Ying Yu Chen
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High School: School Without Walls High School
Intended major: Mathematics, economics, environmental studies
Possible career: Statistician or scientist
Ying Yu was born in China and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10. While in high school she was a member of the Model United Nations Club and the Academic team. During her senior year, she was the vice president of the National Honor Society.
In addition to her extracurricular activities in school, she participated in Parks Climate Challenge in the summer of 2009. It was a unique experience for Ying Yu as she learned about the effects and mitigation methods of climate change through hiking up to mountains and glaciers in the North Cascades National Park in Washington State. The program taught her about climate change and the importance of teamwork, and also inspired her to become a leader in her community.
In her senior year, her passion for learning about environmental issues led her to complete a yearlong science fair project focused on treatments for oil spills. Her project explored the method of bioremediation, a process in which bacteria or microbes are used to break down oil particles.