Alyce Chu – President of the Houston Taiwanese Youth Society and Vice President of the Bellaire International Student Association

Bellaire High School, Houston, TX

As we grow up together, our pride as Taiwanese Americans grows together too. We support each other not only as club members, but also as close friends.

Who are you?

My name is Alyce Chu and I’m a second generation Taiwanese American from Houston, Texas. I am currently a senior at Bellaire High School. In my spare time, I like to relax and just listen to music, draw, read a good book, or hang out with my friends. I also love to sing; sometimes my friends and I make covers of songs for fun. I have an awesome family network here in Houston as well as the greatest group of friends who have helped to shape me who I am today. I am the 2009-2010 president of the Houston Taiwanese Youth Society (TYS) and the current the vice president of Bellaire High School’s Bellaire International Student Association (BISA). I love both clubs dearly, and have put much effort and time into both over the years; BISA for the past three years and going on the fourth, and TYS for the past seven years, going on the eighth.

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

Outside of school, I first volunteered with TYS sometime in elementary school because of my cousin. But by middle school, I became a passionate member of the organization, diligently going to every meeting and event. By eighth grade, I nabbed my first officer’s position, and by junior year I became president.

The objective of TYS is to promote community and culture, and to also serve as a network for local Taiwanese Americans. We volunteer in the Taiwanese community, host events for the children in the Taiwanese community, attend Taiwanese cultural events, and also hold a few social gatherings throughout the year for our organization to just have fun, including Rockets games and a Schlitterbahn Galveston trip. Our organization is really small, no more than twenty members, but because of this, we’re a close group. In fact, most of us have known each other for most of our lives! As we grow up together, our pride as Taiwanese Americans grows together too. We support each other not only as club members, but also as close friends. As we share club duties and happy memories, the bonds we share with each other through TYS grow strong, as does our pride for our Taiwanese heritage.

BISA’s mission is to help promote cultural diversity. Our largest project is the school’s international festival, where we coordinate around fifteen clubs for the event. I had originally joined BISA my freshman year on a whim. I soon discovered, though, that the club was a tightly knit community of friends, making the club a really pleasant organization to be a part of. And so I stuck with the club, gradually helping out more and more as the years passed by, culminating in my vice presidency of BISA, working side by side with my two friends, this year’s co-presidents.

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

I find my inspiration and motivation in the joy and passion I feel, and others feel, for the cause. If I don’t feel anything from myself or others for the cause or club, I can’t put my heart and soul into the work. The 2009-2010 year for TYS was regarded by many adults in our Taiwanese community as the greatest year TYS ever had, giving me all the credit, as president of TYS at the time. But the true reason for the successful year was that the people in our organization fed off of each other’s enthusiasm; I merely helped direct it into productive work. Though I have a great passion for our Taiwanese heritage and TYS, my passion alone couldn’t have carried TYS through the year; it was only with the others’ enthusiasm that we pulled through and ended the year well.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

I am proud to be of Taiwanese heritage for a huge number of reasons, including our unique culture, great food, and extremely successful music and entertainment industry. Most importantly, though, I’m proud of the way we are raised to respect people, especially those close to us. The values instilled within us because of our Taiwanese upbringing is also unique and wonderful – be humble, kind, selfless, honest, and so on. Too few people today practice such values, taking them to be elements of weakness. But such values are signs of strength, the strength to not have to assert oneself in such an arrogant way just to feel confident, the strength to rely on one’s own skills and accept the limits of one’s capabilities. It’s these values and our upbringing that makes me proud to be of Taiwanese heritage.

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