2001 Outstanding Youth Award Recipients

Richard Lu

While there is much to appreciate about the beautiful melting pot that is America, I will always hold my Taiwanese culture true to my heart. I respect our community's emphasis on family and mutual support. My identity is shaped by those who have touched my life and those whose lives I have touched. That is why I continue to learn Taiwanese and Mandarin, and assist the Taiwanese community. I donated money to help the relief effort in Taiwan after the horrible earthquake, and have tutored Taiwanese newcomers to help them adjust to American society.

Through the years, the Taiwanese community has encouraged and motivated me to strive for personal excellence in all aspects of my life. I have been taught invaluable lessons about courage, perseverance, and faith through my parents and the community. Currently a junior at Wootton HS, I have received A's in the vast majority of my AP classes. During my sophomore year, I aced multivariable calculus and differential equations, both difficult college courses, and received a perfect 800 on the PSAT math portion.

My interests are very diverse. I am currently the captain of the math team, and have been selected multiple times to ARML, in which the top math students go to Pennsylvania State University to compete. I was the editor of the MCCIRA newsletter, which encourages children to read. I also volunteer to deliver food and clothing to those in need.

Music gives me a channel with which to release my emotions, both joyful and mournful. I have received the 5-year MGPT Honors Piano Trophy (for performance), and the 5-year MSMTA Piano Theory award. I won second place at a piano solo, and first place in a duet competition. I have been a member of the chambers singers, and have been their accompanist.

In the athletics field, I have been a member of the crosscountry, indoor track, and outdoor track teams. Running is a very strenuous sport requiring motivation, and I have enjoyed the challenge. I have grown spiritually, mentally, and physically through karate, and, after much intense training, have become a black belt, and taught karate classes on occasion.

For the last two summers, I interned for two distinguished scientists. I worked with Dr. Ming Tung at NIST to develop a better toothpaste, and with Dr. Elliget at USUHS (as part of the GWU SEAP program) to educate the public on bartonellosis, a devastating disease. In both instances, I was able to get on-the-job experience, which will be helpful in the future.

It is my hope to continue to excel in athletics, music, academics, and leadership, and to further serve the Taiwanese community throughout my life.

Richard Lu is the son of Mr. Cheng-Hong and Mrs. Hsiu-Hsing Lu.


Melvin Su

I am currently a junior at Centreville High School. I have a number of interests in my life including music, technology, and sports in addition to academics, in which I am currently a member of the National Honors Society for the second year and a member of the Spanish and Math Honors Society. In both 1998 and 2000, I also won the National Outstanding Student Award from ACTO (American Citizens of Taiwanese Origin).

I started to play three instruments: piano, violin, and clarinet when I was in elementary school. I was awarded the Musicianship award from Fairfax County in band, orchestra, and choir. In middle school, I was seated first chair in band in the top Symphonic Band, and selected as the dance captain in the best show choir in Fairfax County. I was selected to district choir and band in both middle school years in Fairfax County, and received the Most Outstanding Band Student award where only one was given in the entire middle school. Then I was chosen to be in the top band at Centreville High as one of the four from the freshman class, and selected to be part of the Senior District Band. In addition, I was also part of the marching band for two years. In 2001, I had the privilege to perform Taiwanese folk music during the Taiwanese Heritage Week in Washington D.C.

Among my top interests is sports which is a vital part of my life. I have always been into sports, starting out with karate and wrestling, then moving onto organized team sports. I received the Presidential Physical Fitness Award every year and set a school record of 19 pull-ups at the age of 10 in elementary school. I once played basketball for the county league where I was chosen as part of the All-Star team. As I entered high school, my main focus switched from basketball to tennis. During my freshman year, I was selected to be on the Varsity Tennis team at Centreville High and have been on the team since. During my sophomore year, I was awarded the Scholar Athlete Award for tennis.

A very high priority in my life now is my religion. I have been attending church since the age of 5 where I have really grown spiritually since. I currently attend Chesterbrook Taiwanese Presbyterian Church where I am a praise team leader. In our youth group, I am often put in charge of activities and always in charge of music. Since then, I have picked up playing guitar, which is now one of my new interests.

Melvin Su is the son of Mr. Hannsen & Mrs. Lin Y. Su.


Julia Tzeng

My name is Julia Tzeng. I am currently a junior at Winston Churchill High Shool. Throughout the last 16 years, I have accomplished many achievements and overcome many obstacles with the loving support of my family.

My music career began at the age of 3 when I started taking piano lessons. With my parents and my brother as my biggest fans, I have won numerous county and statewide piano competitions. I have also accompanied my school's show choirs and orchestras. At the age of 8, I added cello to my music repertoire. For the last five years, I have been a part of the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra, and for one year, I lead the cello section as the principle cellist. I also have been the principle cellist in my school orchestras for an ongoing 6 years. In addition, I play cello and piano for community service activities in many different public establish ments. Furthermore, I love to sing and dance. I have been a part of the cast of Blast from the Past at Churchill, and I plan to audition for a lead role this year.

Academic excellence is extremely important to me. Throughout my life, I have been ranked amongst the top 10% of my class. I have always challenged myself with rigorous courses, all of which are either honors or AP. I have worked hard in my studies so that I can have a solid foundation to build my future on. While academic success is important to me, I am actively involved in my school community. As a part of the student executive board, I have helped to lead my class throughout the course of high school. As the captain of the volleyball team, I have guided my team through many solid victories. In addition to volleyball, I love to play tennis and basketball. I also plan to be a part of the National Honors Society this spring.

I believe that it is very important to help out in the community by volunteering. I have been given the chance to work with children of all ages at numerous camps and educational facilities, and with the elderly at various nursing homes. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer in the cardiology clinic at the National Naval Medical Center. With the recent September 11th tragedy, it has been even more crucial for all Americans to come together and volunteer to help others.

Growing up as a Taiwanese-American has been the greatest honor for me. Although I was born and raised in the United States, I have maintained unbreakable ties with Taiwan. I have been visiting my relatives in Taiwan since I was a baby. Taiwan is a beautiful island with a unique culture and tradition. People in Taiwan are hardworking, friendly, caring, and independent. Wherever I go in life, Taiwan will always be a part of me.

I strongly believe that my endeavors in the past few years have shaped me into a well-rounded Taiwanese-American with a strong foundation for excellence.

Julia Tzeng is the daughter of Mr. James & Mr. Li-Mei Tzeng