Ayala is known for its stunning, diverse student population. Everyone is unique in their own special way. Whether they may be in Top Ten or a varsity athlete, everyone equally contributes to the greatness of Ayala. Alex Chen, Class of 2019’s salutatorian, is one whose academic achievements have spurred him to success.
Chen will attend UCLA with the desire to earn a degree in engineering in the fall. Said Chen, “Engineering interests me because it is the field that I feel is most empowering.” He likes how engineers “can impact society and the way every single person lives their life.” He also enjoys how the field of engineering is so broad and fun to explore.
When asked about how he feels about being salutatorian, Chen said, “It still has not hit me that I am salutatorian.” Chen said that his main goal was not to become salutatorian or valedictorian - acquiring knowledge was. Ultimately, he is thankful to have received this honor. “Maybe one day in the future,” said Chen, “I’ll wake up and think, ‘Holy crap, I did really well in high school!’”
Chen would like to thank Mrs. Garcia for being so supportive of him all four years of high school and Mr. Massoum for making the class more fun and granting him “intellectual freedom.” Chen also credits the beach as his biggest inspiration. Said Chen, “I love thinking about riding the waves of the beach and about how calming and relaxing it is. I am driven everyday by the idea of being one with the water.”
Besides academics, Chen enjoys playing tennis and chess and going on “spontaneous trips with my good buddies.” Chen believes that simply “being a kid balance[s] out the inherent maturity that my academic endeavors bring.”
Alex Chen wants to tell Ayala to “appreciate your moments in life and don’t be afraid of anything. Focus on experiencing the outer world. Don’t live within school, your house, your phone, and your streaks.” Live in the moment.