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Michael Yessaian


Bold Points




The tight-knit community I grew up in shielded and supported me until fourth grade, when my friend Carson's father was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. Despite not fully grasping the gravity of the situation, life continued until I visited Carson's house one evening. His father had been moved to hospice care, and the heavy atmosphere profoundly impacted me, igniting a desire to help. Realizing the lack of resources for children like Carson, I, with my family's support, began by selling hot chocolate every Friday morning to raise funds for care packages. The community's overwhelming response spurred the creation of Help With Hope, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting kids whose parents have cancer. Through this journey, I've learned two key lessons. Firstly, the importance of showing care and support to those in need cannot be overstated. Witnessing the gratitude from children and parents alike as they receive our care packages reaffirms this. Secondly, I've learned the value of taking action, no matter how small, and continuously striving to improve. Help With Hope has evolved from a modest hot chocolate stand to a thriving organization with a $30,000 operating budget, providing virtual support groups during the pandemic and distributing around 1000 care packages annually nationwide. Looking forward, I aim to bring Help With Hope to the University of Chicago, where I'll study Economics and Data Science while playing football as a wide receiver. My journey has been one of dedication and perseverance, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunities that lie ahead.


San Marino High School

High School
2019 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Data Science
    • Economics and Computer Science
    • Community Organization and Advocacy
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Venture Capital & Private Equity

    • Dream career goals:



      2019 – Present5 years


      • mvp, defensive player of the year


      2019 – Present5 years


      • 5x recipient elite titan scholar athlete, all rio hondo league WR/dB, offensive player of the year

      Public services

      • Advocacy

        help with hope — co founder
        2014 – Present

      Future Interests




      Janie Mae "Loving You to Wholeness" Scholarship
      The fabric of my upbringing was woven from the threads of a tight-knit community, a sanctuary that sheltered and nurtured me until the fourth grade. It was during this pivotal year that the serene surface of my world was pierced by the heart-wrenching news shared by my friend, Carson: his father was locked in a fierce battle against terminal colon cancer. At first, the weight of Carson's burden didn't fully register with me, and life seemed to carry on its usual course through the school year. However, an evening visit to Carson's home shattered the facade of normalcy. There, amidst the solemnity of his father's transition from hospital care to hospice, I was engulfed by a profound sense of empathy. The firsthand witnessing of Carson's ordeal sparked a sense of urgency within me. With the unwavering support and encouragement of my family, I embarked on a humble yet determined mission to extend support to children facing circumstances akin to Carson's. Every Friday morning became a ritual of early rises and diligent preparation of hot chocolate, which I then peddled to passersby on their way to school. The proceeds from these humble sales became the lifeblood funding the care packages that I personally delivered to the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Encouraged by the overwhelming response and solidarity from our community, Help With Hope, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was birthed into existence. Reflecting on the impact of our collective endeavors, I've gleaned two profound realizations. Firstly, the simple gesture of knowing that someone cares and stands ready to offer support carries immeasurable significance for both the children grappling with illness and their parents. Witnessing the radiant smiles on children's faces as they receive our care packages, and reading the heartfelt expressions of gratitude from parents, serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of our mission. Secondly, I've learned to value the ethos of taking action, no matter how modest, and the continual pursuit of improvement. This ethos propelled Help With Hope from its nascent stages as a humble hot chocolate stand to a robust non-profit organization with a commendable $30,000 operating budget. Even amid the adversities posed by the pandemic, we pivoted our efforts by offering virtual support groups and ensuring the continued distribution of approximately 1000 tailored care packages nationwide, each designed to address the specific needs of children navigating their parent's illness. As I gaze towards the horizon of the future, I aspire to extend the reach of Help With Hope by establishing a chapter at the esteemed University of Chicago. There, amidst pursuing my academic passions in Economics and Data Science and carving out a role as a wide receiver on the football field, I envision fostering a community of compassionate support for children in need. My journey thus far has been one etched with dedication and perseverance, and I eagerly anticipate the boundless opportunities that await as I embark on the next chapter of my life's odyssey.
      San Marino Woman’s Club Scholarship
      I pushed myself academically by exploring my love of sports and data analysis in greater depth. When my class went to the Valentine Elementary School Library in the third grade, I got lost in Dewey's Decimal System Section 790: Sports Facts and History. That's when it all started. My curiosity grew over time from merely learning sports facts to delving into the complex numbers underlying the achievements of my idols. As I became older, I explored more intricate statistical analysis and more obscure measurements in an attempt to comprehend the subtleties of sports performance. Through this journey, I came to understand that my passion for data and my love of sports were not mutually exclusive; rather, they complemented one other and stoked my curiosity. This insight inspired me to push myself beyond the classroom by utilizing my love of sports and data analysis in practical settings. I started looking for methods to apply my knowledge and abilities outside of the classroom in an effort to find ways to meaningfully contribute to the larger community. In the end, my journey from ardent sports fan to data-driven analyst serves as an example of how I constantly pushed the boundaries of my knowledge and abilities to follow my passions and have a real impact on the world around me, both inside and outside of the classroom.