LATHROP – Lisa Lee has a dream. The Lathrop High School’s Class of 2013 salutatorian would like to see the day when diabetes will no longer be a scourge to those who have the disease.
She knows only too well the toll that diabetes inflicts on the life of those who daily depend on various types of pills while trying to live as normal a life as possible. Her father’s side of the family has a long line of diabetics and she has seen them struggle through the disease, said the Lathrop High graduate whose choice of a career to pursue in college was inspired by these suffering loved ones.
“I would like to help them so they don’t have to rely on their medication every single day,” said Lee as she explained why she has chosen to study pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of California at Davis starting this fall.
Lee is the middle child and only daughter of Jian Wen Li and his wife Wan Tan Li. The Spartan graduate spells her last name differently but both surnames are pronounced the same way. Her parents were both born in China and are the owners of Yan Yan Deli Chinese restaurant in Lathrop. Her older brother, also a graduate of Lathrop High, is currently attending Delta College in Stockton. Her younger sibling is a sophomore at Lathrop’s only high school campus west of Interstate 5.
Born in French Camp, Lee attended Westwood Elementary in Stockton until she was in sixth grade when her family moved to Lathrop. She finished eighth grade at Mossdale School a block away from Lathrop City Hall.
At Lathrop High, Lee not only excelled academically – she has a GPA of 4.1167 – but was also active in sports and other extracurricular activities. She played tennis at school until she was a junior and was a varsity tennis player. She was in track and field during her sophomore year. She was also in the school band for four years, and was a member of a group within the band called Naturally Sharp.
After school, Lee worked part-time for Kumon, a learning program aimed at teaching children excel in math and reading.