Student Spotlight: Co-Valedictorians Evelyn Chan and Catherine Han


Anais Gomez, Photojournalist

Evelyn and Catherine were recently presented with the most prestigious academic achievement of being Co-Valedictorians for the Class of 2016. Their achievement was a combination of multiple AP classes, outstanding grades, extracurricular involvement, and community service.


Self motivation has driven Evelyn the most because she believes that to truly succeed and be happy, one has to have motivation and inner desire to do so. She comments “Hard work and dedication can’t be forced, it has to be fueled by passion to create success.” Her advice to students is “Use high school as a time to challenge yourself and explore the different paths you may take later in life. Keep up your grades, but also be able to enjoy the structure of high school and the leniency it has.” Evelyn further advice’s students to not be too caught up in the idea of just doing what is “cool”, but rather advice’s to focus on who you want to be and what you want to do.


Family is who has inspired Evelyn the most, because ” they are the ones who believe in me and allowed me to keep dreaming. They also give me the support I need to succeed, and they have never once let me down.”


Aside from academics Evelyn has over 1000 community service hours which she has completed at PTSA student leadership, Red Cross, Yorba Linda Public Library, and Yorba Linda Parks and Rec.


Evelyn is currently choosing between UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Northwestern University where she will major in communication and business administration.


Catherine has been involved in NHS, PTSA Student Leadership, CSF, Speech and Debate, Academic Decathalon, Claremont Young Musicians’ Orchestra, Sinfonia Orchestra, the Miss Placentia Yorba Linda’s Outstanding Teen Court, and the Yorba Linda Public Library Summer Reading Program Artist.


Some of Catherine’s volunteer activities include: Feed in the less fortunate at Breads of Angels, CYMO a non profit youth orchestra that promotes the value of music to the Claremont community and does outreach to children interested in orchestral music, the Yorba Linda Public Library, various YLHS organizations , and Sunrise senior living.


Catherine is most inspired by her violin teacher, and Sooah Kim, for her “perseverance, intellect, and humility–she always strives to improve herself and is never content with stagnation.” In continuation, Catherine is also inspired by her peers, especially best friend, Evelyn Chan, who pushes her until the final stretch in order to finish strong.


Alike Evelyn, Catherine believes that drive comes from within, and says, “It’s crucial to find something you are passionate about and to pursue it however you can.”


Concerning college, Catherine is deciding between UC Berkely, UCLA, and USC, but she is leaning towards UC Berkley, where she will petition to major in Computer science, because finds it fascinating and purposeful.


Catherine’s advice to students is “never let others impede your path to what you want to achieve. Recognize that you are your own individual– you are important–and that with proper effort, humility, and self-drive, you can accomplish more than you will ever expect.”