Just like the rest of the graduating class of 2021 at Monroe Township High School, Frances Tan’s senior year was mostly spent in quarantine. Her favorite TV show at the moment is Reign and when she’s not listening to music herself, Tan is usually practicing her self-taught skills on the piano.
She’s been on the Principal’s list and Honor Roll multiple times throughout her four years at MTHS. Tan is also an active member in the National Honor Society as well as individual honor societies like Science Honor Society and Rho Kappa.
She’s been a part of Project FUN, the Falcon Pals program, and Red Cross club through the school, too. As part of the Class of 2021, Tan typically plans and fundraises for class events like the senior picnic as well as junior and senior prom.
She also helps raise school spirit with the Student Council where she currently serves as its Treasurer. Here, Tan runs the Instagram page, puts together meeting agendas, and decorates posters for different events like food drives, Powder Puff, and of course, spirit week.
Beyond this, Tan volunteers at the Monroe Township Public Library, virtually tutoring young children in reading, and at the Parker nursing home, singing to residents with her sister, Megan. She also had the opportunity to take part in a virtual shadowing program as a volunteer. Through this, she was able to learn about different professions in healthcare.
The road to graduation was anything but easy. In true COVID fashion, Tan has gone through a great deal of loss, both in her personal and academic life.
“I ran for vice-president of my class twice...and lost both times. It hurt a lot to lose but I’m content with where I am. Sometimes things don’t go the way you want it to because you are meant for something greater...On a more personal note that was extremely difficult was dealing with the death of my grandma. When she passed away in November 2020, it was difficult to keep up with schoolwork and maintain my grades. If I couldn’t find the motivation to work for myself, I dedicated my studies to my grandma who always took care of me and my sisters, and she became my inspiration to keep working.”
Despite the hardships she's been through, Tan couldn't be more excited for her future. She recently committed to Rutgers University with the intent of double majoring in Cell Biology/Neuroscience in addition to Psychology. By taking classes at the high school like Working with Children I, II, and II, Tan has grown to love working with kids; creating lesson plans, carrying out activities, and learning about childhood development are just some of the reasons why she became so drawn to it. Eventually, she hopes to attend medical school as her dream is to one day become a practicing pediatrician.