Michelle Yan was born in Berkeley, California in 1991. As a child, she lived in Braintree, Massachusetts, and finally moved to Boston in order to attend Boston Latin School in seventh grade. She currently lives in West Roxbury with her parents, Min and James, and younger brother, Tyler Yan.

Entering Boston Latin School in 2003 was a very difficult and strange experience for her. She walked into her homeroom sixie year knowing only one person in the entire school but through the years, she has managed to acquire and maintain a tightly-knit group of friends. She has learned how to adjust to the competitive atmosphere of the school and now maintains a rigorous course load and is a member of the National Honor Society.

She has enjoyed both music and sports since she was a young child. She has been playing the piano for twelve years and recently passed the highest collegiate level test for piano playing. In September of 2007, she held a private piano concert at MIT with two other students, Chenglin Yuan and Emily Zhang. Also, she assisted in organizing various performances consisting of violinists, pianists, poets and dancers for nursing homes in the Greater Boston area during school vacations.

Within school, Michelle has participated in the production of the school newspaper, the Argo, since eighth grade and is currently the Photo Editor as well as the Business Manager. She is also the webmaster of A.S.I.A., Asian Students In Action, a student-run, non-profit organization at BLS, which educates students about the diverse cultures of Asia and encourages them to take an active role in their community. This club works closely with Chinatown Main Street and provides volunteers for the various festivals that take place in Chinatown each year.

Michelle has been a member of the Boston Latin School girls’ tennis team since eighth grade and taught tennis during the summer of 2007 as a Junior Instructor at Tenacity. At Tenacity, teaching tennis was not her only job. She acted as an older sister and bonded with the children while facilitating reading sessions, organizing games to help cool off in the sweltering sun and taking the children on countless bathroom trips. During this summer, Michelle watched many of the kids she worked with not only improve their tennis playing skills but also develop into stronger readers and become more outgoing.

In the summer of 2006, Michelle volunteered at Greater Boston Aid to the Blind. This experience was very important to her because it helped her realize the immense satisfaction that comes from helping others. During that summer, she helped organize arts and crafts activities for legally blind citizens of Boston and also read them the newspaper each day.

As a child, Michelle’s interests were constantly changing and her career choices ranged from archaeologist to veterinarian. However, as she matured, she realized that her true interests lay in public service. Through her work at Tenacity and at Greater Boston Aid to the Blind, Michelle developed a desire to help others. She wants to be able to positively change someone’s life and she believes that through public service, she would have a great opportunity to help improve others’ situations. She was first introduced to the Ward Fellowship by her friend who was a Fellow at that time but she finally decided to apply because she felt that it would offer her a chance to interact with those who are truly making a difference in their community.

In the future, she plans on attending college where she will study political science. Afterwards, she hopes to attend law school and then go on to a career where she can interact with and help people. This summer, she is working with Robert L. Turner, the director of a new program promoting diversity in the workplace, the Commonwealth Compact.