Sarah Short, 16
University High School, Grade 11
Chief Executive Commissioner (CEC), LAYSC
Sarah has a passion for many things in life, as do most other teenagers like her. Not only does she have a passion for the STEM field, but additionally she is passionate at providing a more influential voice for the youth population. Youth are made to feel powerless and incapable in the “real” world, but yet they are expected to bear financially stable aspirations for the future. Why should they have to live their lives waiting for the future, instead of living in the moment and expressing their current views of the world? Youth provide an alternate perspective to society and Sarah founded this commission alongside Iddris Sandu to serve as a platform for youth to express their STEM related ideas. She aspires to pursue a career in biomedical engineering and attend Stanford University. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, photography, bike riding around parks, reading, writing, volunteering, and changing the world for the better.
Ying (Kitty) Liu, 17
Notre Dame Academy, Grade 12
Chief Financial Commissioner (CFC), LAYSC
In 2012, Kitty came to Los Angeles from Shenzhen, a major financial center in southern China. Home to the headquarters of many high-tech companies, Shenzhen has been dubbed as China’s “Silicon Valley”. Raised in Shenzhen and inspired by Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer, Kitty has an interest in technology. She attended a summer camp at Stanford University for two weeks of Python and Robotics in 2013. Sophomore year, Kitty self-studied Java for the AP Computer Science Exam. Since there was no coding class at her all-girls high school, Kitty decided to start her own club called “4G-LTE (Good Girls Gone Geek – Learning to Engineer)” to help more girls become involved in Computer Science. The founder of the Los Angeles Youth Ambassadors program, Mr. Sheldon Cruz, later recognized Kitty’s club and introduced her to two YAs—Sarah Short and Iddris Sandu. Summer of 2015, Kitty joined the Youth STEM Commission as the third Commissioner. Kitty believes that STEM backgrounds will be highly valuable in future careers. Kitty has played piano since first grade and enjoys playing in her school’s choir. On weekends, Kitty likes to go horseback riding.
Venice High School, Grade 12
Chief Creative Commissioner (CCC), LAYSC
Tatyana is native of Houston, Texas. Before arriving to Venice High School she was accepted to Houston School of Performing Arts. She also represents district 11 serving under councilman Mike Bonin, as she directs her attention on “Neighborhoods first”, using technology to make government more effective, efficient, and transparent. Tatyana goal is to attend University of California Santa Barbra and major in International Translation. With STEM related programs she will bridge the gap and connect technology and cosmetology globally.
Jade Yen, 17
New West Charter School, Grade 12
Chief Media Commissioner (CMC), LAYSC
Jade, like most teenagers, had no idea what she wanted to do or major in. In pursuit of this 2-Dimensional answer, she has tried everything: classical music, dance, Taekwondo, creative writing, sculpting, competitive gymnastics, watercolor painting, etc. As a Youth Ambassador alumnus, she represented District 5 and the City of Los Angeles in her trip to Washington D.C. It was not until her junior year that she decided that she wanted to pursue the STEM fields (but still has no idea exactly what major or career). She teaches elementary and middle school students kid-friendly engineering and natural science projects at her local Chinese school. She wants to tell other youth that not knowing what you want to do is perfectly fine! She wishes to empower other girls to pursue the currently male-dominated fields of STEM. Currently, she spends her free time playing the clarinet, volunteering, collecting vinyl, buying vintage clothes, reading, cooking (and eating!), and growing succulents.
Kai Yang, 21
Mount San Antonio College, Year 2
Commissioner Student Advisor (CSA), LAYSC
After attending Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Kai decided that he had a greater calling in life than finance. In order to have a second chance to study Environmental Engineering, Kai took a risk and left his university in China to come to Los Angeles in 2013. Kai is a current student at Mt. SAC and studying science classes, including university math, physics, chemistry and engineering. To help people who are suffering from pollution, Kai believes that knowledge and policies are the important pathways in order to solve the environmental issues and give people better lives. Besides joining the environmental and engineering clubs in college, Kai is also devoted to studying and finding connections with local government. Kai joined the Youth Ambassador (YA) program in August 2015 and became an advisor for the YA STEM Commission. As a college student, Kai is able to help commissioners in the Youth STEM Commission and give them suggestions as needed for their STEM and demo projects. In his spare time, Kai likes to take photographs of nature.