Story by Rebecca Parr
SAN LEANDRO -- SiLin Huang is headed to an Ivy League school in the fall after overcoming the challenges of speaking no English when she immigrated at age 8, growing up poor and missing two years of high school because of a mysterious illness.
"I'm the only child, so my parents viewed me as the hope for the family," she said. "My goal was to get a good education and do well in school, because my parents only completed high school, and I wanted to help them."
That goal was set back because of a still-undiagnosed illness. The straight-A San Leandro High student could not attend school -- she was too sick to even take online courses -- her junior and senior years. But when she recovered, she earned her high school diploma in one year at adult school and has been accepted by Columbia University in New York. In recognition of her accomplishments, she is one of 12 women chosen for the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame.