Yi-Fan Chu from Taiwan (Class of 1999)

Before & After


Yi-Fan is currently working as Executive Chef at Dusit D2 in Patong Phuket. It is a resort that has over 340 rooms, and 6 outlets. He has been cooking over 14 years and will never stop cooking. “Cooking is my passion and my life.”  He is engaged and is looking forward to his upcoming wedding this December. Yi-Fan recently was a competitor on show called Iron Chef, and finished for the 2nd Rematch battle. The video has not yet been released.

Here are two article links which highlight Yi-Fan's current success:



How Southwestern Academy helped him achieve to where he is now
"Southwestern Academy taught me how to be myself, to be independent and to show us that, no matter where we are coming from and what our family back ground is…if we work hard good things will come to us." 

His fondest memory:
"I love Southwestern Academy. Every moment is memorable, but I never forget this: back in 1996 we lost a great volleyball player named Boonyarit Thanapoomikul. We went to our last playoff game against Providence High School.  We hoped that 'we will win for him' but lost that game and our team was so sad. While everyone was heartbroken, sad and crying, Mr. Gibbs comforted each player one by one. I remember he said to me, 'keep your head up and don’t give up!!' From that moment, I pushed myself. Since then, I had fallen in love with volleyball.  Even now, whenever I go through difficulties, I keep remembering what Mr. Gibbs told me that day....and I never let myself give up." 

Blend Bardhi from Kosovo (Class of 2001)

Before & After

Blend is currently a part-time student studying Public Administration and Policy at one of the Universities in Kosovo. He is also helping his uncle run his business. 

How Southwestern Academy helped him achieve to where he is now:
"Southwestern Academy taught me many things but the most important are work ethic and a strong desire to always grow and grow all ways."

His fondest memory: 
"All of the memories from Southwestern Academy are good memories; but the ones I remember  most vividly  are the hiking trips with Mr.Herbst, Mr.Veronda’s excellently explained US History lessons  and of course  the aroma of food being cooked outside on the big grill."

Lucas Porter from U.S.A. (Class of 2010)

Before & After

Lucas recently graduated from Loyola Marymount University in May of 2014. He has been working as a production associate for an independent film company for two years, and is looking forward to getting a full time position!

How Southwestern Academy helped him achieve to where he is now:
"Southwestern Academy exposed me to the international community. I was surprised at the amount of travel I had to do; I've been to France & England to attend some international film festivals. China has already built some massive film studios, so it's only a matter of time before I fly out there! Southwestern Academy did a fantastic job to prepare me for college, AND to feel comfortable with many different cultures. It is a huge asset if you want to do international business."

His fondest memory: 
"I have always loved the history classes, whether it was Mr. Gibbs teaching us about barbarians running around the place pillaging, or Mr. Veronda giving his amazing Theodore Roosevelt impression (Bully!!). Mr. Herbst & Mr. Nord made math fun for me, and I loathed the subject. Nevertheless, they helped me tackle it. I could never forget Mr. Herbst's hikes!!"

Risa Yamanaka from Japan (Class of 2011)

Before & After

Risa is currently majoring in Psychology at Menlo College, San Jose, CA.

How Southwestern Academy helped her achieve to where she is now:
"Studyhall and the contents of the classes I took at Southwestern Academy helped me become more adaptable to college courses and acquire time-management skills."

Her fondest memory:
"Going to the international dinners and participating in more than a few."

Nancy Ruiz Vazquez from U.S.A. (Class of 2013)

Before & After

Nancy is currently attending Glendale Community College.

How Southwestern Academy helped her achieve to where she is now:
"Although I am attending a community college, Southwestern Academy has helped by giving me a good education so that I wouldn't need to take remedial English or Math."

Her fondest memory: 
"Ms. Brunjes' Astronomy class (going to the field trips), Yearbook (even though it was stressful, I got out of P.E. and was able to spend time with my two best friends), and graduating with my two best friends."