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Distinguished Finalist

Justin Thach

Salem, Oregon

Justin Thach, 18, of Salem, Ore., a senior at West Salem High School, founded “Young Asian Leaders of America” (YALA), an organization dedicated to connecting the Asian-American community through service, education, identity exploration and empowerment. Justin started YALA after noticing a lack of Asian-American representation in mainstream culture, and has expanded the organization to include chapters across the U.S.