From her schoolmates and friends

Connie was the most wonderful person to know. Her beautiful smile lit up everyone's day. Her kind heart touched so many lives. She was our problem solver, our person to make even the gloomiest days brighter. Everyone loves her so much. Connie was my best friend and she'll be in my heart forever.
            - Veronica Roh
Connie is a kind hearted, always smiling person. I remember her coming to each classroom, smiling with her shopping bag book covered books. I used to write on her book covers, and hold them for it just looked so cool. I remember in math class when this guy named Justin never understood a thing. Connie wouldn't get mad or impatient, but would help him understand the problem.
            - Esther Pae
Everyone knew Connie was going to have a good future ahead of her. I planned to go to high school with Connie and have a good time. She would always let me borrow her pens and eraser. Connie wouldn't get annoyed or disturbed. She would just reply, " Uh-huh. Sure." Connie always had a cheery face and a bright smile. She was always happy and thinking positive.
            - Joan Park
She and I used to joke around with fake nicknames for each other, but she would always just want to be herself. She was her own self and a very unique person.
            - Sarah Oh
In only twelve years, she did so much. She showed a lot of leadership. She was like my role model. I respected her and admired her. When I think about her, I burst into tears. When I cry, I think Connie would be upset at us. If she were here, she would tell us not to cry so we would just stay calm and not cry.
            - Yuri Lee
How could one girl have known so many people? This is because Connie talked to everyone like they were her best friend and she had known them for years. She always knew what to say. I'll never forget the time she told me, "Yeah, one day I am gonna rule the world." She inspired everyone with her beauty, brilliance and how she just was different. She has made such a great impact on our lives.
            - Angela Chinn
Did she ever show you the bracelet I gave to her for Christmas? It was the one that had the initials "CKOR." Chinn. Kao. O. Roh. We were the best friends.
            - Esther O
Connie was always there for me. She told me to look at the bright side and never give up. Connie was also a great leader. Connie has really changed my life.
            - Jodie Huang
What drew me to her was her kind, open personality. She is one of the most optimistic people around, never bothered or annoyed like most people. Since I began attending Wilson High, the only form of communication was through instant message. Even though she was typing words, she was able to help me overcome my problems whenever I needed someone to talk to, to confide in. I could always count on her.
            - Sherry Chen
Connie, we all miss you very much. We made 1000 cranes to show you how much we love you. I am calling it LOVEGAMI because the people who made the cranes really really love you. We made them with lots and lots of love.
            - Tiffany Kuo
I am very very sorry for her. She was a very nice person. Whenever I saw her, she always had a smile on her face. I really wish it would have been Osama Bin Laden instead of Connie that passed away.
            - Amanda
She was always like a sister to me. She helped me through a lot of hard times and always made me laugh. She was perfect in every way, athletic, smart and beautiful. We all knew she would make a big difference in the world one day. But she never lived to see the day that she might become the president or win a Noble prize.
            - Sacha Tani
She has many admirers and I am one of them. She made a great impact on me. I still remember what we talked about the last time. It was about how much fun we were going to have in San Jose and sing at the Honor Choir festival. We promised each other to have a lot of fun. I want to do something special for Connie. I want to go to San Jose and win the first place trophy and dedicate it to her. If I make valedictorian for graduation, I want to dedicate the entire speech to her.
            - Tammy Tong
Connie was one of the most friendly and sincere people I have and will ever know. It always surprised me how much she loved her friends and family. It was so fun being around her, because she was always so happy and energetic. She never talked about anyone behind the back and was always honest. She tried her best at everything she did and succeeded well. Connie would help out or say hi to any random person, and brightened up everyone's day with a single, always ready smile. She didn't judge people quickly, and would think of others' feelings before acting. I still wonder now WHY it had to be someone like her who was so happy with the way things were going. She had done so much for her friends and family and still wanted to do more. I just wished that I could have talked to her one more time to reassure me that everything would be fine.
            - Claudine Kim
From homework to friendship, she was the type who helped people if they needed help. If you had problems, she would be there to listen and comfort you. She was the type that would teach you from right and wrong.
            - Adelaide Sit
Her smiles are contagious. She was born to be a leader.
            - Tracy Lee
Connie was really nice and always has a lot of ideas. Every time, Mrs. Montpas is stressful, Connie always encourages us to do something. She also gives a lot of ideas for the choir, like how to sell lollipops. She is very helpful to people and her community. She helps with the Talent Show, like organizing the people. She really puts herself into situations and fits them. Connie would have been a great person when someone needs help. She is always into the school spirit.
            - Lisa Kuang
Hi, Connie. You probably don't know me but I sure know you. I am a 6th grader that went to PE with you. I also saw you in the church about two times. You always had a smile on your face that always made everyone happy.
            - Bridget Lopez
She was such a talented person. You must have been really proud of her when she was the stage manager. I remember that after we finished the talent show she was very happy and excited to do more. I have only known Connie from choir this year but to me it seems that I have known her for the longest time. It seems that we have been friends for a long time. Whenever she walked into a room, she always had a smile on her face and didn't doubt anybody. She was like a leader to all. To many of us, she seemed so perfect in many different ways.
            - Jennifer Lopez
I know Connie when I was younger because my brother always told me she was smart. She was always working hard. Connie will be remembered as a legend.
            - Eugene Chang
I didn't know her personally, but from what I have heard, she was perfect. It was as if she didn't apply to the saying, "Nobody is perfect." Her loss hurt everyone.
            - Christopher Chin
Connie perhaps was one of the brightest students that Mesa Robles has ever seen.
            - Carey Leung
She was a person who is caring, responsible, respectful, trustworthiness and fair. Connie was great conflict manager.
            - Irene Yen
Connie is the perfect angel.
            - Angela Huang
Connie was always happy.
            - Louis Lin
Connie was magic, an angel, a star, a leader, a friend and many more.
            - Erica Pu
In some way, she has touched many lives. She probably stood up for you or helped you on homework. She sat behind me in math. Now I look back and see nothing. I won't hear her beautiful voice singing ever again.
            - Joe Kuang
I met her once. I was carrying a bag of jellybeans and they fell. This girl came and she said, "Need help?" I said, "Thank you". Then she said, " Are you new here?" I said, "No, I am Mary's daughter." She said, "Oh, that nice lady." I said, "Yes." She helped me out and then said bye-bye. My mom is the secretary at Mesa.
            - Marina Alaniz
Here is something to say. It was my birthday on March 6, 2001. Some eighth grade girl who looked very tough was yelling at me because I sat where she sat, but I didn't know. Then I went outside and sat by myself. The girl followed me and shouted at me saying bad things about me. Then Connie came and said to that girl, "Stop yelling at her." She also asked if I was fine. I told her I am. Connie always had a smile. She is smart and of course pretty. Everybody loved her.
            - Sasha Vllea
I remember how I met her last year in Chorus. She was always making me laugh. She was a perfectionist in every way. She had this record of always getting her work put up on the wall in Mr. DeHaas' class and she never broke it. Not only was she the perfect student but also the perfect friend. Whenever I was feeling down, I would always look her way for a friendly smile. I really admired her. She was so confident, something I lack. She was never afraid of what people thought of her. I used to look up to her and try to be just as confident. Now all I have to look up to is a memory.
            - Sarah LeVario
It was amazing how talented Connie was. To be honest, I have always envied her. Not only because she was smart, but also because she was different from all the others. Always standing out, never following others, always setting a good example for others to follow. She was her own person. She stood up for what she believed in and accomplished so much in her short 12 years of life.
            - Ashley Chao
Connie was a great person to hang around with in the summer. Her smile always kept people laughing and having a good time. She was one of the fastest swimmers in our age group. Connie was like a motor on water when it came to freestyle and backstroke. It was the best to see Connie pass by the other swimmers without them expecting it.
            - Cece Caliri
Connie was a very good person and very special to me. We were always in the same group at Industry Hills. She is one of a kind. She always had that smile on her face wherever she went. Her nickname is Ms. Smile. I remember when I used to go to the pool early and I would see her on the bench doing her homework or reading a book, or doing her piano theory. One time when I was complaining how my parents are too hard on me and all this negative stuff, she replied on line: "Hey babie. Don't be so down. Life doesn't suck that bad. If you really wanted, you should be able to get good grades. They are not so hard to get if you WORK HARD. We all hate homework, but if you really care about your education, you might try a little harder. Most Asian parents are like that and they just want what is best for you. They are more concerned about getting you a good life and you can't blame them for this. TRY HARDER. You are smart and you just need that MOTIVATION. When you look back on this one-day, you are going to know that everything worked out for a reason. Everything will turn out all right. Believe me, I know. So cheer up babe." Connie wrote this about a week before she passed away. She will never be forgotten.
            - Staci Chiou
In times when our choir wasn't at its best, Connie always managed to pull us through with all of her encouragement. She always believed in everyone. It was her encouragement and dedication that got us this far. She was a friend to everyone, even people she did not know. Connie was never embarrassed to be seen with people that were" cramping her style". She didn't mind. She was happy to walk over and give a sweat smile to those who were not "in with the crowd".
            - Tiana Nobbs
My friendship with Connie started when I was transferred to Mesa for my fifth grade. On the first day of school, everything was very new to me and I didn't know my way around. Connie came over to me and introduced herself and showed me the campus. We remained friends forever since then. I struggled in Mr. Dundon's class in the 6th grade. Connie encouraged me and stuck by me whenever Mr. Dundon and I clashed.
            - Courtney Mark
What I fear has been told through my tears
Though no words are spoken
I'm lost and broken
I'm filled with sorrow
I feel that without you there's no tomorrow
I dreamt that you were here
But when I looked, no one was there
No words can express how I feel
Cuz all the pain is just too real
Jeh Jeh, I thank you, for you taught me so much
You don't know how many lives you've touched
Rememba our dreamz?
How we were gonna be Berkeley roomiez?
When I think of our friendship, I feel like crying
I smile, but I feel like dying
You were an angel sent from heaven
To guide me, Catherine Chen
I love you and I miss you
All this is ever so true
All that I do
Will be dedicated to you
So until we meet again
In my heart's where I keep my friend
            - Catherine Chen  

 


From her teachers
   As a teacher of 13 years at Mesa Robles, there have only been two students who have had a great impact in my life and Connie was one of them. She came to the fifth grade class as a quiet and kind student. Connie walked out of my classroom as a young leady with tremendous leadership skills. She had an incredible drive to succeed. In class, she was like a teacher's aid. She would help make my job enjoyable. Being the elementary student body president gave Connie a big opportunity to shine under the spotlight and that is what she did. She conducted meetings with authority and organization. Her daily announcements were articulated with precision. She was also a true person with character. She was always nice to the students she encountered on a day to day basis. She was polite, well-liked, intelligent and considerate. She portrayed all of the pillars of Character Counts. Teacher couldn't ask for a better student.
   Connie was not only a student in my class but she was a truly good friend of mine. She would help after school and during the summer. We would share lunch during the summer with a few of her friends. She would always have so much to say about her plans for the future. She would talk about her family and how much of an important part all of her family were to her. Connie was so mature for her age.
            - Mrs. Stephanie McNamara
   I'll always remember Connie with absolute delight. I remember her in primary school as being a rather serious student. She seemed to take in everything around her as though she was studying it and committing it to memory. By sixth grade, she had really blossomed. She seemed much more confident and sure of her abilities. She immediately took on a leadership role in the choir. By year's end, she was awarded for her outstanding musicianship and for being the most inspirational in the choir. Connie always had something intelligent and down-to-earth to say which was listened to and respected by the other choir members.
   Connie was the best stage manager I've ever had. She made sure everything went as smoothly as possible and then in the talent show as well. When the choir turned its attention to the competition in San Jose, it was Connie who rallied the members and told them they really needed to work harder and practice everyday.
   There is not a day that goes by I don't think of Connie. Ours is a special student/teacher bond forged in musical, emotional and personal communications. I mourn not only for the loss of her physical person, but for the loss of all the things that Connie could have been.
            - Mrs. Debbie Montpas
In a world with many copycats, Connie is an original.
            - Mr. Jason Lee
Connie's courage to stand up for the underdog is an outstanding quality. I am sure that was her inspiration to become a lawyer. I'll never forget Connie and her warm smile.
            - Mrs. Karen Mekenian
Leadership affects change. Connie was a leader, because she affected changes in the circumstances and people around her. Connie loved people and life. She imperceptibly touched people's hearts with her love, commitment, and that ever-present smile. In student council, she planned dances, shared ideas, collected materials and debated issues. We were made better because of her. She changed us and we didn't even notice it. Her willingness, enthusiasm, intelligence and that smile are a part of us still. The student council will not be the same without her, but that's what a leader does.
            - Mr. Randy Brunelle
   I'll always remember Connie as a young lady who consistently and diligently pursued her skills and always had the time to be courteous and helpful to others. Her consistency and diligence was clearly seen in the classroom. She excelled academically but never gloated or showed off.
   Her exuberance for life was expressed outside of the classroom as well. I remember fondly her swim team experience while she was in my third grade class. She told me with an excited yet anxious expression on her face that she was in the swim team. She felt she wasn't the best, but she was willing to try her best. Sometimes she would come to school with chlorine streaks on her cheeks and arms, and we would laugh together about how funny it looked. Those simple and care-free moments showed me that she as a young lady with great self-esteem and confidence with a healthy ability to laugh at herself.
   She was sensitive to those around her. She took time to care for her classmates. As a result, Connie was well liked by her peers. In fact, at the end of her third grade year, she was voted as the most responsible student in the class and most likely to become a teacher.
   She took time out for me as well. Even after the third grade, she would find me. And with a bright cheerful and beautiful smile, she would always ask, " Hi, Mrs. Shin, How are your kids?" She will be missed by all.
            - Mrs. Esther Shin
There are many things I'll always remember about Connie but the thing that stands out the most is her smile. It never failed. Whenever I walked out of the PE room to begin 2nd period, there was Connie with her big, beautiful smile to greet me. She could instantly pick up my day, make me smile and it was something I always looked forward to. She was just all over the school, always doing something for someone. I have always felt she must be a triplet because one person just couldn't be everywhere, or do more or touch more people than Connie did. She was a friend to everyone: the best students, the struggling students, everyone in between, the athletes, the cheerleaders, the office staff, the PTA, EVERYONE. And whatever she was doing or wherever she went, she had that smile. It is something I am going to miss seeing, but something I'll keep forever in my heart.
            - Mr. Tracy Calton
I have flowers in my room that Connie gave me, when she left the fourth grade. I think of her every time I look at them. Connie taught me things on the computer like cut and paste. I think of her whenever I use the word processing program. I think of her watching the stock market and her shares of Starbucks. Connie has left a part of herself with me.
            - Mrs. Kay Carmona
I'll always remember Connie and how wonderful a child she was. Not only in first grade, but throughout her years. I'll always remember her smiling. She taught me to smile.
            - Mrs. Charlotte Hoshide
Connie was always this cute little girl who was always trying to brush her hair out of her face without much success. She was an independent and motivated learner who wasn't afraid to ask questions. At the time she was in my class, she was the only sixth grader who dared to stand up against the eighth graders and everyone respected and liked her for it, even the eighth graders. She was always friendly and helpful. The kids who knew her still think and speak of her often in my classes or when they drop by and visit. It's no surprise that all of their memories of her are positive.
            - Ms. Tina Tsai