One is outgoing, an efficient leader who facilitates goodwill. The other is a quiet, conscientious craftsman, a shaper of excellence.
Different in style and personality, Auburn Riverside High School seniors Juliet Yu and Boone Tate have much in common. They are bright, 18-year-old honors students, aspiring engineers with big plans.
“I don’t consider myself (smarter than others), I just work hard for what I want and what I believe in,” said Yu, who is bound for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to study either aerospace or computer engineering with a minor in Chinese.
Boone is off to the University of Washington this fall to study aerospace engineering.
“The biggest thing I realized is hard work pays off,” Boone said. “I’ve realized that you don’t spend these (high school) years messing around because it shapes how your life is kinda going. … Use your time wisely, work hard and have fun.”
For their efforts, school leaders and staff have recognized Yu and Boone as two of the very best in the Class of ’17.
Yu is the daughter of Asian immigrants. Her father, William, a bank manager, came stateside from South Korea; her mother, Amy, who works in fashion and liberal arts, is from China. Her parents have been influential, instilling discipline and a work ethic in Yu.
Yu, who also speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese, excels as a communicator, a leader whose resume is rich in experience, awards and achievements.
Outside of academics, she served as Key Club International Pacific Northwest governor, overseeing 13,000 members throughout the region. As the organization’s chief executive officer, she kept watch on operations, presided over board meetings, traveled to present workshops and speeches, led and ran conventions and supported members.
Under her leadership, the Key Club’s year-long district project raised more than $40,000 for the Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program to help fund doctors’ research for a cure.
At Auburn Riverside, Yu was involved in student government and on many clubs and functions. She served as the school’s president of SkillsUSA, a program that supports career and technical education in the classroom. She was a tech executive, a Girls State senator and math team leader who played the violin while leading rehearsals and performances as the school’s chamber orchestra president and concert master.
She volunteered alongside city and nonprofit groups to help make her community better. She has tutored students in violin, piano and math.
Yu turned down offers from many colleges to accept U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert’s (R-Auburn) appointment to the Naval Academy. Yu would like the build a long career in the military.
“It’s the best fit for me because of the strict regiment … and I really like that discipline,” Yu said. “It combines leadership and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) aspects, so I can pursue both of my passions.”
Yu appreciates the support of her family and friends, students, faculty and staff at Auburn Riverside.
“It’s a different culture we have here fostered by a school of belongingness where students and staff can causally or even professionally talk to one another,” she said.
Coming into his own
In math, woodworking or on the running trail, Boone was at the top of his game.
He was a SkillsUSA state champion cabinetmaker who finished fourth in a national competition.
Like physics, cabinetry challenges Boone and stirs his curiosity. While he doesn’t consider himself a perfectionist, Boone understands how to do things the right way.
“It’s knowing how things are made, how to put something together and knowing how to use all the machines that go into it,” Boone said. “You have to make sure joints are tight, there are no scratches in the (wood) grain and keep grains in the same direction. You have to make sure everything is square, flush and sits right, knowing what woods to use and spotting a good piece of wood.”
Outside the classroom, Boone was a state-class cross country runner and a district performer at track, specializing in distances as Ravens captain. He covered Pasco’s 3.1-mile course in just over 17 minutes at the 4A state finals last fall and competed on the spring oval at 1,600 (personal-best 4:31) and 3,200 meters.
Boone is also a standout slalom water skier who has competed nationally.
He draws support from his parents – his mother, Wendy, is a psychologist; his father, Greg, works for Boeing.
Boone has enjoyed his years at Auburn Riverside, having made many friends and the means to reach his dreams at UW.
“I’ve done a lot here,” he said. “It’s been a great school overall.”