Lavender Yu is a prime example of what it means to be dedicated and committed, not only to school work, but also to the outside activities of which she is a part. She is ready for the next step in her life and the new and different experiences in America that she only dreamt of when she lived in China.

Yu moved from China a mere three years ago. Since then she has made amazing friends and met great teachers. Ann Pember, Shannon Votaw and Brian Morrison in particular have helped her to strive at Malden High School and achieve her goal of attending UMASS Amherst in the fall. Pember wrote her a recommendation and Morrison has always admired her personality.

Throughout her time at Malden High School, Yu has been an avid participant of the community. She is president of the Math Team, Chemistry Club, and Psychology Club. Outside of MHS, she also interned at Science Club For Girls where she helped mentor and plan activities to encourage girls in the Boston area to become more involved in the science field. She also participated in several summer leadership programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, and also tutored Chinese children in English.

Yu will be attending University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she will be majoring in Biology, thanks to her AP Biology teacher, Votaw, who made her love the subject. She states that Votaw never got tired of her continuous questions, and would always answer them patiently and until Yu understood completely.

The fields she is looking into all center around biotechnology and DNA cancer research. She is thinking of possibly going to medical school after graduating from UMass Amherst, or perhaps becoming a Biology or Chemistry teacher. She is also excited to “experience new things,” in college, such as different types of classes that she did not take while at MHS. Yu plans to try several history, business and psychology classes before graduating from UMass Amherst.

While attending school in China, Yu dormed with 8 other people, so rooming with one next year will be a change that she gladly welcomes. Yu also anticipates the “different resources and opportunities,” that will be available at her fingertips. She is not only concerned with academics, however. Yu, a passionate ice skater, is also excited to be able to frequently ice skate in the winter, as there are several ponds near UMass Amherst which she plans on taking advantage of come winter.

The largest obstacle Yu has had to overcome is the difference in culture between China and America. Communication struggles and diversity adaptations have been a huge challenge. Developing friendships were also a struggle for Yu, but her hard work and determination have allowed her to come this far. She does not plan on moving back to China anytime soon due to her love of America.

Her advice to MHS students is to “try different things” and to not hesitate because it will only “hold you back.” “Don’t be afraid to mess up” either because failure is one of the best teachers and high school is a place where it is okay to be wrong. Most importantly, “enjoy high school because it will be over before you know it.”

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