Compiled by staff
Northwest Asian Weekly
At the end of each school year, we run this column, which features some exceptional Asian American students that have made the most of their high school careers, whether it’s through academics, volunteer work, artistic endeavors, or in athletics.
A song for everyone
“I am someone who loves to help people in any sort of way, whether it is opening a jar of pickles or building a house. I want to be there for whoever needs me.
“So who am I? I am an 18-year-old girl from South Korea, graduating from Roosevelt High School, trying to figure out what to do next in life. I have been playing the violin since I was five years old and am now in one of the top high school orchestras in Washington. Playing in the first violin section of the Roosevelt Symphony Orchestra and as the concertmaster of the Roosevelt Chamber Orchestra, music is a huge part of my life. Music is the way I express myself, and life would be dull without it. …
“My biggest achievement in my life was making a five-year commitment to go to New Orleans every summer to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It was a life-changing experience that shaped me spiritually, physically, emotionally, and in every way possible. The beliefs I have today come from what I learned in New Orleans. …
“I want to be a doctor who helps not just the people that will pay, but also the children who have nowhere to go, who have strained lives because no one is helping them, who have been abandoned.”
— Jungyun (Rachel) Kim, graduate of Roosevelt High School with a 3.93 GPA, will attend the University of Washington
“I am a good listener. Some underestimate the value of the listener, overestimating the speaker.
“My mother has been a good listener and the anchor of her siblings. Since my grandmother passed away when her children were young, my mother has taken care of her siblings. Even now, they call my mother frequently to vent and to ask for help. Unfortunately, they mostly complain of their family problems and their unhappiness. My mother has gotten tired of their endless calls over the years.
“One day, I approached my mother and persuaded her to share her worries with me. Thus, my mother no longer suffers alone from the weight of her siblings’ problems. She knows how to handle her feelings by just talking to me. I like to listen to people. I like to listen to what they worry about and suffer from. I know there is no way that I can find the perfect solution to their problems. However, I know that people get relief when they share their worries. ‘Trouble shared is trouble halved.’
“That is what I believe as a good listener, and why I want to be a clinical psychologist.
“I want to know what is latent in human intellect. I want to help people to increase their potential. I want to support those who need help to respond to their environments and change themselves for the better.”
— Michelle Kim, graduate of Roosevelt High School with a 3.7 GPA, will attend the University of Washington
Friend to animals
“Having worked with Team Read for four years, I have had the luxury of helping students with their reading skills. Twice a week, I tutor a student that reads below his or her grade level. Participating in Team Read has led me to my other volunteer jobs. I enjoy working with children in my community, knowing that I am giving them the help they need. I can proudly say I have volunteered more than 400 hours of community service in high school. As a child, my parents did not always have the resources I needed, and I enjoy being able to give back to my community. It has taught me dedication and patience, which will help me in any career I choose to pursue in the future.
“All my life, I have been passionate about animals. I believe in animal rights and want to help them out in any way that I can. For this reason, I plan to become a veterinarian when I grow up. I know I will have the willpower to stay focused in school and will remain dedicated throughout the years. Volunteering with kids has also taught me about patience. Like how communication can be a barrier when working with younger children, I will, without a doubt, need patience when working with animals.”
— Shirley Lu, graduate of Garfield High School with a 3.7 GPA, will attend Kenyon College