School: BASIS Chandler
Jenna Lee is one of those students who would have difficulty listing all her activities on a single sheet of paper.
A dedication to spread kindness and compassion; Lee took to her school board and created a project that promotes courage called “Bathroom Beautification Project”. Not only is she involved in school, but she founded a community initiative and raised money for underfunded high schools in Arizona.
While working three jobs, being involved in school, she is simultaneously interning for the City of Chandler as one of the first youth interns who is running the “State of the City” update. With all the projects Lee has worked on, she found a passion for government and policy.
Families who recently emigrated to the United States from Korea consult Lee for advice on the transition to American schools. Administrators at BASIS Chandler, Lee’s school, select her for tasks that require diplomatic-caliber communication skills.
When Lee, 18, looks back on it, she sees a resume with a common thread: Listening. It’s the foundation she says, for any leader.
“I feel like I have a different approach to leadership and the way I approach the different aspects of my life and clubs I join,” she said. “I take a lighthearted, friendly approach. Instead of being the loudest person int eh room, I want to be a friend, a positive influence on people. I try to prioritize listening to people, understand what they’re saying to me. I don’t know a lot of people who prioritize listening over being the loudest person.”
After attending college on the East Coast, Lee is planning on a career in immigration law. After seeing first-hand the struggles families experience during the immigration process, Lee said she’d like to be someone who could improve the process.
“I have a friend who doesn’t have access to leave the country yet because they still haven’t gotten their green card,” Lee said. “It’s been 10 years since they requested it. Her entire family was aching at the fact that they can’t leave to go see a relative who has cancer. The struggle, the fact that they’re waiting so long, this is a flawed process.”Back to Recipients