Solana Beach teenager Yining Lu recently won an honorable mention in Family Travel Forum's third annual teen travel writing contest. Yining's work, "A French Connection," was selected out of 8,500 entries.
"I was happy when I found out I won," Yining said. "It's a good thing to put on a college application and it's also an affirmation of my writing ability."
Yining's piece told the story of his time living in Paris for six months while his mother worked at a research facility. He told the story of meeting a girl at his school who spoke Chinese, their friendship forming fast in the midst of French language barriers.
"Her mind shot from one place to another; she'd ask questions like, 'Would Garfield beat Snoopy in a fight?' or 'How many milk duds can I fit in my mouth?'" Yining wrote. "She was like those in-between channels on the radio where two stations broadcasted over each other."
Yining is a little shy talking about his childhood romance but said it was cool to put the story down on paper about the girl he still clearly remembers wearing his green jacket on the last day of school.
While Yining said he enjoys writing, he is not interested in pursuing it as a career. He likes photography but is also considering medical school.
The Torrey Pines senior is in the middle of applying to colleges — he just finished his Harvard University application. He is also applying to UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, Columbia, Yale and Stanford, although his number one choice is Cornell.
"I really want to go to college and I am just hoping to get into a good school," Yining said.