Laguna Hills, CA
I hope to continue the visions of the founding members by bringing greater awareness of the Taiwanese American identity through promoting Taiwanese culture.
Who are you?
I am currently a sophomore student studying Computer Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. I was born and raised in Taiwan until the age of 7, when I moved to the United States. The reason why I moved to the US is because my mother met my step-dad, who is Caucasian, while he was working abroad in Taiwan, and she believed that my twin sister and I would receive a better education in the US. While growing up in the US, I was primarily brought up with traditional American culture with my own Taiwanese culture playing a minor role in my adolescence. As a result, I spent much of my elementary, middle, and, to some degree, high school years in cultural confusion. However, that all changed when I started college.
What do you do?
As a college student at UCI, my fascination with my Taiwanese culture started to bloom as I realized there are a variety of organizations on campus dedicated to different cultures. As I explored the different culture clubs, I discovered the Taiwanese American Organization (TAO), a brand new club on campus dedicated to bring awareness of the Taiwanese American identity to the mainstream. I was fortunate enough to be selected on staff and to work with the incredible founding members of the organization. Now that the year is winding down, many of the original founding members are graduating, and they have given me the honor of taking over as the President of TAO next year. I hope to continue the visions of the founding members by bringing greater awareness of the Taiwanese American identity through promoting Taiwanese culture.
Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?
I consider myself as 1.5 generation because even though I immigrated to the United States, I spent much of my adolescence here and I was exposed to more traditional American culture than Taiwanese culture. As a result, I felt I lost my connection to the Taiwanese heritage. After I discovered the Taiwanese American Organization at UCI, I felt a renewed sense of Taiwanese pride. I learned more and more about the Taiwanese culture though hosting traditional Taiwanese events such as the Lantern Festival and Night Market, networking with significant figures in the Taiwanese American community, and attending events like the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association conference at UCSD. I feel like every new Taiwanese activity I experience brings me closer to my heritage. I think it is important to be proud of your own Taiwanese heritage and have a passion to learn more about it.