The Vision Showcase: Jessica Yan


Jessica Yan

Jessica Yan speaks about her interests at MSMS and how her hobbies motivated her to educate others.

Amy Zhang, Managing Editor

When Jessica Yan was a kid, she wanted to be a dolphin. Though she has more realistic career goals now, her love for both nature and water have remained.

“I’ve been in the pool since the start of my life, and I guess that gave me a gradual push to learn more about water,” Yan said.

Serving as swim team captain and a water quality researcher, Yan is always thinking of ways to use her experience to help and engage others.

“Jessica is someone that you can expect to make you feel better, even if she isn’t trying to,” senior Aadhav Senthil said.

“Jessica is a great person to be around,” senior Vidhi Patel added. “She constantly pushes me out of my comfort zone while helping along the way. Because of her, I am learning how to swim.”

Yan first started swimming in kindergarten, earning state runner-up in 100-meter breaststroke. Her water contamination research allowed her to realize how many underprivileged communities didn’t have access to safe drinking water, much less for swimming.

“I’ve realized that I’m lucky to have clean swimming pools, and others don’t have these opportunities,” Yan said. “So I started working on this problem after talking to environmental activist Catherine Coleman Flowers.”

Yan got in touch with Flowers through the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, which Yan won in the state of Mississippi. The duo looked into wastewater and septic systems in Mississippi, focusing on the failing septic tank systems in many rural communities. To spread awareness, they are in the process of writing an article about statewide water systems in rural and marginalized communities.

Yan is also passionate about outreach at MSMS. As president of Test Prep Club, co-president of Computer Science Club, ambassador of AI4ALL and inreach president for Mu Alpha Theta, she hopes to give back to MSMS.

“Jessica’s hard work in serving her community really stands out to me in both Mu Alpha Theta and Test Prep Club,” math teacher Lauren Zarandona said. “She’s taken a lot of her free time to make sure the community gets what it needs. She’s really dedicated.”

Yan’s brother, David Yan (MSMS Class of ‘14), influenced her decision to attend MSMS. The school provided opportunities and a place for him to find his passion as a software developer. Though Jessica Yan also came to MSMS for the opportunities, she hoped to explore her own passions and interests in environmental science instead of doing everything her brother did.

“I thought it was interesting to see where he went, the experience he had here and how MSMS has changed since he graduated,” Yan said. “I would say to cherish every moment you have here at MSMS, because once you look back on it, you’re going to realize it was one of the best decisions you’ve made in your life.”

Outside of her responsibilities, Yan likes “Moana,” tennis, non-bottled water that tastes fresh, Kamisato Ayaka from Genshin Impact and making your mom jokes.

“You should join the your MAΘm club,” Yan said.