George Chen touched others in thousands of ways. He had a 1,000-watt smile, earned a high school award for 1,000 hours of community service and charity work, and thought math tutoring was “grand.” His kind and compassionate spirit, however, was infinite and knew no limits.
George was born on September 19, 1994, in Ottawa, Canada, to Kelly Wang and Johnny Chen, the eldest of their two sons. He spent his childhood in the Canadian capital before moving to California.
In 2012 he graduated from Leland High School in San Jose. At UCSB, George was studying Computer Science.
George enjoyed swimming, hiking, tennis, and — just like his father — studying math. During his entire four years of high school, George came to school every day from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., before the regular school day began, to volunteer as a math tutor.
He was creative, hard-working, gentle, sweet, super-friendly, and always sharing his bright, warm smile. He loved to laugh and play videogames with his younger brother.
Shelley LaMon, George’s teaching assistant for his Asian American studies class at UCSB, said he was “a kind soul, a dedicated student, hard-working and courteous. He was compassionate and concerned about others, and he had a smile that lit up the room. He was always positive and energetic and participated in everything.”
George cared. One of his favorite quotes:
“Loving kindness and compassion are necessities, and not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” — Dalai Lama