Dear Montecito: Corinne Yungling

By Stella Haffner   |   April 1, 2021

Welcome to the second half of our Olders-Youngers, Dear Montecito double-feature!

Last week we heard from volleyball star and my former Older, Anika Wilson, and this week we’re hearing from my former Younger and current student at Lake Travis High School, Corinne Yungling.

I am especially happy to share Corinne’s letter with you not only because she was the first Younger I ever had, but also because she is now the youngest person to have been featured in the Dear Montecito column. Between her growing love for Psychology – my favorite subject – and her increasingly ambitious schedule, Corinne’s talents are clear to see, and I expect you’ll enjoy reading about her time since MUS as much as I did. 

Dear Montecito,

Corinne Yungling spends her early mornings practicing with the Cavalettes team at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas

As I sit here writing this, I reminisce about growing up in Montecito. There’s nothing quite like soaking up the warm Mediterranean climate while squishing my toes in the sand at Butterfly Beach. Montecito is truly paradise on Earth, and I feel incredibly lucky to have grown up there. 

Currently, I am a sophomore in high school and reside 1,289 miles away in Austin, Texas. Now having lived in a suburb of a metropolitan city for 18 months, I can honestly write that while there are similarities between my two homes, there are unique differences. Austin is a cultural hub. A city of music, art, and diversity. A place where when people talk about surfing, they are referring to the wake behind speedboats. Instead of jacaranda trees in the spring, we seek out bluebells. 

I attend Lake Travis High School, population approximately 3,500, where the halls are a modern diaspora, filled with transplants from around the country, just like me. The saying, “Everything really is bigger in Texas,” rings true – from the state pride to our school varsity football team of 99 strong players! At home we frequently use the word “intense” to describe both academics and athletics.

In true Southern form, our family was welcomed from the moment we parked our cars. We found it a bit ironic that the neighbors welcoming us hailed from Washington, D.C., London, Minneapolis, Boston, Singapore, and San Francisco. It’s a melting pot all in its own right, adding to the already special diversity that has made Austin stand out on the map. 

Having attended MUS and Marymount, I was originally intimidated by the behemoth that is Lake Travis High School. Just glancing up at the main front stairs provides quite a sight. I did get lost on my first day, and my second, and my third; but, each time a friendly face approached me and pointed me in the right direction. There we go with the Southern hospitality.

Similar to other student athletes, I start my day before dawn. I spend the first couple hours of my day at dance practice, preparing to perform at football games or compete at contests. Our team name is the Cavalettes, based on our school mascot, the Cavalier. Each time I don the uniform, the sequined cowboy hat and tassels on my boots remind me that I am in Texas. I take six other classes besides the double-blocked dance, so my life as a teenager who sleeps, eats, practices, eats, learns, eats, studies, and repeats is an accurate portrayal. 

In conjunction with my school, I participate in a program called Cavs in Service. This is the time in my week when I give back to the community. During “normal” times I would work alongside my friends, but now I help from home. Currently, the nonprofit I support is called Pop-up Birthday, which is an organization that provides thematic cards, gifts, and supplies for birthday parties for children in Austin’s foster care system. The children are so surprised and appreciative of our efforts that they provide motivation for my efforts. 

During the academic portion of my school day, my favorite class is called Court Systems and Practices. We learn about our government through analyzing court cases and, at times, we debate. After high school, my goal is to attend Oxford and major in Psychology and then return to the U.S. for law school. I am hoping that my education will one day allow me to further the public good and help others fight for justice. 

As I conquer Lake Travis High School and look to my future, I think of my roots with fondness. From the Sings at MUS to the hikes in Romero Canyon, Montecito will always hold a special place in my heart.


Corinne Yungling 

P.S. Parents of Montecito children, if you have recommendations on people to feature in “Dear Montecito” please contact me,


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