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Valley Sun All-Star Elaine Park:

The girl with the big heart

February 26, 2009|By Ruth Longoria Valley Sun

Concern for others, creative endeavors and plans for a career in communications consume much of the schedule of this week’s Valley Sun All-Star.

The girl with the big heart and dreams is Elaine Park, a junior at Flintridge Preparatory School.

Park is the daughter of Austin and Cecilia Park of La Cañada. She has a brother, William, 15, a student at La Cañada High School.

She was born in Glendale, lived in Montrose, and attended Learning Castle in La Cañada and then first grade at Monte Vista Elementary School, before moving to La Cañada in time for second grade at Palm Crest Elementary School.

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After attending La Cañada High School 7/8, she transferred to Flintridge Preparatory School.

Park enjoys school and is currently on the dean’s list. This year, she was voted by her peers as one of about 16 youths — four in each grade — to be part of a conduct review group at the school.

She’s also a member of the school’s varsity swimming, water polo and tennis teams. And she sings in the school chorus.

She has been playing the piano since she was about 5 years old and regularly performs with a group of friends at area retirement homes and schools for disabled children. She also plans to use her musical talents together with brother, Will, who plays the violin, in August to provide a musical benefit concert to help North Korean refugees.

Cecily Young, of Glendale, has been Park’s piano teacher for the past five years. Young said she’s impressed with Park’s talent, as well as her ability to excel at a variety of activities and academic endeavors. “She is very advanced, but she doesn’t know how talented she is,” Young said, adding, “Not only is she an academic high achiever, but she has broad interest and knowledge of social issues. And she’s not afraid to show who she is. She doesn’t expect to be perfect, but she pushes her limits and wants to do her best in all areas.”

Friendship also is important to the youth, as is being respectful to her parents, teachers, and others in leadership positions, Young said.

Park is a member of Holy Trinity Korean Catholic Church, where she serves as a commentator and helps lead the mass, by reading from the Bible, making announcements and performing other necessary roles.

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