About Jenny

Jenny's Story

Jenny LinJennifer Han-chi Lin, known as Mei-Mei, Chi-Chi, Jen-Jen, Shiao Chi, Boober, and Jenny to friends and family, lived each of her fourteen years to its fullest potential. Jenny was born in Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, California; she grew up in Castro Valley where she attended Happiness Hill Preschool, Crossroads Christian School, Vannoy Elementary School, and Canyon Middle School.

Jenny pursued many talents and interests. She sought and welcomed new challenges voraciously and kept her family busy driving her to her many activities. She started dance lessons at age three and continued for nine years. Jen also studied piano for eight years; she loved to play a duet version of Listz’s “Hungarian Rhapsody” with her sister or father. Though at first she disliked the idea of Saturday School, she went to Chinese school every Saturday for seven years where she learned about her cultural heritage.

Jenny and Music

Jenny and ViolaIn the sixth grade, Jenny began to study the viola in the middle school orchestra. Her progress over three years was quick and astounding; during her last year, she became the sole and principal violist of the middle school orchestra, and was invited to join the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra though she was only in eighth grade. Her achievements in the orchestra were widely noted. Her instructors recognized her as the Outstanding Musician for orchestra in eighth grade and presented her the Perpetual Plaque for musical achievement. To Jenny, however, orchestra was not merely an activity– it was a network of friends. In 1993, she was extremely excited to go to Los Angeles with the orchestra, and in 1994, to Mexico on a cruise with the Chamber Orchestra. Jenny anticipated these trips for weeks and wore out her friends’ and family’s ears talking about them afterwards.

Academics and After School Activities


Jenny in MexicoJenny’s extracurricular pursuits were numerous, remarkable, and complementary to her incredible academic talents. She received straight A’s throughout her Canyon career and enjoyed studying outside of school. At the time of her death she had been planning to attend U.C. Berkeley’s Academic Talent Development Program to study marine biology, a subject in which she had expressed much interest. She loved school and particularly enjoyed math, reading and writing. She was excited about attending high school and finding new challenges and opportunities in which to excel.

Despite her many activities, Jen found time to relax in varied ways. Her stereo was always on; her favorite music included the “Dragon” soundtrack, “Phantom of the Opera” and U2. She was always on the phone with friends. Her excuse was “I have to help them with homework!” Actually, Jenny often discussed schoolwork with her peers and learned the value of teamwork and communication. She also drove her friends nuts with her organizational skills whenever she tried to clean their rooms. Of course, like any teenager, another major interest for Jenny was boys; she also had a fascination with clothes, especially her older sister’s clothes. Her trademark outfit was a white sweatshirt and a flower print pair of shorts. Around the home, she fulfilled many responsibilities such as caring for family pets. She loved to hang out with her family watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. Whenever friends and family visited, Jenny was appointed baby sitter even when she was quite young because she loved children. She was always proud of her health and fitness from running, dancing, or playing tennnis. She had planned to join the high school track team, another new venture for her.

Throughout her life, Jenny maintained the most vibrant, vivacious, and easy-going personality. Her big eyes and big smile always welcomed a good time; she loved to play around and be silly whenever she found the chance. Even at her young age, she knew the secret to a happy and fulfilling life and helped others around her to discover the same.