The September Youth Excellence Award was presented to Logan Wu, a senior at Houston High School. Logan's teachers describe him as a "diligent and hardworking student who demonstrates great initiative and motivation," as well as "very respectful and a joy to have in class." He has consistently challenged himself with demanding coursework and consequently will be the only student who will graduate this year with 17 credits in AP courses. This year, Logan is recognized as a National Merit Semi-Finalist. He is also on track to graduate with an AP Capstone Diploma.
Logan has been playing chess competitively since the age of 5. He is a five-time National Champion and a World Youth Chess Champion, tying for 10th place during the 2019 tournament in Mumbai, India. He has qualified nine times to represent the U.S. in the World Championship. Logan has shared these talents with other Houston High students as co-president of the Chess Club, planning tournaments and organizing events. Additionally, during the pandemic when tournaments were put on pause, Logan and his parents founded the Pawn2Queen Chess Academy, helping even more students stay connected to chess by providing free lectures for students at local libraries and parks and teaching weekly chess classes.
Logan is also musically gifted. He began playing the piano at age 4 and learned how to play the violin in middle school. He is a member of the Houston Honors Orchestra, where he has formed great relationships and learned a lot about teamwork.
Logan's extensive experience in music and chess, combined with support from his family and teachers, have allowed him to serve and contribute significantly to our community. According to one nominator, "Logan is always positive and a great role model to many." Because of his many chess travels, he has had the distinctive opportunity to meet all types of people with diverse cultural backgrounds. Due to his many adventures, Logan has excellent critical thinking skills, understands that courage is required to take risks, knows how to accept failures, learns from his mistakes and, most of all, knows how to work hard and never give up.