SOUTHINGTON - Southington High School Valedictorian Lydia Yu plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a degree in computer science or business.
“I’ve always liked computer science,” said Yu. “It’s so versatile. You can apply it to anything you want to do. I love that it’s so logical.”
Yu said her favorite thing about her time at SHS is the support she’s received from her teachers.
“They’ve been amazing,” said Yu. “They’ve always been there to back me up and to challenge me and push me.”
Yu said she was motivated to succeed in order to give back to those who have been helpful to her.
“It wasn’t just the pressure to keep the high rank, but also because the people around me showed me so much support that I wanted to do well,” she said.
During her high school years, Yu was the treasurer of the National Honor Society and the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program. She was also a member of the Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford Youth Group. She was the scouting lead with the First Robotics Team and the captain and programming lead of the VEX Robotics Team. She also participated in the National Student Leadership Conference at Yale University.
Yu’s volunteer work included establishing a mentoring program between the high school and middle school robotics teams and participating in The Hartford Project, which examined social issues in Hartford. She was the Vacation Bible School leader with the Chinese Baptist Church of Greater Hartford and went on a youth mission trip to Ensenada, Mexico.
Yu said she is excited and ready to get out into the broader world and put her skills to use.
She offered this advice to those students still at SHS:
“Do what you are passionate about, not what people expect you to do. If you just do what is expected, you will feel trapped and you won’t be able to develop the career skills you really want.”