Ivy Leagues to be new homes for six

Several students will be heading off to top colleges this coming fall.


Michelle Ki

Students (from left) Naethin Herrera, Sophia Deng, Michelle Lyu, Angela Huang, Ruben Reyes, Jr., and Derek Peng will be attending Ivy League schools after distinguishing themselves at DBHS.

Michelle Ki, Feature Editor

Harvard. Penn. Cornell. For many students, the very thought of attending such prestigious universities seems to be completely unrealistic and out of the question. However, for seniors Sophia Deng, Naethin Herrera, Angela Huang, Michelle Lyu, Derek Peng and Ruben Reyes, these schools will become their homes for the next four years.

Starting this fall, Sophia Deng will be experiencing the rural part of New York in Ithaca where Cornell University is located. During high school, Deng served as vice president of Red Cross, Captain of Robotics, interned for Boeing last summer, and more. Deng will be majoring in Computer Science and will also be a Tanner Dean’s Scholar at Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. Deng was also offered admission and scholarships to Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Irvine.

“I want to push myself beyond my comfort zones and really get involved with all the activities and classes offered on campus,” Deng said via Facebook.

Joining Deng at Cornell will be varsity soccer captain, Naethin Herrera. Inspired by the fact that his father, sister, and uncle all have the disease Psoriasis, Herrera was determined to find a cure for them, which led him to pursue a double major in Biological Engineering and Pre-med.

“Their skin would crack like chapped lips and it would make them really uncomfortable, and I told my dad when I was a kid that I would fix him,” he said.

Herrera was also accepted into UCSB, UCSD, University of Virginia, SMU, and Case Western Reserve. After college, he plans on either doing research as an engineer, getting involved in pharmacy due to his interests in development of treatments and cures, or becoming a doctor.

Joining Herrera on the East Coast will be Angela Huang at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School. Huang chose to be a business major due to her strong belief in social networks. During sophomore year, Huang founded a nonprofit organization focused on “expanding educational opportunities and empowering students in under resourced areas.” She was also involved in clubs like FBLA, Brahma Tech, Choir, French Club, and more.

Huang was accepted through early decision to Wharton. She believes that the competitive environment in DBHS “fueled [her]” to strive for success. As of right now, Huang wants to pursue either entrepreneurship or management; but ultimately, she wants to work for an organization that focuses on social responsibility.

“I chose to be a business major because I find it exciting that you can do so much with a business degree,” Huang said.

Also going to Penn is Michelle Lyu, who chose Penn because of its “fantastic resources, great financial aid, exciting atmosphere, and thrilling location.” Lyu has held several leadership positions, including Editor-in-Chief of Yearbook, President of French Club, and Co-Vice President of CSF.

“Penn isn’t my dream school, but that’s because I can honestly say I’ve never had a dream school,” Lyu said.

In addition to Penn, Lyu also got into prominent schools like Northwestern, Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, and USC. At Penn, Lyu will be majoring in Biological Basis of Behavior, “a blend of biology, psychology, and cognitive science.”

Derek Peng will be one of two Brahmas attending Harvard in the fall. At DBHS, Peng was the co-captain of Water Polo, treasurer of Band, Vice President of Make-A-Wish, and had several other positions.

Although he was accepted into other top colleges, such as, Northwestern, Notre Dame, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Williams University, Peng ultimately went with Harvard due to its “resources and amazing cohort of hard working and intelligent students.” He will be majoring in economics.

“You don’t say ‘no’ to Harvard,” Peng joked. “But in all actuality, it was a tough choice. Berkeley really appealed to me with [the fact that it] has a school of business.”

The other Brahma attending Harvard is Ruben Reyes. As a high school student, he was mainly involved with Yearbook, Best Buddies, and Class Committee. Although he was also accepted to Stanford through restrictive early action back in December, as well as Williams College, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara through regular admission, Ruben decided to attend Harvard after visiting the university and falling in love with the idea of being somewhere uncomfortable while being “surrounded by some of the nicest and smartest kids [I’d] ever meet.”

“People have always believed in me and having people who believe in you makes you want to succeed,” Reyes said.