Local

May 17, 2013

A dream of two generations: Edwards Airman selected to attend USAFA

Senior Airman ShuJie Yan, an aerospace medical service technician at the Family Health Clinic, has been selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy this fall.

When Senior Airmen Shujie Yan immigrated to the United States from China in 2006, she was a freshman in high school. One year later, she had big dreams of life in the Air Force.

Inspired by the core values – Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do – she knew it was the life for her.

While Yan adjusted quickly to the life in Temecula, Calif., and challenged herself in the classroom, her grades weren’t quite as competitive as she would have liked and her citizenship status prevented her from attending the United States Air Force Academy right out of high school. She opted instead to enlist in the Air Force as a medical technician.

Now, as a result of her hard work and dedication, Yan will finally have her chance to become an Air Force officer as she has accepted a rare appointment to the USAFA and will begin taking classes this fall.

“I want to do more than what I’m able to do right now. Because of the opportunities offered at the academy, the training and leadership development, it will build me up into a better person and help me achieve my goal of becoming a physician,” said Yan.

“I want to give back and serve my country because of what my country has offered me. I’ve been honored and grateful to serve as an enlisted member, but this opportunity has changed my life. I have been given so many opportunities and freedom that I never imagined in China,” she added.

The friendships, unique connections with patients and the desire to help others has motivated Yan to become a physician, just like her mentor at the 412th Medical Group, Maj. James Sarasua, M.D.

“I want to be a physician and I want to start with the family practice perspective because that is what I’m familiar with. All the doctors I’ve been working with are great. They mentor me, they teach me; especially Dr. Sarasua,” said Yan. “I’ve been working with him since September 2011, which was only three months after I arrived at Edwards. He has inspired me to want to be a doctor too.”

As a physician, she will have the opportunity to bond with patients and make a lasting contribution in their lives.

“Today, a lot of people’s relationships are based on texting and materialistic values. I just feel that human-to-human bonding, real friendships are precious and I want to preserve that and I want to make a real difference in their lives,” said Yan.

While medical school is several years away, a more immediate challenge will be adapting to life at the academy. Fortunately for Yan, she’s prepared for the challenge.

Acclimating to the highly regimented, demanding structure should be fairly routine for Yan, who left home and began attending boarding school in China at the mere age of 4.

The ability to adapt was a top concern for Maj. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander, who wrote a letter recommending Yan for appointment.

“As a graduate of the academy, I started discussing with her the discipline involved; the long hours, regimented schedule and attention to detail. The level of academics is extreme and some people just don’t have that level of discipline. I wanted to make sure she is ready for this,” said Bunch.

After meeting with her, Bunch knew the USAFA was a good fit for Airman Yan.

“She has great leadership potential and in all aspects of her career, she’s done an outstanding job. I think it is in the best interest of the Air Force to have her go through the academy to become an officer. I have no doubt she can do it. We need great officers. We need great leaders. She’s got the potential to be both and I’m confident she’ll succeed,” said Bunch.

Yan has dreamed of attending the USAFA since her sophomore year and will finally have the opportunity to see her dream through. In fact, her mother’s appreciation of military life and culture is one of the reason’s Yan wanted to pursue an education through the academy.

“My mom also played a big role in my career choice; she always wanted to be in the military but was too old to join. That’s one of the main reasons I joined the military and why I’m pursuing my dream of attending the academy – we call it a dream of two generations. She keeps telling me how much I remind her of herself when she was younger,” said Yan.

Her mom is currently preparing to accompany her daughter and make the big move to Colorado.

“The education is very good, the development will well prepare her to be an officer, but it will be challenging. Given the performance of what she has done in high school and what she has done here, I have no doubt she is up to the challenge,” said Bunch.

Her friends may have been accepted to Yale, Harvard and Stanford straight out of high school, while Yan chose life in the Air Force, but it’s that very experience that promises to be a great benefit as she assumes her new role as a future Air Force leader.

“When she becomes an officer, she will be much better prepared to deal with enlisted matters than someone like myself who didn’t have that experience. That’s the benefit, that’s the value if she does it right – and I’m sure she will,” said Bunch.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Separated but not alone

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho–As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, how am I going...
 
 
duck-blind2

Duck blind drawing slated for Aug. 8

Waterfowl hunters can participate in the annual duck blind drawing scheduled Aug. 8 at the Rod and Gun Activity, Bldg. 210. Base hunting permits may be submitted to drawing officials from 9 a.m. until the actual drawing begins,...
 
 
LPGA1

Free golf clinics with LPGA tour player

Air Force photographs by Rebecca Amber Ladies Professional Golf Association tour player Stephanie Louden demonstrates how to correctly use three golf clubs, a wedge, a 7-iron and a driver during the free golf clinic July 24. Lo...
 

 

NASA’S American Eatery (Bldg. 4825)

Aug. 3-7 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday Beef taco salad Tuesday Lasagna Side salad and garlic bread Wednesday Country fried steak Mashed potatoes and gravy Vegetables Thursday Orange chicken Fried rice and egg roll Friday Baked cod Macaroni and cheese Broccoli All Blue Plate Specials — $7.89 Drink not included. Medium Beverage, $1.99; Large,...
 
 

Air Force promotes fatigue countermeasures

Human fatigue results from sleep deprivation. Fatigue has become a growing concern in the Air Force as sustained and continuous operations, along with global deployments, are stretching the ability of our forces to meet growing mission demands. Some Airmen may question whether fatigue is really a big enough hazard to worry about. Fatigue can decrease...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best

Losing sleep: CSAF shares what keeps him up at night

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III speaks with 501st Combat Support Wing Airmen during an all call at Royal Air Force Croughton, England, July 16. Welsh explained the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>