Where do you hope to attend college?
University of Pennsylvania
What do you plan to major in?
What extracurriculars are you involved in?
Flintridge Prep Speech and Debate Team, captain; Brightwood Elementary Schools Speech and Debate Team, founder and volunteer; Investment Club, co-founder and co-president; Math Helpers, co-founder; Spanish Honor Society, treasurer; Varsity Swimming.
What achievements, recognition, and/or awards have you received?
I have been a speech and debate team captain for three years and each time qualified for Nationals, a selective tournament that accepts less than 5% of more than 140,000 competitors. I am ranked 31st nationally and 5th in California in extemporaneous debate by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). I have also attained Premier Distinction under the NSDA, awarded to fewer than 3% of competitors. I am the youngest person to be presented with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Honorary Service Award in recognition of outstanding service and impact to the Brightwood community, the highest honor a local PTA can award an individual. I have been awarded Deans list every year of high school, AP Scholar, California Scholarship Federation/Associate, and California Scholarship Federation/Bronze.
Biggest hurdle you’ve overcome?
In 7th grade, when I first started competing in speech and debate, my goal was only to make it through the preliminary rounds and qualify for the next round without being knocked out of the tournament. However, as an inexperienced middle schooler competing against high schoolers who had been competing for years, I found myself facing difficult competition and despite the preparation I did for tournaments, I struggled to make it past the preliminary rounds. Despite getting knocked out of tournaments repeatedly for the first few months, I continued, working with my coaches and captains at weekly practices, researching, and compiling evidence for hours, during my free time. At one of the last tournaments of the year, my hard work paid off, and I finally advanced past the preliminary rounds. Since then, I have continued to devote a significant amount of time to speech and debate as I have gained confidence and found my voice through the activity, giving me a unique platform for advocacy.
What are your plans for the future?
In college, I hope to study finance, economics, and business. With the knowledge I attain from my studies, I hope to benefit low-income communities. For example, I hope to increase financial education and literacy among the population as a tool to help lift people out of poverty and prevent others from falling into it, by enabling more people to gain basic budgeting and investment skills. Another way I hope to reduce poverty is by securing investments to build infrastructure and foster sustainable economic growth in impoverished areas.
What HSF Events have you attended?
2021 (virtual) Youth Leadership Institute – The University of Chicago