201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


FAITH: Class of 2024

Jung inspires others with dedication to his faith

My junior and senior year I took an after-school class called IB Theory of Knowledge. IB TOK is a class that tackles how we understand knowledge in our day to day lives. We discussed confusing yet interesting concepts of truth, ethics, and language. Let’s just say this class was not a breeze.

The class oftentimes had disagreements. But one thing we could all agree on is that as soon as senior Isaiah Jung opened his mouth, we knew he was going to say something good.

Seniors Isaiah Jung (left) and Reagan Glidewell (right) at the Rotary top 100 celebration. (Reagan Glidewell)

I admire Isaiah as a classmate for his intelligence. This year’s salutatorian and an IB diploma candidate, there is no doubt that he’s one smart guy. But really what I admire most about Isaiah is his true embodiment of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

The beginning of my senior year was definitely rough. I didn’t know Isaiah well at the time; however, Christian-to-Christian, Isaiah’s kindness guided me through feelings of shame and hurt.

“I’m proud of you for being open about your struggles,” Isaiah said to me in a text message. “A Christianity framed to be a solely joyful journey is blatantly false and I would even call it propaganda.”

Isaiah always encouraged me to keep striving forward. Sometimes all we need is a genuine person in our lives that we can rely on.

Senior Audey Bae agrees. Audrey and Isaiah worked together as president and vice president of the Model United Nations club. She said Isaiah was someone she could consistently rely on.

Isaiah proctors an MUN practice conference. He has been the MUN vice president for two years. (Isaiah Jung)

“We have clashing personalities, and there were times we went through rough patches, but he never failed to deliver what I asked him to,” Bae said. “If he cares about something and he says he is going to commit to something, he will do it. It is such a comforting dynamic, and I am so grateful.”

Isaiah gives all of the credit to his faith. 

Isaiah attended church as a child but didn’t become more serious about his faith until later. Attending church became more of a routine.

“The Gospel became almost like school information that was just in my head,” Isaiah said. “But there was definitely a point in my life where that information in my head went down to my heart. A lot of my perspectives, my outlooks on life.”

Isaiah experienced a significant turning point when he attended a church beach outing with a friend at the end of his sophomore year. 

“I really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in a non-church setting, and the biggest reason I felt that was because I felt the warmth of community,” Isaiah said. “The people there were reaching out to me, talking to me first, and asking about me like they genuinely cared and were genuinely curious about me.”

After the outing, Isaiah started to attend Friday services frequently.

Isaiah with members of the FUHS Jesus Club in 2024. He has been secretary for one year. (Isaiah Jung)

“Every time I went, I felt more and more. For the first time I felt what it truly means to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit and actually feeling something beyond human understanding,” Isaiah said.

Isaiah’s attitudes and habits slowly changed. Prior, he struggled to control his anger and find fulfillment in his life. Little inconveniences and interactions would often escalate into bigger issues.

“I was not careful with my words, I was not sensitive to people’s feelings, and I wasn’t the happiest person either. I was kind of just doing what I could to get by, and I never had something that truly filled my heart,” Isaiah said. “But after April, I felt this yearning, this passion to change, and I think that sprouted because I found something that actually filled me. That was Jesus Christ.”

However, Isaiah said what influenced him most was reading the Bible from cover to cover. He finished reading in three months the summer going into his senior year.

“Faith that is solely based on emotion isn’t going to last you very long. You can have these emotions, but you don’t really know who your God is and what you’re actually believing in,” Isaiah said. “It’s not a stretch to say that reading it was life changing. I learned who my God was.”

Isaiah said he took on a mindset of servitude when approaching his academic and social life, including eventually serving as the secretary of the Jesus Club. He also became more apt to take advantage of his gifts and opportunities, including his achievements in speech and debate.

Isaiah is ranked in the top 0.7% internationally and an Academic All-American for speech and debate. (Isaiah Jung)

Isaiah began speech and debate in middle school where he discovered his gift of public speaking. 

“I didn’t want to let that go to waste because it’s not a skill that many people have and public speaking is actually the number one fear in America,” Isaiah said. “I wanted to take advantage of what God gifted me with.”

Isaiah competed in the public forum category of speech and debate for all four years of high school and moved up the ranks with senior Mackenzie Mauldin. They were partners for their sophomore and junior year where they qualified for both the state and national debate championships and were ranked 58 out of 30,000 competitors internationally.

Although Isaiah stepped back from competing as frequently his junior and senior year due to burnout, the debate duo remained close.

“There was a period where we competed for like eight weekends back to back and each tournament is at least like two to three days,” Isaiah said. “She always made sure to emphasize that she cares more about our mental health and our friendship more than the numbers and winning trophies.”

Isaiah also hoped to take advantage of his gift of public speaking in his future career. Isaiah will attend UCLA in the fall to study political science on a pre-law track. He hopes to continue to law school and become a prosecutor with a specialization in violent crimes.

What influenced Isaiah the most was his fascination with justice. His biggest inspiration was his favorite book of the Bible, Proverbs.

Isaiah with his late grandfather Jung Woo-sung in 2007. (Isaiah Jung)

“Within Proverbs there’s quite a few verses which suggest that we ought to do our best in serving justice and we ought to help those whose voices aren’t heard,” Isaiah said. “So through my career, I not only want to do something that I know I’m best at, but I also want to glorify God in whatever I do in the future.”

Isaiah says he is grateful for his growth in high school and looks forward to his next stage of life at UCLA.

“It wasn’t always easy, but I am blessed. When I think of who I was before I knew Jesus, it’s really crazy. There’s literally no other explanation than God’s grace,” Isaiah said. “There’s no way that a person who was as broken as I was, chasing after the things of this world, could change that drastically. It’s only explainable by the grace of God.”

And thanks to Isaiah, I know that even while I will miss our in-person talks ranging from politics to movies to faith, I will always have someone to count on.

[From right to left] Isaiah with speech and debate classmates Julia James, Amelie Heying, Audrey Bae and Mackenzie Mauldin in 2022. He has competed in 38 tournaments and 230 rounds throughout his speech and debate career. (Isaiah Jung)
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