Kathleen Chen -Senior Intern for TACL’s Journalism Internship Program

Alhambra High, Alhambra, CA

The goal is to show that as part of the younger generation, we’re not out of the loop when it comes to knowing about the Taiwanese American community.

Who are you?

My name’s Kathleen, and I’m a senior at Alhambra High School. As of right now, I’m struggling through college applications just like every other high school senior, but hopefully I won’t be procrastinating too much! I’ve been involved with the Taiwanese American community ever since my freshman year when my friend introduced me to the Taiwanese American Citizens League Journalism Internship Program (TACL JIP). Through the last few years of being in the internship, I have learned so much about the Taiwanese American community that I never knew before. I was able to meet many inspirational Taiwanese American leaders who have definitely changed some of my views in life.

Outside of the Taiwanese American community, I’m pretty involved with extracurricular activities at school – Las Moras Service Club, Badminton, Kidshare (we help out and write to a kid named Ayanda in Africa), Christmas Committee (we hold fundraisers and donate all the money to charity during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season), and Film Society.

Tell us about your organization / project, your role, and its impact?

The Journalism Internship Program (JIP) basically speaks for itself. A group of high school students collaborate to create a newspage or youth forum explaining the Taiwanese American events that occur around the area; the youth forum is put into the Pacific Times newspaper and is published every month. The goal is to show that as part of the younger generation, we’re not out of the loop when it comes to knowing about the Taiwanese American community. We use the youth forum as a voice or lending hand to those who aren’t in touch with their Taiwanese heritage as other people are. I really hope that people do actually read the Pacific Times and flip to that one section that appears every month. It gives a sense of reassurance that teens really do know their stuff about the Taiwanese American community.

Where do you find your inspiration and motivation as a student leader?

From the start of my involvement in the Taiwanese American community until now, I think every single person I’ve met has been an inspiration to me. My JIP coordinators – Candice Hung, Emily Wu, and Hilda Lin – have graciously guided me through this journey in learning about the wonders of Taiwanese culture. Community leaders – HoChie Tsai, Erica Ling, and many others – have shaped my views of society in a different way. They have motivated me to make an impact on the younger generation on how the Taiwanese American community is so important.

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

I hope that Taiwanese Americans won’t be overlooked and being Taiwanese won’t be confused with being Chinese. I have high hopes that Taiwanese American media will go mainstream. And surely that Taiwan will be recognized for being Taiwan and not something else.

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