Yubin Jee is headed to Stanford University in the fall – with an extra $40,000 in her pocket.
The Irvine High School grad recently learned she is one of 30 high school students in Southern California named a 2020 Edison Scholar.
“I’m extremely excited because I can use this money to help lift some burdens off of my parents’ shoulders,” she says.
The scholarship is for students pursuing a career in STEM – “the dreamers, inventors, guardians and pioneers – those who dare to be great,” says the Edison International website.
To win, Jee wrote an essay explaining how she will use her STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to “empower her community and better the world.”
“I talked about my work in creating a coding curriculum for children with disabilities,” says Jee, who was also principal cellist for Irvine High’s philharmonic orchestra during her senior year.
In addition to volunteering at the Livingstone Health Clinic in Stanton and the Pauma Valley Indian Reservation in San Diego County, Jee spent whatever spare time she had in high school teaching basic math, English and music to kids with autism and Down syndrome.
Why weren’t they being taught coding, she wondered?
“Too many people are overlooking the skills and the talents of the disabled community,” she says. “I sincerely hope I can change that.”
Jee, 18, has already co-founded a nonprofit called Orange Tech Pros, recruiting fellow students to help create the coding curriculum.
“With the power of computer science, I hope to endow these children with disabilities with lifelong skills.”