CASPA 2012 Student Scholarship RecipientsNov 04, 2012
CASPA 2012 ANNUAL CONFERENCE & DINNER BANQUET
CASPA 2012 Student Scholarship Recipients
Brian Chao (趙彥傑)
Mother: Vivian Ma
Father: Charlie Chao
Mission San Jose High School
I have loved technology for so long that I cannot even remember how early of age I was when my interest began to flourish. Throughout my life I have studied about computers and discovered my interest and talent in computer science, especially in the field of computer programming. Recently during my summer preceding senior year of high school, I took two classes at Mission College learning the arts of C++ and Java. Not only did I get to experience a college level class and expand my knowledge in computer programming, but I also got more confident on my own enthusiasm in computer science. Many think that computer programming involves sitting down at a computer and mindlessly typing away strings of codes and commands until the numbness reaches to the toes. To me, however, computer programming gives a chance for me to explore an unfamiliar terrain where I am the commander of the field, with power to change the landscape at my very whim. As I hammer away on my computer, I don’t see lines of codes but an expanse of opportunities lying in wait for me to discover new innovations or to implement methods no one else has thought of. Computer programming is definitely the path that I will always have interest in technology.
Grace Chang (臧仁筠)
Mother: Amy Chang
Father: Andy Chang
The Valley Christian High School
In high school I have learned to juggle my academics, volleyball practices/tournaments, and my commitment for community service. Although community service is required at my school, it is something I truly enjoy. I have been helping raise money for the Relay for Life, Chinese Chapter event for the past three years. I believe community service is giving back to the community and also a great opportunity for me to learn and grow as a person.
About one month ago, I decided to volunteer most of my time at a nonprofit organization named One Million Lights. One Million Lights distributes clean, safe solar lights to impoverished areas around the world. This organization also brings awareness to toxic kerosene lamps and the danger of its usage. I chose to volunteer at this organization to help those without electricity.
Currently I am working on a race sponsored by One Million Lights called Running for Light. All proceeds made at this event will go toward One Million Lights’ mission to deliver solar lights around the world. Due to my previous successful fundraising experience, I have been made the chairperson for the marketing team. This position has enabled me to reach out to many schools and places to market this event. The goal of this event is to raise $100,000. I have learned the importance of effective communication and to market large events like this.
Joshua Chang (張承嘉)
Mother: Jennifer Lin
Father: Randy Chang
Leland High School
Filmmaking has been important in my life since the beginning of middle school. Starting with Windows movie maker, I became more proficient working with computers and eventually grew a love for filming videos. As a director, I always have a vision in my head of what my movie will look like before I even shoot it. Even listening to music, I imagine a scene that would fi t the tone of the song. As I listen to “Gold On The Ceiling,” by the Black Keys, I imagine riding down the Las Vegas Strip in the back of a fancy limousine with my head peering out of the sunroof. Of course, the movie will not always come out as expected, but that is what I love about filmmaking. I love the challenges that filmmakers face and the detail that they must observe. What I would include in this scene, what I would remove. How the actors would approach this situation. Miseen scene is a concept which means that when creating sets, one should only include what one wants the viewer to see in the frame. Everything matters when creating sets, because it will all be magnified once viewed on the big screen. Seeing the movie come together at the end is the best feeling in the world for a filmmaker. This passion has helped me appreciate how movies are made, and made them a dream for me to pursue throughout the years to come.
Julius Chuang (莊子玄)
Mother: Shirley Lu
Father: Jake Chuang
Monta Vista High School
My protracted love affair with physics started sometime in elementary school, when I received the Visual Encyclopedia as a Christmas present. It sparked my curiosity in how the world works. I remember whiling away hours and hours, scouring through those scant entries on chemistry and atoms, light and sound. I devoured everything from how water boils to why planets are round.
This initial run-in with science showed me the wonder and possibility of reality. For months afterward my favorite questions were “Why?” followed by “Why not?” I quickly learned to think under the box, to search for the origin and rationale, because the reason for something was always the more interesting part.
Not merely confined to science, this attitude has carried over into every other aspect of my life, prompting me to study subjects such as the intricacies of anatomy, workings of the computer, and the nature of music. One of these interests, neuroscience, prompted me to carry out an experiment about motor learning, which was eventually submitted to the Synopsys Science Competition.
For example, when learning to play romantic piano, I spent several weeks solely researching Chopin’s compositional style, not even touching the piano. In the end, I passed the piano examination with flying colors, receiving honors and an invitation to the convention.
Finding the quirks and counterintuitive aspects of the world has become a large part of my life as my pastime as well as my occupation. I hope to continue this search for knowledge in college, both in and out of class.
Jessica Fan (范沁雯)
Mother: Min Liu
Father: Xue Feng Fan
Lynbrook High School
Though both my parents are electrical engineers, my passion has always been medicine. I have always wanted to be a doctor, as far back as I can remember. To me, life is a gift of unparalleled value. I believe it is my life’s calling to extend this beautiful gift in others, and to share with people the unlimited possibilities of life. To reach this dream, I first joined my high school’s Pre-Medical Club in freshman year. Now, I plan to help expand Pre-Med Club by offering more volunteer opportunities and spreading my passions. The president and I are starting collaborations with other schools to develop our first high-school hosted pre-medical competition.
In addition, I have attended the UC COSMOS Biomedical Sciences cluster, as well as volunteered as an intern in UCSD’s neuroscience lab. However, the medical field is not my only passion. I also enjoy music and running.
I have been a member of my school’s band for four years, as well as served as band ensemble manager for two years. Outside of school, I participate weekly in ECYS orchestra and Bay Area Youth Music Society, a young musicians’ group dedicated to providing music to the elderly. I am now a volunteer flute ensemble tutor at BAYMS.
At Lynbrook High School, I have been a varsity runner in cross-country for three years, and a varsity and JV runner in track for three years. For all four years of my running career, I have been a recipient for the school’s Scholar Athlete Award for my continuing athletic and academic activities.
Wen Kai Lei (雷文凱)
Mother: Shirley Duan
Father: Junzhao Lei
Lynbrook High School
When I was younger, the excitement of participating and perhaps winning a math competition was a huge thrill to me. The competitive atmosphere and adrenaline when working on problems always seemed to be enough for me. However, as I grew older, I came to the realization that I no longer cared for competitions and that just working and thinking about math was enough for me. Winning competitions is still nice, but an elegant solution is nicer. Math gives me the opportunity to challenge my brain with new and interesting ideas and the satisfaction of unraveling a puzzle is like no other. My favorite area of math is number theory, most likely due to my 8 week stay at the Ross Mathematics Program last summer (“Think deeply of simple things”). As Gauss said, “Mathematics is the queen of the sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics.” Number theory is, as I believe, the purest branch of mathematics. You start with the simplest of all things, numbers, and using basic axioms and properties, derive increasingly complex results and theorems. I love how a conjecture that is so easy to state (Fermat’s Last Theorem, Goldbach’s Conjecture, and Collatz Conjecture are my favorites) can be so complex and difficult to prove. I also love how number theory can tie together so many different things that seem unrelated at first.
Hannah Tong Li (李童童)
Mother: Tong Chao
Father: Xiaomin Li
The King’s Academy
An unexpected epiphany occurs during my sophomore year service trip. As the plane meets Earth’s equator and delves into the South American jungle, Retro rotary phones and grayscale televisions replace iPhones and ubiquitous Internet access. Ecuador, which some believe to be the center of the world, conceals treasure of a different nature.
My mindset upon arrival at the village of Quito focuses on serving the underprivileged, but instead, this third-world country implants in me a seed both magnificent and fruitful. The Ecuadorians live in such impoverished conditions, but their hearts remain pure. Their secret: acceptance.
I witness an angel in an orphanage in Quito. Gloria, a mentally-disabled toddler, is the strongest-spirited person I have yet to encounter. She exhibits a determined will to live, shown by her progress during rehabilitation courses, but most evidently, by her acceptance of failure. Gloria struggles with walking, seeing, and even swallowing food. Though she constantly falls and chokes, her eyes grow more determined every time. Spending days with Gloria reveals an uncomfortable truth: I am her diametric opposite. I have always seen failure as an obstacle, while Gloria views failure as a gift. I realize that failure must not throw us into an abyss of self-pity and misery, but should be accepted as an aspect of our unique life path. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
Ecuador started off as a philanthropy trip, but became a quest. I stumbled across a culture that influenced the core of my very being. I discovered that the real value in serving people is not to receive praise or “fulfill moral duties”, but what really matters is the insight acquired from interacting with others. The magic of life unveils naturally through serving people. Gloria helped me find this passion, which I now base my life on.
Abigail Lin (林千仟)
Mother: Cathy Chang
Father: Derek Lin
Saratoga High School
As I step across the threshold, a particular scent of sweat surrounds me. I move towards a corner of the room and rummage for my dance shoes. Class begins; we bend to the right, plié to the ground, and perform hanumansana. To an outsider, these movements may cause discomfort, but it provides me a sense of calm. As I do a grand jeté, a particular leap, there is a moment in the air where all that matters is what I am doing at hand, dance.
Dancing requires hard work and dedication. I attempt every trick presented in class, which has taught me to be bold. Though I become tired and bruised both physically and mentally, I refuse to give up. My friends and I support each other with, “that was so close.” In class, every movement we make, we make in unison; this synchronicity embodies both self-expression and a loss of self, a seeming contradiction that I live in each performance.
In the dance atmosphere, I have also learned to focus. While dancing, everything I think about helps creating a better line, lift my leg higher, or point my feet harder. There’s no room to worry about academics and the homework I still need to complete. After class, my mind is cleared and a list of tasks forms, organizing my time when I get home. Dance gives me a sense of perspective and makes it easier to identify priorities.
Dance will always be part of my life not only because it keeps me focused, determined, and in tune with others, but also because it reminds me of that each of us has something to give. I may never be a member of the Bolshoi, but I push my limits every day and asking “why not”.
Evan Xue (薛逸文)
Mother: Sara Wei
Father: Song Xue
Lynbrook High School
Like many local high school students, I like Math, Sciences, and Engineering. Living in the Bay area, I was always fascinated by the frontier development of technologies from what I heard or read. I was not only very curious about what modern technology could bring to us, but also about the people, the scientist and engineers who had made these things happen. I always believed that, someday when I grew up, I would become one of them. However, as a high school student, my life was mostly occupied by routine daily study and activities. All the new technologies and developments seemed happen a distance away. This feeling was changed one day in 2011 when I was chosen as a volunteer to help with a conference organized by CASPA. It was my fi rst
time to get so close to many industry leaders and scholars.
I like to work as a volunteer in these events. One reason is that I feel proud that I can be helpful to our community and to the high-tech professional society. Another reason is that, after I was done with my assignments, I could sit in the conferences and listened to those interesting speeches given by the industry leaders. The information of new technologies, industry trend and frontline researches attracted me even though I might not be able to fully understand everything in their talks. Helping and joining these events also benefi ted me a lot. It opened a new window for me to learn more things in the real world. Meanwhile, at school, I planned and worked on several biology and engineering projects for various science fairs. Finally, I won a winning entry in Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship. In the same year, I was one of the 29 students chosen from a pool of 700 applicants, who were qualifi ed to join the Johnson and Johnson Bridge-To-Employment Summer Internship Program, where I happily participated in some fundamental research on DNA development.
In the past two years, I have participated and helped in almost all the major CASPA events, such as CAPSA Summer Symposiums, ACDBs, Job Fairs, and Spring Symposiums. Therefore, among all the candidates who apply for this award, I am the one who had special experience and relationship with CASPA. I hope this award from CASPA can encourage and help me continuously advance towards my engineering dreams.
Allan Yeh (葉致安)
Mother: Michelle Yeh
James Logan High School
I’ve grown up in awe of the statistics of the world, 6,973,738,433 people on the Earth and rising, 24,901.55 miles in circumference. I’ve always viewed the world as an outsider, hearing of poverty, war, hate, intolerance, and racism. I’ve tossed and turned at night, contemplating what one rock in the sea of pebbles can do, to save the world from hunger, war, hatred, all the terrible things of the world that are seemingly unchangeable.
Among the 6,973,738,433 people of the world, it seems irrelevant about the attempts of one individual of no particular importance or standing. However, I do not intend to be one of the faceless in the crowd. I strive to make myself known to the world, and make my intentions heard. I intend to go to college, make a name for myself, and eventually enter a position of influence in the world. I will change the world by any means, be it through politics, public speaking, video game design, I will change the world by any means necessary.
I’ve attempted to change the world through video, and my first place entry in the Get Active Program shows one of my attempts to change the world. I’ve attempted to change the youth of our nation through my community service at the Target Family Day Cultural Event in Redwood City. I’ve attempted to participate in politics through efforts as a youth volunteer for the APAPA community.
I’ve made it my personal vendetta to advance the human race. No person can stand idly and watch the world unfold as it has. If every individual of the world puts off the responsibility to the next person, the world will never advance. I will take up the responsibility of bettering the Earth, as we all should.
Anne Zeng (曾楊)
Mother: Tao Yang
Father: Guoqing Zeng
Henry M. GunnHigh School
For over a quarter of a century, both my parents have shared a deep interest in medicine, so my decision to pursue a career in that field should not be shocking.
I loved the idea of becoming a doctor, which has gained strength as I have advanced in school. Most of my high school summers, I interned at the Department of Neurology, Stanford Medical School. Using the confocal microscope, Western blotting, cell culturing, immunostaining, and several other important procedures, I garnered a variety of experience I have come to appreciate greatly.
I often spent weekends inside the lab finishing experiments. My contributions were included in research papers: a paper originating from the project I worked on three years ago, and am co-author of, has recently been published by the PLoS ONE journal and two other manuscripts based on my work with Alzheimer’s will be submitted to high-profile journals. My poster was also presented in the American Society for Cell Biology’s annual meeting.
I aspire to pursue a career ministering to people’s health by first exploring all available science related opportunities. I actively participate in the Science Olympiad at my school and Science Alliance, and partake in science fairs in which I have been named a semi-finalist and received an honorable mention from in the BioGENEius Challenge and Santa Clara Valley Science Fair and Engineering Fair, respectively.
The dedication I have towards science is almost unparalleled. I hope to obtain a PhD and MD; I believe the choices I have made thus far reflect that. My interest in science is insatiable, and I hope to channel my enthusiasm into something beneficial for society.