Godwin Chen – Youth Organizer and Change Agent

Bayside, NY

I hope to see Taiwanese Americans carrying forward the lessons that our parents’ struggles taught us, and using them to contribute to American society at large.

chen.godwin1Who are you?

I was born in Flushing, New York, grew up on Long Island and now reside in Bayside.

What do you do?

While studying for my master’s in public administration, I am also interning at the New York City Transit Authority where I work in organizational development. I’m responsible for finding novel ways to measure the long term impact of our training programs, making my department more accountable to achieving real improvements with our internal clients. Outside of work, I like to spend time with youth development organizations (Taiwanese American Foundation and Taiwanese American Next Generation!) and have been known to disappear into the woods on long weekend backpacks.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

I think the resiliency of Taiwanese people serves as a huge inspiration to me. Stories about my mother’s humble childhood beginnings, and how my grandmother became a female county legislator, makes me feel that the Taiwanese are some of the most decent, persistent, and hardworking people. When my parents first arrived in America, they worked for a family in Pennsylvania as a housekeeper and a groundskeeper. Through their persistence they’ve been able to provide a upper middle-class lifestyle for their two sons. Sometimes I am reminded of an image of me as a baby, strapped to my mother as she tended the stove of a night club’s kitchen. Stories like these make it hard to measure up to the sacrifices our parent’s made.

What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

I hope to see Taiwanese Americans carrying forward the lessons that our parents’ struggles taught us, and using them to contribute to American society at large.

chen.godwin3

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