Yan was born and raised in China. At the age of 7, her family immigrated to the United States. Since their immigration she overcame many barriers including learning a completely different language and culture to get to where she is today. She began her journey with Access in the 7th grade. When tryouts concluded, she was not amongst those who were chosen; she was, however, the first alternate. Since one of the selected youth was not able to participate in the program a spot opened up for Yan. When she first found out that she was able to participate in the program, she called herself the “luckiest girl in the world.”
Coming from a strong working class family Yan was deeply motivated by her family's work ethic and strength. Her family’s perseverance is very much imbedded within her personality. Since being in Access Yan has won 6 national title but she did not stop there. Following high school, Yan attended the University of California, Berkeley. At Cal, Yan continued to play squash and served as the captain of the Cal Women's Squash team for 3 continuous years. Her experience, leadership, and dedication to Urban Squash helped her become the inaugural recipient of the William E. Simon Jr. Service and Leadership award. Following her graduation from UC Berkeley in 2017 as a double major in Public Health and Social Welfare, she plans to continue her education and pursue a master's in nursing.