Catherine Tu, Harvard University
Pleasanton, CA, Amador Valley High School
In 2008, Catherine’s family traveled to "National Recognition Week" in Washington D.C., to support her sister as she received the U.S. Presidential Scholar Medallion. Upon witnessing her sister’s success, Catherine realized the magnitude of her own influence. As a high school freshman, she founded the nonprofit organization Worldhands, an international service organization. Catherine also created ChineseTomatoes, a news website helping Chinese individuals integrate into American society.
In 2014, Catherine was one of 19 NSHSS members selected to attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden. This opportunity afforded Catherine the chance to serve as an intern scholar at the Science Internship Program. She performed a 9-week research project on infant leukemia at the Forsberg Lab of the University of California Santa Cruz. Catherine submitted her work in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search and was named a semifinalist in the competition.
Catherine’s cumulative grade point average of 4.69 broke her school’s record. She graduated as Amador Valley High School’s 94th valedictorian. Catherine has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Science Award from Sandia National Laboratories/U.S Department of Energy. She has been named a National AP Scholar for three consecutive years. Catherine competed on U.S. Teams for two consecutive years, and she was selected to be a member of an international math competition in which she won individual silver and bronze medals. Catherine is a National Merit Scholarship winner. She also earned a 2015 NSHSS National Scholar Award and a 2016 NSHSS Claes Nobel Academic Scholarship. Catherine has won multiple national and international piano and art competitions, and has hosted her own personal art exhibit. Catherine will major in computer science at Harvard University, and will continue to work with her nonprofit organization on its current project to increase educational opportunities in rural China.