Monica Chen – Student and Founder of her High School Taiwanese Club

Los Angeles, CA

A typical day in my life involves dreaming up different events and programs I can organize with my club to engage a sense of identity and self-confidence in Taiwanese Americans.

chen.monica1Who are you?

I am a typical nerdy Asian high school student who also happens to hold a great passion for the Taiwanese culture. With some prodding from my wonderful mother, I somewhat apathetically started a Taiwanese culture club at my high school called ‘Team Taiwan’. And then things just fell into place. Now I am a facebook fan of Formosa Betrayed, Taiwanation, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Taiwanese American Citizens League, TaiwaneseAmerican.org… My room is filled with Taiwanese Census 2010 posters. I suscribe to the ‘Taiwan Matters’ blog. I am a past attendee of the 2010 Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association West Coast Conference. I am a proud Taiwanese American!

What do you do?

I spend a lot of time thinking about Taiwan instead of studying. A typical day in my life involves dreaming up different events and programs I can organize with my club to engage a sense of identity and self-confidence in Taiwanese Americans. I also spend time stalking super Taiwanese American celebrities on Facebook, like Actor Adam Wang (pictured below). And when the opportunity presents itself, I share my views on Taiwan and Taiwanese America with people, especially those who are unfamiliar with Taiwan or don’t even know that this beautiful island exists.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

I think Taiwanese people have a great bonding quality and have such a strong sense of community and family; it’s this aspect of the Taiwanese heritage that I take the most pride in. As a 2nd generation Taiwanese American, I have grown up in a somewhat blended culture and sometimes it was hard to understand the decisions and choices that my parents or grandparents or other 1st generation Taiwanese people made. But when I look back on those decisions, I now realize the strong work ethic Taiwanese people have and the great passion they have towards establishing their identity, and I am proud to identify myself with this amazing community.

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

Looking at the work of people like Ho Chie Tsai or the young organizers of the ITASA conferences across the nation, the future of Taiwanese America, to me, looks very bright! I’m excited to see what’s in store. If ABT’s continue to recognize the importance of their Taiwanese American heritage and sharing it with the world, the possibilities are endless!

Any additional information you would like to share?

I love stinky tofu! Still trying to find the money to buy one of TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s T-shirts. I also love Michael Turton’s blog http://michaelturton.blogspot.com. He’s really funny and even if I don’t understand what some of his posts are talking about, there’s always some interesting biking photos to look at.

chen.monica3

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