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Meet Our Scholars

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Yvin Shin

Columbia University

Political Science and Neuroscience



Stacey R. Friedman Scholarship

After immigrating to the United States from South Korea as a child, Yvin grew up in multiple small, conservative towns across the country before moving to Normal, Illinois in 2014. In middle school, she grappled with the intersection of her gender, sexuality, and ethnic identity, and encountered bigotry on multiple fronts. The drive to understand not only herself but also their communities drove Yvin to founding her middle school's Diversity Club in 2016 (after efforts to create a GSA were blocked) — the first of its kind for middle schoolers in her town. Their foundational work would pave the way for the subsequent creation of a GSA. In the fall of 2019, Yvin helped create and was elected president of her school's Student Diversity Committee; months later, they joined the leadership teams of the student advocacy group ‘Not in Our School’ and the immigrant advocacy organization ‘BN Welcoming’ in the summer and winter of 2020. During her tenures, Yvin focused on creating accessible anti-bias efforts, hosting marches and rallies in coalition with other activist groups, facilitating the implementation of Restorative Circles as an alternative to traditional punishment, and integrating teacher perspectives by funding inclusive curricula. They also earned the titles of national semifinalist and quarterfinalist for the National Speech and Debate Association and qualified for the Illinois Music Education Association’s All State Orchestra multiple times as a cellist. Yvin will attend Columbia University, studying both political science and neuroscience on the pre-law track to advocate for LGBTQ+ protections on a structural level.

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