One of my closest friends, Helene Cody, was hospitalized due to a brain aneurysm. At the time, I came up with the idea to make 1000 cranes for her.
I am a 17 year old high school student who hopes to leave a positive impact on the world. I love to eat and you’ll always find me visiting someplace new. I have lived in New Jersey all my life and I always like to have a good laugh.
Tell us about your organization / project, your role, and its impact?
During my sophomore year, one of my closest friends, Helene Cody, was hospitalized due to a brain aneurysm. At the time, I came up with the idea to make 1000 cranes for her. For those who don’t know the myth, it’s that if one makes 1000 cranes they will be granted a wish such as a recovery from an illness. I was able to get lot of people involved and we were slowly making progress in reaching our goal. Unfortunately, before all the cranes were finished, Helene passed away after being hospitalized for four days on her 16th birthday. Yet because of the outpour of people of who wanted to help, over 3000 cranes were made by the time of the funeral. In her memory, her parents created the Helene Marilyn Cody Foundation. To put the cranes to good use we decided to create a display at the Pediatric ward of Princeton Medical Center in hopes of creating an inspirational piece of artwork in the playroom.
What is your vision for the organization / project and the role that it may play in the broader community?
The mission of the Helene Marilyn Cody Foundation is to “inspire youth to volunteer, to better their communities, and to better themselves. We hope young people will continue to take the initiative, to live selflessly, and to incorporate this mentality into all aspects of their lives.”
I hope that one day we will be able to accomplish this mission and make a positive impact on the lives of many people.
Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?
Raised in a super patriotic Taiwanese family, I grew up attending every single Taiwan related event there was. Since then, I’ve become an active participant in conferences such as the Taiwan American Next Generation and Formosan Association of Public Affairs-Young Professional Program. Without my Taiwanese heritage, I really wouldn’t be the same person I am today.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
I hope to see a lot of Taiwanese Americans embracing their identity, representing themselves, and correcting misconceptions. Hopefully, one day, the difference between being Taiwanese and Chinese won’t be need to be explained.
Any additional information you would like to share?
If you’re ever on the east coast, check out Taiwanese American Next Generation(TANG)! We’re always looking for new people to join!