ALL CLEAR: Nearby police activity has concluded. Campus has reopened.

David Yama Named as One of the Nation's Top Scholars

April 20th, 2015
honored

South Seattle College student David Yama was named as one of the top scholars in the nation by earning a spot on the All-USA Academic team, as announced by the National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, on April 20. Yama is the first student in South’s history to earn this honor.

The All-USA academic team is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Nominees are hand-selected by college presidents or their designated nominator for demonstrating academic rigor, leadership and civic growth.

Yama attended the national celebration, on April 20, of the top-20 All-USA Scholars where he was further honored as the sole recipient of PTK’s Pierce Scholarship.  Along with receiving financial support through the award, he was selected to speak on behalf of all 20 students during the celebration.  That same day, Yama and his fellow 19 standouts were featured in the USA Today newspaper.

Earlier this year Yama was named Washington State’s New Century Scholar, which is given to the top-ranked scholar on the All-Washington Academic team. In the last four years, South has produced two of Washington’s top-scholars from this team.

After dropping out of high school at the age of 14, and working a series of what Yama called “dead-end jobs,” his academic career started at South in hopes of earning his GED. With the encouragment of South faculty member Jane Harness, Yama’s confidence and aspirations continued to grow. He will graduate this spring with an associate degree while maintaining a 3.96 GPA.

Much of  Yama’s success he credits to South’s faculty and staff. In addition to Harness, he specifically mentioned instructors Rochelle Fontoi, Bob Dela-Cruz, and Jake Ashcraft.
“South has the most helpful faculty and staff anywhere, with so many opportunities!” Yama said.

After graduation, Yama’s academic journey will continue at the University of Washington, where he is currently volunteering up to 30 hours a week conducting lab research, and he ultimately hopes to earn a doctorate.