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Highland Rambler

Evie Uchino-Llenos: Intrinsically Motivated For Greatness

Billie Martinez

To be good at anything, there needs to be a balance between intellect and passion, capability to learn but also desire. The two go hand-in-hand to create an overall accomplished person.  

Evie Uchino-Llenos has found that balance: having already accomplished so much but eager to accomplish more. This balance is what propelled her into the running for the social science sterling scholar.  

“[Social science is] the science of yourself and how you interact with the world,” Uchino-Llenos said. 

She spent countless hours examining different parts of social science and the study of human beings, especially the human mind and how it works.  

Uchino-Llenos had the perfect candidate: her own brain. And the characteristics of herself that made her so capable of accomplishing so much.  

Her first attribute was her interactions she’s had with social science since, solidifying her knowledge within the field. 

For Uchino-Llenos, her days are spent working at a clinic and at a research center. 

“At the pain clinic, I do a lot of clinical stuff there,” Uchino-Llenos said. “I help room patients, I help get procedure stuff ready, and I help those patients get ready for the procedure.” 

Additionally, Uchino-Llenos has dedicated herself to researching different diseases of the brain.  

One disease that fascinated her in particular was dementia. 

“At the [University of Utah] I helped process data for a project on dementia,” Uchino-Llenos said. “[With] finding patterns in different brain waves, [ doctors] can catch the dementia really early on.” 

Clearly, Uchino-Llenos has a passion for helping others.  

Whether it’s in the clinic, or trying to find answers that’ll help keep people healthy, she’s trying to make a difference.  

“She really thinks about other people. Her interest in mental health is because she wants to help people,” Bert said. “That’s always stood out for her: she’s very sensitive for other people and tries to be a source of support for them when she can.” 

Uchino-Llenos has both narrowed in her study of cognitive development, but also skyrocketed her development through the interactions she’s had, both deepening her understanding of human relations but also strengthening her abilities to perceive the world around her.  

Another trait Uchino-Llenos practiced was her dedication to her studies through her determination to learn everything she could about the brain. 

“[Uchino-Llenos] from a very young age was always interested in psychology,” Bert said. “Like in the sixth grade, she had these really intense books about mental health.” 

With her passion for intellect came her ability to manage. No matter how many assignments she had, she knew she had to get them done and checked them off, one by one.  

Her management maintained an organized, productive work style that helped her dedication to her studies push through.  

“We’ve never had to get on her for doing her homework or studying hard enough, it’s always been important for her,” Bert said. “That made our job quite a bit easier.” 

Through self-regulation and goal setting, Uchino-Llenos has prioritized her academics, which proved herself worthy of the scholarship.  

But this only worked because she had the intrinsic motivation that could pull her through each class and assignment. Motivation to be intelligent, diligent, and productive. 

“She’s always been the person to enjoy studying in school,” Bert said. “It’s no surprise to us she’s done she’s done well in all grade-levels.” 

But with any success story, there has to be challenges. And there needs to be a support system for people to fall back on when things get hard.  

Specifically, her dad, who’s coincidentally pursued psychology and is currently a professor at the University of Utah, where Uchino-Llenos will be attending next fall.  

“I’m also a psychologist, so she discusses a lot of questions she has with me [ . . . ] so we talk a lot about psychology and the field and where it’s heading,” Bert said. “Sometimes I can answer the question and sometimes I can’t, she’s just really inquisitive about mental health issues.”  

With someone so close to her and with such a similar passion as her own, Uchino-Llenos has the support system she needs when times get hard. 

Uchino-Llenos has found her perfect balance, to not only propel her into success in high school like the award of a sterling scholar nomination, but has also contributed to the person she’ll become in the future: finding cohesion between social interactions, dedication to academia, and maintaining solid relationships.  

It’s made her the ideal candidate for not only the sterling scholar, but for careers and for relationships in the future. 

“I like to think that I’m someone who’s easy to work with,” Uchino-Llenos said. “I can blend pretty well into any environment I find myself in.” 

Because of her attentiveness to the world around her and her dedication to social science, Uchino-Llenos will find nothing but success in her future.  




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