Scholar Spotlight

2020 NAAAP Philadelphia Future Leaders Scholarship Recipients

Andy Zhuo headshot

Andy Zhuo

My name is Andy Zhuo. I am a graduate of Central High School and will be attending Harvard University with a prospective concentration in Computer Science. I possess a particular interest in environmental conservation, having spent the previous summer studying and immersed in local conservation efforts in Perth, Western Australia. I aspire to contribute towards the sustainable integration of technology and science to advance human progress with prudent regard for the preservation of the natural environment. During high school, I actively engaged with the school community as an orientation leader and was a member of the wrestling team. For recreation, I enjoy drawing, working out, and exploring the city on my bike. Thank you NAAAP Philadelphia for supporting and empowering local communities and young adults like myself in our pursuit of higher education!

Jamie Chung headshot

Jamie Chung

Jamie Chung is a senior at University of Pennsylvania studying nursing. At Penn, she serves as the president of APANSA (Asian Pacific American Nursing Student Association) and works to build communities through the PEER Mentoring Program that is dedicated to first year Asian American Pacific Islander students. Her academic interests lie in the intersections of medicine, nursing, history, and social policy. During the school year, Jamie works as an ED research assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and works closely with a Penn Nursing professor on LGBTQ+ research that aims to improve sex communication between parents and queer adolescents. She hopes to join the medical workforce post graduation and provide patients with holistic care that goes beyond the technical skills learned in nursing school. In her free time, Jamie enjoys watching movies with social commentary, exploring coffee shops, and reading narratives written by immigrants.

Joyce Li headshot

Joyce Li

Joyce Li is a graduate of Central High School and will be attending Drexel University in the fall, majoring in health sciences. In high school she was a part of her school’s JV Girls Basketball team, member of NHS, and Vice President of Society of Asian Scientist and Engineers club. In addition, she is in a program called Minds Matter of Philadelphia, where she was able to gain healthcare experiences at John Hopkins and do research at Stanford University. These opportunities have sparked Joyce to pursue a career as a physician assistant. As a trilingual speaker, she is able to see insufficient medical care in underserved communities. Therefore, she is always willing to volunteer, especially for opportunities where people need help with translation. Seeing people appreciate her translation on a personal level has empowered her to pursue a field in which she can support patients beyond language. As a NAAAP Future Leaders Scholarship receipt, she is greatly honored and ready to pursue a higher education in order to make an impact in her community.

Mackenzie Rosin headshot

Mackenzie Rosin

Mackenzie is a graduate of Penncrest High School and will attend Cornell University in the fall to study biological engineering. At her high school, Mackenzie was active in various academic honor societies, acting as the NHS treasurer and participating in blood drives and many other service events. She was also captain of the Science Olympiad team, a member of the Asian club, and played flute in the band. In her free time, Mackenzie has been working towards earning her Gold Award by creating a children’s library at the Kaiserman JCC in Wynnewood and enjoys spending time with friends and family, taking walks with her dog, and trying new local restaurants. She is extremely grateful to be recognized by the NAAAP and looks forward to continuing her education and growth as a leader.

Nya Cherry headshot

Nya Cherry

Nya Cherry is a 2020 graduate from Methacton High School and will be attending Penn State, University Park, in the fall. Nya is in the College of Education and plans to teach biology and physics while also acquiring an ESL certification. Educating the marginalized with use of creative and innovative teaching techniques combined with a unique personal touch will help bridge the gender gap in the sciences by bringing those who may not have recognized their potential and aptitude. Ultimately, a broader spectrum of population can be utilized as resources in the field. Nya’s personal, school and community involvement have illustrated her compassion for the underrepresented. She has donated ten inches of her hair five times for wigs specifically for children with pediatric cancer. She earned the prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award by helping homeless children, finishing a year as a GSEP Student Advisor to The Board of Directors and now a GSUSA National Delegate. Nya is a member of the National Charity League, Valley Forge Chapter, where she has won the Mother Daughter Award and the President Volunteer Service Award multiple years. In high school she was co-captain of the varsity volleyball team, a member of the National Honor Society, National Art, and Tri-M Music Honor Societies. Her civic mindedness is displayed by working at her local voting poll precinct. Nya is an advocate for children and a strong proponent of adoption. You can find Nya reading to the neighbor children while their school is closed, relaxing with her phone in hand on the beach, and working out to YouTube fitness instructor, Blogilates.

Shibin Kalathil Sebastian headshot

Shibin Kalathil Sebastian

Hello, my name is Shibin Kalathil Sebastian and I graduated from Northeast Highschool as The Class of 2020. I will be attending Temple University this coming fall as a health professions major. During my high school career, I have participated in numerous activities and were able to secure leadership positions in many of those activities. I was part of the National Honor Society, INDOPAK(South Asian Cultural Interest group), WHYY Media Labs, Chess Club, Film Club, and Track. I was inducted into the National Honor Society during my sophomore year and participated in numerous activities inside and outside of the school. I served as the President of Indopak for the 2019-20 Academic year. I was able to lead a group of 150+ students to promote their culture and heritage by conducting many events and meetings. We raised funds for our annual charity show called, ” Taal Se Taal” but it was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The funds collected during the academic year was donated to the Philadelphia Foundation to the Covid-19 relief fund. I served as the media manager for WHYY Media Labs from 2018-2020. I lead a group of 20 students and trained them in scriptwriting, filming, editing, recording, and direction. During the summer of 2019, I was selected as an Intern to work at the WHYY headquarters as a Foundation and Corporate Relations Intern. I gained prospect research skills to find grantmakers to fund media education in Philadelphia. I wrote a grant cover letter as part of a grant application to fund the WHYY Media Labs at Northeast HighSchool. Outside of the school environment, I volunteer at a nonprofit called International Education Foundation (IEFAUSA, Inc.). The nonprofit helps financially underprivileged and needy students by guidance, counseling, professional development, and financial resources for assistance. The organization primarily assists with the college application process and obtaining financial aid. I am very thankful to NAAAP for considering me for this scholarship award and I will use my college education to further my skill sets and knowledge to improve my community.

Vijay Anne headshot

Vijay Anne

Vijay Anne is captain of his high school’s nationally-ranked quiz bowl team. An Eagle Scout, he led a community effort to preserve the life stories of a dozen Chester County-area United States Armed Forces veterans by creating their oral histories. Vijay is a member of his school’s student council, where he serves as delegate to the school board. He’s studied thorny political issues such as gerrymandering, and has dabbled in legal journalism on the side. Vijay is valedictorian of the West Chester B. Reed Henderson High School Class of 2020, and plans to study biomedical engineering in college. He aspires to become an intellectual property attorney in the future. In his spare time, Vijay enjoys spending time with his friends and family, and is learning how to play the bugle. Vijay is grateful to the NAAAP Philadelphia chapter for its support of his college education.

Yang Zheng

Yang Zheng is a graduate of Bodine High School for International Affairs and will be attending Drexel University in the fall major in Engineering. During her high school experiences, Yang held office as the president of the Asian Student Association and she contributed four-hundred hours of community service. Involved in many organizations that aim to give back to the community. Such as the Churches, Project Brother Love, National Honor Society, Youth Volunteer Crop, World Affairs Council, and Asian American United. Yang work with Asian American United to promote and raise the awareness of voting to the Asian American community and to fight for the rights of Asian Americans. Yang also joined the Robotics Club and attended an engineering program. Both the Robotics club and the engineering program have sparked her interest and curiosity in engineering. Yang is deeply pleased and honored to be the recipient of the NAAAP Future Leader Scholarship.