Matthew Sato

Matthew Sato


Matthew Sato

Class of 2014

Nationality: Japanese


How many years did you attend YIS?
I attended YIS for 15 years from 1999-2014.
Which teachers played an important role in your time at YIS?

A huge thank you to Ms. Yandeau for supporting me through the ups and down during my high school years, and to Ms. Wilson who gave me an extra push every time I met her in the hallway or her classroom. Mr. Johnston, Dr. Amato, and Mr. Pitter were great mentors, and Ms. McDermid was always there to provide emotional support. Suzuki-Sensei, Kashima-Sensei, Unno-Sensei, and Imada-Sensei were all greatly supportive. There are so many teachers to thank, and all of them have pushed me to my limit and believed in me. I am so glad that I was able to build a personal relationship with each teacher.

Please describe a memorable moment from your time at YIS.

After 15 years at YIS there are too many good memories to list, but the annual Food Fair was my favorite event. Good food, good people, and good music. My very first performance at YIS was playing "Hotel California" with a band called Bluff 97. I was so nervous, but I enjoyed every moment.

Where you are based now, and what are your occupation and lifestyle like?

I am currently based in Los Angeles as a music composer writing music for several upcoming short films. Living and working in L.A. was one of paths I really wanted to follow. In L.A., I am able to network through projects and mutual friends and also through fellow YIS Alumni.

Do you feel your experiences and relationships at YIS prepared you for your university life and life after YIS?

YIS helped me find my passion and also my career field. Communication skills and confidence were the most important skills I learned during my time at YIS. The relationships I had with teachers, friends, and alumni were the most valuable assets I’ve ever had. This helped open doors for me to be friendly in college and boosted my confidence. One of the things that helped build my confidence was performing for YIS student-held events and joining various clubs.

Given your achievements and experiences, what advice would you give to YIS students in Gr. 11 or 12?

My advice to Juniors and Seniors would be to enjoy the moment, study hard, don’t give up, and experience as much as you can at YIS. Everyone has their own path and pace, and for some students it takes time to get on track. Don’t panic, keep your pace, don’t regret what you’re doing, and find it as a good experience. Never give up!

Can you briefly tell us about the modified program you had at YIS, and how it helped you?

The modified program is a program designed to support students with different learning styles find their academic needs. I was struggling to concentrate on my studies, however, this modified program helped me enjoy my schoolwork and school life, and allowed me to be creative. Presenting my work was one of the best and most helpful ways for me to learn confidence. The modified program really helped me be creative, confident, and taught me how to take risks. Ultimately, it helped me find my career.