Shining in the Classroom and in the Community

Kendall Burk

Senior Yvin Shin shines bright inside the classroom but even more outside classroom walls. Shin has been giving back to her community since 7th grade, and has not stopped fighting for those around her.  

Shin recently won the MLK Youth award; she was nominated by her mentor Mary Aplington, 

“She is fast in her pursuit for justice and invests a lot of her own time and energy to those projects and I see it on so many fronts,”  Aplington said. 

Her service brings a sense of pride to others in the community. 

Junior and close friend, Erica Rosenberger co-leads U-High’s Not in Our School with Yvin. 

“I was super proud of her receiving this award,” Rosenberger said. “She absolutely deserved it. I have gotten to see it first hand at the community service events and it is so selfless.”

Shin uses her energy to better the community.

Shin is the President of the U-High Diversity committee, drafted the mission statement for the BN Welcoming Committee, helped raise well over $5,000 in a book drive to be able for inclusive and diverse books in schools, participated in a BLM Silent March and Candlelight Vigil on July 18, 2020, among many other activities. 

Shin is collaborating with a number of students on a Thrivent Grant, which collects resources that fight for diversity in curriculum and inclusion through teaching.  However, community service is not always easy. 

“It’s easy to get burnt out in community service,” Shin said. “A lot of times you don’t get the recognition you deserve.” 

However, she does not let that stop her from fighting for others and what is right. 

Shin said she often looks back at a memory from her 8th grade year as a motivating experience. 

“I wanted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance but it was considered too contriversial at the time,” Shin said. “My sophomore year, I came back to Chiddix Junior High and I saw a display for a Diversity Club and Gay-Straght Alliance.  So seeing that things can improve in a span of three years, motivates me that the service I am doing right now can help people in the future and I can witness progress.” 

Aplington believes Shin will continue to influence others.

“I know in the little time she has been collaborating with these committees, she has made a tremendous impact,” Aplington said. “Within a short amount of time she has impressed the seven Not in Our Town committee members, some of whom have decades of experience.” 

Behind all of the hard work and achievements, Shin’s kind personality remains the same. 

“She is very funny and she puts on a very professional persona at school,” Rosenberger said. “When you get to know her she lets her guard down. She always has your back, and is overall a sweet person that you can count on.”

Shin said her junior and senior year are about learning how to balance it all.

“Even if you are the president or the leader, you don’t have to do everything and you learn to ask for help when I need it,” Shin said. 

Now with graduation nearing each day, Shin is prepping those who will take on her roles once she leaves U-High. 

“I am trying to set up a line of succession for the clubs that I am in charge of after I graduate. I am looking for someone who is passionate and I am trying to equip them with everything they need to keep the clubs and activities successful,” she explained. 

Rosenberger said there aren’t limits for what Shin can accomplish. 

“I have never met someone with more potential than her,” Rosenberger said. “I am blown away by her in every single way. She is able to connect with people as a community and on a personal level. As cliche as it sounds she can do anything she puts her mind to.” 

After graduation, Shin will be moving to New York City where she will be attending Columbia University to study Political Science and Neuroscience. With her fascination with human thought, Shin gets the best of both worlds with those majors.

“I realized that political science and neuroscience are both psychological aspects and combinations,” Shin said, “and I get to study everything about human thought while I don’t have to sacrifice humanities or STEM.” 

What Shin will leave behind is a new meaning to leadership. While Rosenberger said she is sad to see her friend go, she will remember what Shin has taught her.

“I have learned a new way of leadership from her,” Rosenberger said. “If something needs to be done I will just jump in, I learned how to work as a team and communicate with others in a way that is humble.” 

Shin’s impact will follow her wherever she goes in the world. 

“Yvin will make a difference wherever she is. She truly creates change that will change the world,” Aplington said.