Ten Graduates Who Will Change the World. That was the headline in the Orange County Register’s educational supplement on Sunday, June 16. The color special featured the smiling faces of 10 distinguished young men and women who are taking their big dreams to the colleges and universities they’ve been accepted to. Along with Yale, Cornell, Princeton, and Stanford universities, the representation also included USC, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and––in the case of incoming freshman Ha Eun “Grace” Lee–– Claremont McKenna College, where she will major in public affairs this fall.
“These are folks who are poised to really move Orange County in a very positive direction,” said Orange County Department of Education leadership expert Stephanie Schneider, who helped select the graduates profiled in the newspaper.
The article by Scott Martindale says Grace Lee made a name for herself at Cypress High School last fall, after a summer internship in Seoul in 2012 confirmed that Americans could learn from the recycling habits of Koreans. Already an exceptional student, the college-level opportunity was arranged following a long phone call with Seoul City Hall’s Resource and Recirculation Management Division. Just as Lee expected, the experience did not disappoint. The level of commitment demonstrated by Koreans in recycling would inspire Lee to write a series of articles for U.S. environmental publications, including “Recycling Today,” notes Martindale. Lee also became more vigilant about separating recyclables at home, then turned to her school, where she started a club that helped the institution streamline its own recycling program.
In answering the question, How I Will Change the World, one of the things Lee told Martindale was: “… I have a vision to fight for social justice and humanitarian efforts to end poverty and famine.”
Lee told us she was “extremely honored to have been selected” for the newspaper’s special section. “I truly believe that the persevering pursuit of one’s true passions will always lead to success.”
She said she’s looking forward to starting at CMC in the fall “as a student who desires simply to live for a cause that is greater than myself, and to live out my passions in a way that benefits others.
“I know that I will be humbled by the great professors and peers I meet,” she said.
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