Dear Caltech Y Friends,
I joined the Caltech Y my freshman year after participating in the DC Science Policy Trip. During the trip, we met with Caltech alumni working on the Hill and discussed science advocacy and our roles in shaping science policy. It was an eye opening and inspiring experience. I still remember asking Athena, the Y’s Executive Director, "What if we had a tech policy trip to complement the science policy trip?" Athena supported the idea and suggested that I become a student leader to organize the trip.
After the DC trip, I attended Y meetings and started leading programs. During Spring Break the following year, the Tech Policy trip I suggested as a frosh became a reality, and I was able to lead a group to San Francisco to meet with experts in tech policy.
Thanks to the Y, I was also able to explore Gujarat, India through the annual India Ki Khoj program as well as the American South on a civil rights focused trip, a program I helped organize. I am grateful for these experiences. They helped me build a deeper understanding of social and global issues.
Along the way, I realized that the Caltech Y offered a range of opportunities, from global to local experiences, such as tutoring through the Rise Program or volunteering through Make-A-Difference (MAD) Day. I cannot even begin to imagine the magnitude of impact the Y’s service programs have had on its participants. I know for me, the Y has made a world of difference in my Caltech experience.
I was honored to be elected the President of the Student ExComm, and I gained more insight into the work the Y staff and board do to ensure our programs are funded and successful. None of our programming would be possible without the contributions of generous donors like you who understand the value of the Y in enriching student lives and helping us create positive change.
The Y has provided me with a sense of community and a support system while rounding out my academic experience in ways that allowed me to explore my interests and passions. For me, the most unique part of the Y is that these opportunities are all student-driven and student-led. I’ve learned so much from all the successful events that ExComm coordinates and even more from the hiccups along the way.
We are all working hard to ensure that the Y continues to serve as a resource for students, complementing students’ academic experiences with other opportunities to engage the community. If you have already made your annual gift, thank you for your support. If you have not had the opportunity to join the Friends of the Caltech Y or send in your annual gift, I hope you will consider generously supporting the Caltech Y. Your contributions are essential to the Y’s programming, help us accomplish our mission, and truly help make a difference. Thank you!
Sunny Cui (Class of 2020)
Student ExComm President