Fil-Am says activism, not grades got him into Stanford

SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino American Jerold Yu is one of the young emerging leaders to come from the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco.

As an active member of the community, Yu has been advocating for many issues such as the increase in minimum wage, fair housing, and non-violence.

He says this passion and love for his community was his ticket into one of the best universities in the country, Stanford University.

“I don’t have the highest grades but I tried hard in school,” said Yu. “Fortunately Stanford was able to see that and accept me. So I feel really grateful for that.”

According to a recent report in the Stanford Daily, Stanford received its largest pool of applicants for the 2015-2016 school year with 42,487 applications.

Only 2,144 or 5.05 percent were accepted, making Stanford the hardest school to get into in 2015.

Yu, who came from Quezon City in 2002, was also one of two graduating seniors who received a $2,500 scholarship from the Your Filipino Professional Association (YFPA) to use in his first year of college.

YU nabbed his scholarship with his 3.5 and higher grade point average and an essay on the impact of his extracurricular volunteer work in the Filipino community.

Yu is a part of the South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN) and is a core member of the youth-led Youth Organizing Home and Neighborhood Association (YOHANA) which strives to mold future leaders through leadership-building and political awareness.

“The South of Market has really helped me become who I am today and I just feel like I want to give back,” said Yu. “I’m not the most confident public speaker but I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help out my community.”

Yu will be entering Stanford this fall alone without any friends from high school or home but he says he is motivated to study hard and do his best because of the Filipino community he represents.

“I’ve been part of the Filipino community all my life because living here in the South of Market, there’s a lot of Filipino families living here and I just feel very humbled just to have all these other families proud of me and I meant not know them personally but it’s a great feeling to represent other Filipinos out there,” said Yu.

Yu plans to study computer science and ethics in society at Stanford. He hopes to secure a career in technology and to continue to fight injustice in the community that he loves.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • jose
    9 June 2015 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Mabuhay Ka! God Bless you! Ipagpatuloy mo ang pagiging actibismo. Good luck as iyong pagaaral.

  • Catholic_Againt_ExtremeRightWingNuts
    9 June 2015 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Excellent job!