xiao-Yi Chen is fiercely determined and unstoppable. Despite having arrived in the United States only three years ago, Xiao-Yi Chen graduated from high school at the top of her class. This was no easy task. Xiao-Yi struggled to learn English and a new culture. In addition, she had to work in her parents’ restaurants on the weekends, serving as hostess, peeling shrimp, folding dumplings, and cutting fruit. Often, her feet would be numb from having to stand all day and her hands would itch from having to prepare meat. She juggled these burdens with extracurricular activities, like serving as President of the Pacific Horizon student club, which helps assimilate recent immigrants into American culture. She hopes to help raise funds for schools in the future so that they can provide SAT preparation courses for recent immigrants. Xiao-Yi entering UCLA and plans to major in Business Economics. We cannot wait to see what she will accomplish in the future.

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2012 Recipients

Tiffany Calero
Covina High School
U.C.L.A.

Tiffany Calero exudes determination and courage when she speaks about her calling as a physician. Her interest in medicine emerged when she had to care for her sister. Instead of fussing over the Homecoming football game or studying for an upcoming test, Tiffany was by her sister’s side during lengthy visits to the emergency room. This burden borne out of love and selflessness for her familia did not prevent her from graduating near the top of her class. She believes that we have a “moral obligation to aid other[s]” and wants to break down “the limitations placed on Latinos.” With such conviction, we are sure she will succeed in all her endeavors, including being the first in her family to graduate from college.

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2011 Recipients

Armando Espinoza
Montebello High School
U.C. Santa Barbara

Armando Espinoza has an unshakeable commitment to better his life and his community. Raised by a mother who taught him “that a woman can play the role of father and mother for her family,” he knows first hand the sacrifices we all must make for our loved ones. His drive to succeed, “to be the one who made it to college,” was formed after witnessing his mother work as a domestic worker. We believe Armando has achieved tremendous success.

He graduated in the top 5% of his class from Montebello High School. The selection committee was also moved by his promise to help others in his community. He hopes to one day become a role model for Mexican youths in Montebello, to inspire and motivate them “to do better in their schooling.” Armando wants to lift them out of neighborhoods where crime and substance abuse are common and to empower Mexican youths to reject “the negative stereotypes” that are often placed on them. We are deeply honored to help Armando be the change he wishes to see in his community and to name him as a scholarship recipient.

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2010 Recipients

Greg Chen
Arcadia High School
University of Chicago

Greg Chen has not let his family’s working-class background prevent him from achieving amazing successes. While growing up, he remembers his long walks home from school while his parents worked late nights for minimum wage. But Greg always chose perseverance over self-pity. Having arrived in the United States in the 7th grade, speaking no English, Greg has not let any of these obstacles slow him down.

Greg is a member of Arcadia High School’s national champion team in constitutional debate, and is also a member of the school’s state champion team in the Physics Bowl. Greg is determined to repay his parents for all their sacrifices by obtaining a college diploma. This conscientious and compassionate scholar, musician, and athlete is headed for success, and we are delighted to be part of the journey.

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2009 Recipients

Janet Guan
Alhambra High School
U.C.L.A.

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.”

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2008 Recipients

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.

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