Additional reporting by Brooke Hanshaw.
On Saturday, April 22, Aragon suffered a tragic loss when sophomore Priscilla Rose Chiu passed away unexpectedly.
Priscilla is remembered at Aragon as a cherished member of the girl’s golf team, as a beloved friend and as someone who always brought a bright smile and contagious laugh wherever she went. “Her smile was really pretty, and her laugh would make other people really happy,” explains sophomore Kaitlyn Cullins.
“She always seemed to be in a really good mood,” says sophomore AJ Vasquez.
Vasquez continues, “No matter how bad their day was, if it was light out, if it was dark out, she would just brighten up the room. She never really seemed down.”
Many of her friends liked her because of her charismatic personality.
“She wasn’t shy at all, so she could go up to anyone, and it didn’t really matter who they were, she could make friends with them,” says sophomore Yasmina Malouf, “She would find something in common and joke around and make them laugh. Not a lot of people have that ability.”
“She was very genuine and kind-hearted, and she was one of those people who truly cared and wanted the best for you,” says sophomore Lauren Carmichael, “She always showed you how much you meant to her, how much she loved you. She was very good at giving compliments, and she made you feel like you were important to her.”
Priscilla’s kindness shone through the small gestures she made to those around her.
“In seventh grade, there was turmoil between the girls on the school volleyball team,” explains one of Priscilla’s uncles, Peter Chiu, “Her volleyball coach decided to sit them all down and have a group discussion about team dynamics and the importance of getting along. The coach told me how Priscilla decided on her own to go up to each girl and give them all a hug. It was just a spontaneous random act of kindness, just one example of the love she was always willing to share.”
According to her father, Billy Chiu, Priscilla enjoyed making and having friends at Aragon.
“She enjoyed laughing and giggling with her friends. She took to playing golf and met great friends [through that],” Chiu says, “I laid her down with a sweatshirt she got from [Aragon].”
At Aragon, Priscilla played golf for the 2016-2017 school year. Says golf coach and P.E. teacher Guy Oling, “Priscilla was a valued member of the team. She was vastly improving at golf, and she had a great connection with her team. Any coach would’ve been proud to have her on their team.”
“She was really into golf,” says Carmichael, “she was really passionate about it, and she would always be practicing, even outside of school practices, with her teammates.”
Beyond golf, one of Priscilla’s other hobbies was makeup design. She maintained an Instagram account with 850 followers, “@makeupby.priscilla,” where she posted photos of herself in different colors and styles of makeup. “She was really good [with makeup] … she put so much effort into it, she was really devoted to it,” says sophomore AJ Vasquez, “I think it showed that when she was passionate about something, she would get it done, no matter what.”
One of Priscilla’s aunts, Melissa Chung, says, “I think Priscilla enjoyed make-up so much because it was the perfect outlet for both her artistic expression and her love of style. She had a great sense of style. She knew what she liked, even at a young age.”
A service for Priscilla was held at the Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park on Sunday, April 30. It included speeches from Priscilla’s friends and family and a slideshow of photos from throughout her life. Many of her friends also created collages of photos of Priscilla on poster board for the service. Following the speeches, there was a dove release ceremony, where attendees were able to touch the doves before they were released. The service was followed by a celebration of life at the Elks Club in San Mateo, attended by only her closest friends and family.
In a speech she made at the service, Cullins said, “Priscilla accepted people for who they were. She never judged someone based off of what they looked like or where they came from. She defined people based off of their true character. Anytime Priscilla were to meet somebody new, people would instantly love and adore her and would want to become better friends with her.”
“The service was really beautiful, I spoke at the service with a couple of my friends, and the dove release ceremony was really beautiful,” says Malouf, “It was nice to see everyone who came out to support her.”
Priscilla is survived by both of her parents, Billy and Cheri, her uncle Peter, and her brother Adam, a senior at Carlmont High School.
“She’s the kind of person who didn’t like to see anyone upset, and she’s super understanding,” says Malouf, “she wouldn’t want people to be upset about her [being gone].”
“Priscilla was a young and beautiful girl who had so much more to live for,” finishes junior Dallas Worthington, “I’ll cherish every moment and laugh that I’ve shared with Priscilla and it was a privilege to be a friend of hers.”