B.A., Biology
I am a junior in the Life Sciences & Management Program hosted jointly by the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts & Sciences and The Wharton School.
Features Included


Hometown Fremont, California
EthnicityAsian, Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander
Class of2023
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Waitlisted or Withdrew
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California - Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)

Applied for a B.A. in Biology

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
His glittered hand reaches for mine, and I swiftly yank my arm back to avoid contact. Hurt momentarily clouds his eyes, but his excitement soon returns once he rejoins the chaos of the parade. As the surrounding clamor of drag queens and rainbow motorcycles drifts into my periphery, a desperate isolation overcomes me. This march is my community’s grandest welcome party—the epitome of acceptance—yet why do I feel like an excluded spectator? Shouldn’t my rainbow flag...
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
I am a staunch opponent of the belief "Stick to your passions early." At best, this advice is idealistic, and at worst, it limits exploration. When I first volunteered as a science instructor at a local elementary school, this dogma was rampant, rigidifying curriculum and intimidating students. As cofounder and Director of Outreach of the non-profit organization Stemnova, I sought to eliminate the walls that suffocated STEM education. By our second year, I grew ambitious. I was determined to take...
Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
Like an unscratchable itch, the Finite Heartbeat Theory tugs constantly at my curiosities. Its hypothesis is simple - we have a predetermined number of heartbeats. When my half-pseudoscientist, half-biology teacher first exclaimed this to our class years ago, my seventh-grade self believed it wholeheartedly. By ninth grade, I feared the heart. With Grandpa passing away from a heart attack and my teacher's words still echoing in my head, I viewed the heart as a ticking time bomb. From my apprehension,...
What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
Since childhood, I have always been fascinated with the Wubble Bubble. It was simple yet entertaining - its tinted surface humorously distorting my friend's whispers as they floated through the ball to my ear. While my Wubble Bubble now remains deflated in my garage, my fascination with bubbles is still very much afloat. Fortunately - or unfortunately as I have come to recognize - I don't have to look far to find one. In fact, I live in one. In...
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
The first time I ever heard a recording of my debate speech, it was torture. It was less what I said, but more how I said it. My voice, both nasal and high-pitched, was excruciating to the ear, and immediately, what I once overlooked bolted to the forefront of my insecurities. In high school, with everyone changing, my distinct voice brought along with it belittling stereotypes: each "What's up with you high voice?" and "Your voice is gay" cornered me...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
663 Words
How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania? Please answer this question given the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying. (400-650 words)
To kill or not to kill is a question that has taunted me since June. Where my inner biologist yearned to dissect all the mice in the world (for science, of course), my inner ethicist questioned my sacrifices’ purposes. After all, these were living creatures in my hands: what set them so apart from me that justified their role as test subjects? From perusing Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation to attending cardiology conferences, answering the same concern from various lenses...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
110 Words
While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, delivered this memorable line: “It is, Sir…a small college. And yet, there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2023, what aspects of the College’s program, community or campus environment attract your interest?
Sustainability. A gardener myself, I’m already enamored by Dartmouth’s camaraderie with nature. Whether it be bee-keeping with classmates or relaxing in the organic farm alone, each facet of campus is a chance to humble myself, to reaffirm my appreciation for Earth. This self-effacing curiosity pervades Dartmouth’s D-Plan. If I’m going to be studying tropical-biology, I’m joining a foreign-study program to gather real samples in Caribbean reefs. If I want to grasp science’s role in...
Supplemental Essay: Issue of personal significance
323 Words
In the aftermath of World War II, Dartmouth President John Sloane Dickey, Class of 1929, proclaimed, “The world’s troubles are your troubles…and there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.” Which of the world’s “troubles” inspires you to act? How might your course of study at Dartmouth prepare you to address it?
Jane was commended for being a survivor. Clad in invisible armor, defiant against injustice—that’s how we imagined her as her story of sexual assault circulated. We deemed her a hero, nearing superhuman, but—as Jane would confide in me later—not once did our hasty label reflect her struggles honestly. To her, survivor implied that the worst was over, sidelining her depression for a more palatable story of overcoming. Our words weren’t ill-intentioned, but certainly, they were...
Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
160 Words
If you are applying to the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences as a first year applicant, please discuss why you consider Duke a good match for you. Is there something particular about Duke that attracts you? (Please limit your response to no more than 150 words.)
My love for collective adventures leads me to Duke. I’ve traversed Yosemite, scuba-dived with family, but none of these experiences even compare to the excitement of tenting with friends, braving the cold for a taste of athletic thrill. Between games, I’m eager to explore Duke’s various social niches. The International Cooking Club shines in particular: I’m giddy to embrace my surrounding diversity and share my own Taiwanese recipes. This love for community extends into academics. As...
Supplemental Essay: Diversity statement
270 Words
Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you'd like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you've had to help us understand you better-perhaps related to a community you belong to or your family or cultural background-we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke. (250 word limit)
Jane was commended for being a survivor. Clad in invisible armor and defiant against injustice—that’s how we imagined her as her story of sexual assault circulated. We deemed her a hero, nearing superhuman, but—as Jane would confide in me later—not once did our hasty label reflect her struggles honestly. To her, survivor implied that the worst was over. It sidelined her depression for a more palatable story of overcoming. Our words weren’t ill-intentioned, but certainly,...
Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
695 Words
What is intriguing to you about combining the study of life sciences with the study of management? Please focus your thoughts upon where your interest in both science and management came from and where you see it going. Also, please explain why the LSM dual degree program is a better fit for you than the Penn degree program in which you are currently enrolled.
Advancing clinical virology and achieving queer equality are equal passions of mine. I once defined these ambitions as disparate aspects of myself, but through volunteering with Bay Area Women Against Rape, I found purpose in their synergy. My department specifically studied LGBTQ+ violence, and that’s how I met Eric. Initially, I only knew that he was “very sick,” but through interviews and emails, I pieced together his HIV diagnosis. His illness told two stories: one biological, one societal. As...

School Specific Advice

How to increase chances at my school
55 Words
Speaking to my admissions officer at admit day, I learned that interdisciplinary learning is a huge, huge...
Why I ultimately chose my school
72 Words
I ultimately chose Penn for its academic flexibility. The One University policy allows me to explore disciplines from all the colleges, and...
How to increase chances at my school
98 Words
I'm not attending Duke, but I've certainly learned a lot about this school from my almost week-long visit. For my LGBTQ+ peers, Duke is one of the most welcoming,...

More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

General Admissions Advice

How to deal with the stress of applying to college
68 Words
For me, constantly comparing myself to my peers during the first semester of senior year was rough. Looking back, I...
Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
114 Words
I did not take out loans or apply for scholarships, but after admissions, I did negotiate with schools to increase my financial aid by 15k. Once admitted, always ask for more, and always appeal...
Whether I used a private admissions counselor, and advice I received
88 Words
Early in the year, I had a counselor. While professional guidance seems "professional," they really know as much about the process as you do; I let...

High School Performance

Weighted GPA
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Top 10%
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest SAT
SAT Score Details
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details12 classes and scores



ActivitiesSchool Newspaper/Magazine/Journalism, Research, LGBT, Science/Math, Science/Math, LGBT, Debate Club/Team, Science/Math

Experience & Awards

Awards Received

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