ABC7 Star Scholar: Joy Jin

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Thursday, July 9, 2015
ABC7 Star Scholar: Joy Jin
A standout teen from Palo Alto has her hands in everything from creating a nonprofit for the visually impaired to science to ice skating making her an ABC7 Star Scholar recipient.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- This marks the 10th year ABC7 has celebrated student achievement with the "Star Scholars" program. Every year, we reward seven high school seniors with a $1,000 scholarship each toward his or her college education.

We met a South Bay Star Scholar who loves ice skating, science and helping the visually impaired.

Joy Jin is a thriving scientist.

"I'm very into STEM and sciencey areas and I really love chemistry," she said.

She's also the founder of a nonprofit to help the visually impaired and a nationally ranked figure skater.

The recent Henry M. Gunn High School graduate from Palo Alto and ABC7 Star Scholar plans to continue pursuing these passions while studying bio-engineering at Harvard University in the fall.

"When I was little, I really actually loved reading bio books and I also did some work with the visually impaired, so that's what got me started with science," Jin said. "Since then I've just really tried to do as much hands on stuff as I can."

Jin learned to read braille when she was eight years old out of curiosity. She's volunteered at Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Palo Alto ever since.

Jin founded her own non-profit in 2013 to help her peers learn to read braille so they too could get involved as volunteers.

"I started New Visions of Tomorrow my sophomore year," Jin said. "We do events like pairing visually impaired kids with guide dogs and also we take them around public transportation, like Caltrain stations. Visits to tech museums because I like science and all the kids are really into that."

"She's going to do amazing things," one of Jin's teachers said. "I've never seen this level of structure and accountability and diligence and brilliance in somebody so creative."

Jin said she's selectively diligent.

"I'm diligent if I realize for myself that I have a deadline that I need to meet and I really need to finish that," Jin said. "It's just mainly self-motivation."

A skill she's clearly perfected and one that motivates others as well.

This is the tenth year for ABC7's Star Scholars program, where ABC7 gives recognition to seven outstanding students, each of whom receives a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education. Watch Sunday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m. to learn more about all of our Star Scholars!