Goals unite students of varying backgrounds

Taylor Gayner and Rio Popper

Junior Yasemin Agi’s parents both immigrated here from Turkey—her father when he was seven and her mother when she was in her twenties; today, Agi’s family emphasizes cooking dishes inspired by Turkish and Muslim culture. Agi and her older brother, Kubilay, who currently attends UCLA, can both speak Turkish and are Muslim.

Agi plans to go into law.

“It’s important to have people that have knowledge of the law because not everyone has the time to know all of their rights and liberties,” she said. “We need to have people that know the specifics of those things.”

Leon immigrated from Mexico when she was a toddler. For her, identity is complicated—she identifies as both Mexican and American and neither Mexican nor American.

“Sometimes I don’t feel enough Mexican because I’ll pronounce something wrong, or I don’t even know the history of my own country. I can’t name more than one president or the democratic party there,” Leon said. “I was raised here and grew up learning about the U.S., and yet I also feel like I am not enough American.”

Like Agi, Leon also has an older brother in college, and, like Agi, Leon also wants to go into law. She plans to major in Philosophy and minor in political science as an undergrad and attend law school after.

I was raised here and grew up learning about the government systems of the U.S., and yet I am not enough American.

— Myriam Leon, junior'

Unlike Agi and Leon, Pierce is a fourth-generation American. She, in some ways, is lucky.

“My family has a lot of connections because we’ve been here for a really long time,” she said. “It’s totally unfair, but I do benefit from that.”

Pierce does attempt to give back: she, like both Agi and Leon, is a part of several community-service organizations, including girl scouts and the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, a club that works to get girls more involved in athletics. And, despite her connections, she still works very hard, both for herself and for others.

“I always see [Pierce] with elaborate study guides,” junior and friend Lauren Schiff said. “She’s always super prepared, and she’s always willing to offer help, too.”

Like both Leon and Agi, Pierce plans to be a lawyer.

“I guess I’m good at arguing,” Pierce said. “But I also enjoy the prep part of it, too. I’m in Debate, and I love the research, the argument…I just like it.”