Meet the President
Spotlight Date:August 24, 2016
Jack Yan is ready for the responsibilities that come with being elected Student Government President. A senior in Communication Arts, he is just as comfortable in a speech and debate forum as he is interviewing for student run newsmagazine The Muse – but communications didn’t originally come easy.
“Throughout elementary school I had no inclination to ever study the arts or communications. In 5th grade, the sole reason I auditioned to Bak MSOA for Communications was because my best friend at the time was auditioning and I wanted to go to the same middle school. I was a pretty good writer in elementary school but had no experience in public speaking or film. I was fortunate to be able to attend Bak and I truly believe it was one of those times where an unintentional path can lead to the greatest rewards. Despite being a complete neophyte in all things related to the arts, 6th grade was truly transformative in the sense that for the first time in my life I found something I naturally enjoyed doing.”
Jack experimented in all the areas of Communication Arts, but speech and debate and journalism clicked for him. “I was never naturally an outspoken individual but I truly felt the difference within myself in Speech and Debate. Public speaking has raised my self-esteem, taught me fundamental lessons about competition and teamwork, taught me skills in high level academic research, and showed me how to be an advocate about issues I am passionate about. It truly is a special activity when a high school student like myself has the opportunity to stand up in front of hundreds of people and advocate for world issues. We can be the voices for those who cannot speak for themselves. My other concentration in communications is journalism. I have always had an innate curiosity about my world and journalism opens the door for me to explore my world. Journalism lets me ask questions and no one will be annoyed with me because I'm just doing my job.”
To further his studies in these areas, Jack has attended many summer programs throughout his time at Dreyfoos, including at The University of Florida Summer Institute in Journalism, the Florida Forensics Institute, University of Texas Institute of Forensics, George Mason Institute of Forensics, and Texas Institute of Forensics. On top of all this he also attended summer programs geared towards youth leadership and civic activism, as well as Florida Boys state, a youth program that runs a mock Florida government. From there, he was selected as one of two Senators to go to Boys Nation and run a mock U.S. government.
President of the Student Government Association should come as no surprise. “The role of the SGA President, as well as the rest of SGA, is first and foremost to ensure a positive school year for the entire student body. My duties extend beyond being a student representative at major school functions or coordinating school events; my duty lies with the student body who believed in me and elected me. Therefore, I am the facilitator of the desires of the student body. SGA is a proactive organization in that we actively seek ways to improve student life at Dreyfoos and create innovative solutions from these extraordinary opportunities.”
On top of his dedication to his major and to serving on SGA, Jack also has taken 20 AP courses, is currently ranked 2nd in his class, runs on the Varsity Cross Country Team, and fosters puppies and kittens.
“Communications has truly become a springboard for many of my other pursuits. My curiosity about the world around me developed a desire in me for public service. Issues that plague the world and our communities have inflamed a passion within me. Issues in humanities, politics, and world affairs are entirely concerned with the "human experience" and the desire to improve the lives of others has driven me. It's this desire to serve and improve the lives of others that in part drove me to run for SGA President. I participate in a multitude of out of school activities united around public service. For example, I serve on the West Palm Beach Education Advisory Committee, a professional board that directly advises the mayor of West Palm on educational issues. I participate on the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council, a youth advisory council to the mayor. I also intern at Harrington Law Associates, an international law firm based in South Florida.”
Jack hopes to study either business, political science, economics, or international relations for his undergraduate degree. After, he is aiming for law school to pursue a degree in constitutional, corporate, or international law. His goal is to become a U.S. Senator, and believes Dreyfoos has helped him work towards this goal.
“Dreyfoos is truly a school to find and discover yourself. As I enter my final year of high school I am extremely different, in ways I never could have predicted … Dreyfoos is a school that offers so many possibilities in the arts, academics, and extracurriculars that anyone can find something to be passionate about. It's the focus of the students and the fact that we all love what we do that allows me to unequivocally say I could not imagine attending high school anywhere else but Dreyfoos … Dreyfoos students are truly distinct from their peers from any other high school. We are exemplary and excellent in every aspect imaginable. Dreyfoos, to me, means a community of the world's next brilliant thinkers, doers, and creators.”