In school and beyond, Lina is a dynamo. “Out of my 15 years of teaching,” one of her math teachers wrote, “she has been one of the most exceptional students I've taught.” She heads the largest service club in her school. She tutors children at a library branch twice a week, and enlisted Bloomingdale’s to sponsor a spelling bee there. She also founded an international forum to help students explore economics.

In her essay, Lina wrote vividly of the day she and her brother ran through smoke to flee a fire in the apartment they shared with their parents. “Just as my brother and I managed to charge forward in the face of physical harm,” she wrote, “I will continue moving on undeterred through my intellectual and entrepreneurial journey to inspire community building, personal growth, and social impact for myself and others.” Another turning point in her life was caring for her mother during a serious medical condition, an experience that Lina’s college counselor described as “helping her pursue her studies with a maturity beyond her years.”

Lina used her time during the pandemic to study economics. Fascinated, she discovered that it was about more than money, but “understanding how economic forces drive social systems.” This led her to found Global Youth Economics Forum, a 501(c)(3) organization that offers in-person and virtual events, conferences, competitions, and college mentorship. With 30 colleagues, she runs a program that claims more than a thousand members in over a hundred schools on six continents.

Lina views college as “less about learning what to think than how to think.” At Yale, she plans on "exploring the moral dimension of economics, as opposed to more heterodox ideas like homo economics, the rational man driven solely by self-interest.”

“My belief,” Lina’s math teacher wrote, is “that there will be no limit to her growth in college and beyond.”

The teacher/mentor that has made the greatest difference in my life is Kathleen, my college essay mentor, who reviewed all 40+ of my college supplemental essays and provided encouragement throughout the difficult process, even when I doubted my own abilities.