Ya Han (Crystal) Chang – New Hyde Park, NY
Animal Science, Cornell University
Crystal (Ya-Han Chang) was born in Taipei, Taiwan, moved to New York when she was three years old, and has lived there ever since. She received a pet bunny when she was in first grad, and her experiences taking care of her bunny has led her to discover her passion to take care of animals and to believe that veterinary medicine is the right path for her. This fall, she will be attending Cornell University in Ithaca, New York with a major in Animal Science and plans to go to veterinary school after undergraduate school. She hopes that by becoming a veterinarian, she would be able to help animals, and through helping animals, help people as well. Crystal also has a passion for the arts and especially music, as she has played piano since she was young, so she also plans to further her skills and knowledge in piano playing as well as music production. Crystal has been very involved in the Taiwanese community, as she has attended a Taiwanese-affiliated church when she was in elementary school, began playing piano for its praise team in sixth grade, and began leading the children’s Sunday School in tenth grade. Crystal would like to thank the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for the scholarship.
Mathematics Economics and Statistics, University of California, Los Angeles
Hi everyone! My name is Susan Chen and I am from Arcadia, California. This fall, I will be a freshman attending University of California, Los Angeles where I will be pursuing a joint-major in mathematics and economics and attempt to double major in statistics. In the future, I hope to be working in the finance world potentially as an actuary. Although I was born in the United States, both my parents are Taiwanese citizens and have introduced me to Taiwanese culture at a young age. I went to multiple events at the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office where I experienced events that revolved around Taiwanese culture. There were concerts and talks that were beneficial in helping me be exposed to Taiwan. Since I have been unable to go back to Taiwan for many years, these gatherings as well as the Formosan Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors has greatly influential to the development of my Taiwanese identity. I have been able to meet important figures within the Taiwanese community and form bonds with others who share the same cultural identity. I have been able to utilize the Taiwanese dialect that I learned from my grandma in practice by understanding and conversing with the people that I see at these events. During this summer of 2017, I will be returning to Taiwan for a month to teach English and hopefully while I am there, I will continue to learn about Taiwanese culture.
Mandarin Chinese and Linguistics, University of Washington
In the fall of 2017 I will be attending University of Washington Seattle, taking interest in double majoring Mandarin Chinese & Linguistics (or Anthropology, that is still in debate). The world is so vast with many languages, many that are not even documented down! Learning a language opens myself to different cultures and people, so that is why I am currently learning 5 languages (Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic). The journey in learning all these languages has opened my horizon in the ways other people live and the history of those group of people. With my language skills that are developing, but surely will become refined, it inspires me to do some sort of social work that abridges gaps in language, especially among communities that have entered the U.S. and in need of help. At UW Seattle, there is a Taiwanese club of some sort and so I plan to join that club and make tons of different friends. I want to promote Taiwanese culture and learn more about my people’s own history and culture. I also plan to go abroad one day for a while and explore around different areas of countries. I’ll immerse myself into that country’s culture and get a sense of how the place is like. The countries I will be going will likely revolve around the 5 languages that I am learning! Probably in the future after exploring all these different countries, I will plan to just live abroad one day too!
Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Joshua Ho is an incoming sophomore studying Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley. Joshua first heard about the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund through his sister, Esther, who received this scholarship in 2015. He is a second generation Taiwanese American, born in Philadelphia, PA. In second grade, he would have told you that he wanted to be a zookeeper when he grew up, but nowadays he is pursuing a career in healthcare because he wants to bring comfort and joy to people in tangible ways, whether through medicine or humor, or both. Throughout his high school career, Joshua got involved in numerous clubs and extracurricular activities. He was the head artistic commissioner of Junior Classical League, president of Access Christian Club, head volunteer for the Evangelical Formosan Church of Irvine Chinese School, and an active member at his church’s fellowship. In his free time, he collected bugs, went on long walks, and played piano and cello.
Dance, University of California, San Diego
At an early age, April was exposed to Taiwanese culture through growing up as a bilingual child. She attends a predominantly Taiwanese church and has grown to love and cherish being Taiwanese-American. April has participated in many extracurricular activities. She received professional ballet training with the New Ballet School, performed in productions such as the Nutcracker and Swan Lake. She also toured Spain and Portugal as a violist with the San Jose Youth Symphony, performed as the solo ballerina in her school’s production of Cinderella, and toured New York and South Korea with her choir. Community service has always been important to April. Through interactive games and creative activities, she taught English and music exploration to children and held performances at a two-week summer camp in Yunnan, China. April also volunteers as a teacher regularly with her church’s Sunday school. April was very involved in school activities and has taken many roles in student leadership. In addition to being part of the student council for two years, April was also the president and co-founder of the Dance Club, vice-president of the Chinese Christian Club, and an officer in Rotary’s Interact. April will be attending UCSD as a dance major. She hopes to pursue a career in special education or speech pathology. April has always loved working with children, and her passion for those with special needs began when she served as a volunteer at her church’s program for children with autism. April hopes to continue helping people with special needs and offering support to their families through her career.
Computer Science Engineering and Physics, University of California, San Diego
My name is Harrison Ku and I am currently a senior in high school. In the fall, I will be attending the University of California, San Diego. I plan to double major in both Computer Science Engineering and Physics with a concentration in Astrophysics. My goal is to use the education that I receive at UCSD in order to become a successful engineer. Through my work, I hope to create innovative technological solutions to the problems that we face in the world today. Additionally, I plan to conduct research in astronomy-related fields using the knowledge that I gain from coursework. Studying physics will allow me to advance my logical thinking and mathematical skills, which will then improve my research abilities both inside and outside of the laboratory. As a Taiwanese-American, I have contributed to my community in Taiwan by teaching English to underprivileged students in Tainan County over the summer. By giving them the gift of English, I hope that they will be able to discover more and more educational opportunities and have the resources to pursue their dreams. In addition, my trips to Taiwan have taught me to be appreciative of the culture that I come from. My grasp of the Chinese language results primarily from my experiences teaching in Taiwan, and I hope to continue to enhance my understanding of Chinese in the future.
Humanities, Soka University of America
I will be attending Soka University of America, a liberal art school located in Aliso Viejo, California. I will be pursuing in the Humanities concentration with a special interest in digital arts and cinema media. My goals from acquiring these special knowledge is to become a film artist, director and producer of my own film creations that will bring awareness and change to the world. I plan to work in a non-profit organization that enriches education through creativity with the arts. Then furthering my own education to become a P.H.D in a currently unspecified field that will eventually become clearer. I aspire to work within education that promotes creativity to students. I would like to implement new ideas and ways to better the education not simply in America but worldwide. I recently visited Taiwan during my senior year of spring break, and I got to interact with Taiwanese students. My friend, a local in Taichung asked me where was New York, and California as I mentioned my upcoming move from NY to CA. Surprised by her question, I tried to describe that I will be moving from the East to the West. Our conversation moved on to her future with her not able to imagine herself living in the United States, and sets her own limit within Taiwan. Her fear and lack of courage is a reason for the need to provide education that empowers young people of all places to dream big and build the courage to achieve it.
Yu Hsin (Bethany) Lin – Union City, CA
Biology and Piano Performance, University of California, Berkeley
This fall, I will be pursuing a double major in biology and piano performance at UC Berkeley. The privilege to study at a top university, along with a passion to put health first and foremost, will propel me into the medical field and help me accomplish my goal of becoming a pediatrician. Through my career and education, I will strive to make a meaningful impact on my community by helping children of all backgrounds lead healthier and thus happier lives.
Driven by a love to help others as well as a longing to explore my culture, I decided to teach English to a class of twenty children in Miaoli’s Shihu Elementary School last summer. In volunteering, I learned so much about my culture. Simultaneously, I saw and admired my students’ determination and resolve to learn English…and to help me overcome my fear of bugs. When I finally touched a dung beetle sitting atop a kid’s open palms, I was reminded of why I loved Taiwan so much–it was so easy to bond with its simple, kindhearted people.
Inspired and fueled by an inherent passion for such a beautiful culture, I decided to share my joyful memories of Taiwan with my peers by starting a Junior Taiwanese American Student Association (JTASA) club at my school. In addition, I became an intern on the NorCal JTASA Regional Board to lead regional events. Through volunteering, JTASA club, and the internship, I have gained a deeper appreciation for my culture and ancestry.
Music Education and Piano Performance, University of California, Los Angeles
Kelsey Ma is currently a senior at Pioneer High School in San Jose, California. With the encouragement of her parents, she started piano at the age of 5 and violin at the age of 11. She was the concertmaster for her high school orchestra for two years. In the summer of 2015 and 2016, she attended the Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, North Carolina for classical piano, which inspired her to continue her studies in music. She hopes to become a pianist and music teacher. Kelsey has also actively participated in volunteering and community service. She was in the Tzu Chi High School Group for four years, volunteering in partner with other organizations, fundraising with Tzu Chi, and performing with other Tzu Chi high school members in retirement homes. Kelsey has also volunteered with her violin for music programs at other public schools nearby. Apart from music and Tzu Chi, Kelsey has volunteered for other organizations in the Bay Area, such as Loaves and Fishes, Sacred Heart, and Sunday Friends. Kelsey continues to play violin today and is currently enjoying her second year in the Philharmonic Orchestra in San Jose Youth Symphony. Kelsey has been studying piano with her current teacher, Sandra Shen, since 2015. She has also been a part of the California Scholarship Federation, this year being her fourth year. In the fall of 2017, Kelsey will be a freshman at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music as a double major in Music Education and Piano Performance.
Human Development, University of California, San Diego
Yulin will be entering her second year at UC San Diego majoring in human development, an interdisciplinary major that draws from psychology, biology, and sociology. Her own experience with mentorship sparked her interest in working with other students in high school. After working as a peer counselor and mentor to students, she became interested in childhood development. She hopes to better understand development in order to find effective points of intervention so that children can grow to their fullest potentials. At UC San Diego, she is part of the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APSA). Her experience in APSA has exposed her to the struggles experienced by the Asian-American community and has allowed her see the solidarity present in the community. Additionally, she took ethnics classes at UCSD that has helped her better understand her identity as a Taiwanese-American and piqued her interested in minoring in ethnics studies. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new places and reading. She is grateful to live in a close proximity to Los Angeles and being able to explore what L.A. has to offer — from typical tourist hotspots to shops that houses food trends. She is also passionate about words and loves to see spoken word performances. She believes that words inspires and unites, that it touches the most guarded of hearts. She hopes to publish a book before she dies.
Tiffany Madruga – Santa Clara, CA
Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Tiffany Madruga is a freshman at Harvey Mudd College who is interested in studying Computer Science or Engineering. Ever since she was young she has been interested in Art, Design, and STEM. She has taken art classes since she was in first grade and was the Aesthetics Captain of her high school robotics team and Co-Leader of her high school STEM Club. She discovered the combination of these passions through her work designing interactive learning objects with CK-12, a nonprofit educational technology company, and working as a teacher’s assistant at a STEM summer camp. She hopes to pursuing a career in product design so that she can create products that will better people’s lives around the world. She is in the process of starting a Design for America Studio at her college so that she can use her love for human-centered design to help those around her and hopes to inspire others to use design to shape their community. When she is not in class, Tiffany enjoys being the Editor-in-Chief of her college’s newspaper, attending APISPAM (The Asian Pacific Mentorship Program at Mudd) events, and participating in her College’s Choir. She also spends her time tutoring elementary school children, and working in the Harvey Mudd College Admissions Office heading the prospective students’ overnights program. This summer, she will be participating in Facebook’s University Internship Program where she will be designing an iOS application. When Tiffany is not working, you can find her taking photos, laughing with friends, painting, or baking.
Yin Tung (Maggie) Ou – Alhambra, CA
Animation, Cal State Fullerton
About 5 years ago, my brother and I immigrated to the U.S. and lived with my grandmother and uncle in Burbank, California. We lived together for a year and a half, and then the people in the household increased to five people when my mom moved from Taiwan to the United States. Eventually, we decided that it is time to move out and live on our own. After we moved, there was a period of time that I struggled to blend into the new school. But after I got more involved in volunteer activities in the community, I established some amazing friendships with the people I met through community service. I joined several school clubs such as Project Green, art club, math club, and CSF. I have also joined different organizations such as San Gabriel Valley Youth Council and Tzu Shao. And I became vice president of Tzu Shao this year. Tzu Shao is a youth volunteer organization that is a part of the Tzu Chi Foundation, which was originated from Taiwan. I have stuck with this group for three years now, and I still actively volunteer in every event such as medical outreach, convalescent home visit, and working with disabled children in the community center with the Chinese Parent Association of the Disabled (CPAD), and charity concert to help fundraise for a food delivery truck that can be used to help distribute food to families living in remote areas, and much more. I enjoyed being a part of the community and be able to become a pair of helping hand to help the people in need. This fall, I will attend Cal State Fullerton, and major in Animation.
International Relations, Mount Holyoke College
My name is Cheyenne Schafer and I am from Concord, New Hampshire currently attending Concord High School in my senior year. In high school I am heavily involved in social activism by participating in groups advocating for LGBT and women’s rights, as well as founding my school’s first club focused on feminism. I look forward to attending Mount Holyoke College in the fall as a freshman and I hope to major in International Relations so that I can further my Mandarin skills and use the passion and experience I gained from volunteering abroad in Taiwan to make meaningful change. After graduating college, hopefully I will be able to continue my interest in advocacy and nonprofit work. While I was in Taiwan, I volunteered for the Red Cross and Tzu Chi Organization and learned so much about compassion and goodwill that I was inspired to continue these values in my future studies. I hope to combine my past work and passion for activism and continue to work with individuals as inspiring and dedicated as I have met in Taiwan.
Pre-Business, University of California, Riverside
My name is Christina Shea. In the fall, I will be attending the University of California, Riverside as a pre-business major. I can confidently say that picking my major is one of the most difficult decisions I had ever made because this decision would pave the way for the rest my career. When I was still a freshman in high school my family told me to begin looking for things that I really liked to do and could eventually lead me to a good career. But the more I explored the different subjects, the more I realized that I felt the same towards all of them. There was none that I was particularly interested in. However, as the deadlines approached, it was clear to me that what I loved was not math or science; it was actually human interaction and communicating with others. With a degree in business, my goal is to one day join a big corporation and be able to help those that are struggling around me. I want to be someone who is in love with what they do and is proud of what they do. With that being said, I seek to be a part of something that can change the worlds and lives of many, dominating the workplace with advancements in technology and ideas. Even though I have lived in three different continents, I always found myself immersed in a Taiwanese community and I am positive that I will find a new Taiwanese community at Riverside.
Chian Hen (Henry) Tam – Katy, TX
Civil Engineering, University of Texas
Chian Hen Tam, more widely known as Henry, was born in Taipei, Taiwan, on March 4, 1998. In Taiwan, he attended elementary school up to first grade, then moved to Houston in the United States with his parents in 2005, where he learned a great deal of English and adjusted to American culture. To this date, he has not forgotten about his Taiwanese identity as Taiwan made a deep impact during his seven years at home. Beginning in 5th grade, Tam developed a sense of strong interest in house plan design and music performance. With a background in saxophone and ensemble performance of nine years, Tam keeps music a significant hobby in his main professional interests of becoming a licensed civil engineer. His initial ideas of creating house plans evolved and were influenced by his acquired knowledge of calculus and physics as he developed a passion for applying mathematical and scientific principles into real life uses. Now as a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, Tam is studying civil engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering. In his aspiration to contribute to society, he decided that he wants to specialize in designing urban infrastructure, including bridges, buildings, and roads. However, he won’t be alone in his motivation to improve city infrastructure. With high interests in being a part of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Tam hopes to be a part of a movement that substantially improves America’s infrastructure for the benefit of society.
Classics, Harvard University
I am Justin Tseng and I am eighteen years old. Both my parents were born and raised in Taiwan before immigrating to the United States of America in the 1980’s. I have lived in California my entire life and I will be a freshman at Harvard University for the 2017-2018 school year. I intend to major in the Classics and continue onto grad school and possibly pursue a career in teaching or government policymaking. I’m extremely thankful for my teachers, friends, and family who have supported me along the way in my education. In college, I hope to develop better public speaking skills and participate in various clubs such involved with chess, community service, and environmentalism. In my free time, I enjoy reading, chess, volunteering, and environmental activism. My main involvement within the Taiwanese-American community is through my volunteer work with the Taiwanese founded and based, non-profit humanitarian organization Tzu Chi. With Tzu Chi, I have mostly done volunteer work by participating in their ongoing project to help feed the homeless in Sacramento every Sunday morning. I have also participated in some of their cultural events like the annual Buddha Bathing Ceremony. My favorite color is blue and some other hobbies include coin collecting and playing video games. My hopes and aspirations for the future are to leave a lasting positive legacy that will last for generations. My career dream is to become elected President of the United States of America in order to change the world for the better.
Illustration, Art Center College of Design
Hello, first of all, I am an artist, and I feel really blessed for you to be reading this. I will be a freshman majoring in Illustration at ‘Art Center College of Design’ in Pasadena next spring. I was drawn to illustration when I realized that it can make a difference by communicating concept to the viewer. So if I wanted to express my creative ideas to the world and make a positive difference, one drawing at a time, then I should strive to become a conceptual illustrator. My goal in college is to savor every opportunity and to improve in my visual communication and technical abilities. My twin brother and I were born in Taiwan and my family immigrated to the Bay Area when we were two years old. We didn’t get a chance to visit Taiwan until fourteen years later. As a result, it had always been my dream to visit Taiwan, despite the expensive plane fares that kept us from visiting. When we finally went back one summer, it was everything I had dreamed of and more- my relatives, the city, the night markets, the scenery, and of course the food. I was surprised by how tradition, industrialization and technology all came together in Taipei. Cultures were mixed in both time and language. Even though I was a visitor, I remember feeling at home and connected to the people around me; I even felt a sense of pride to be a Taiwanese American.
Yen Ting (Brian) Wang – San Gabriel, CA
Kinesiology, Pasadena City College
In the fall of 2017, I will be attending Pasadena City College. Pasadena City College is the best if not one of the best community colleges that one can attend. It wasn’t my first choice for college as I didn’t even think about PCC due it being a community college. As the years went on and I began to understand that money was a major problem for me, I thought of ways that I could overcome this challenge. As much as I wanted to go to another college, I knew PCC was the best for me. I will be pursuing Kinesiology as my major and become a doctor or physician’s assistant. If that route of studying doesn’t work out for me, I would like to pursue engineering as well because I have an interest in fixing/repairing airplanes. My future goals are to have a house of my own, an Audi, and have enough money to buy what I desire and provide for my family. I also want to become a physician’s assistant and help others out in the medical field. I aspire to be the best that I can and become the best that I can so I not only prove it to myself but also to everyone around me. I want to be successful and have all my hard work pay off in the end. My involvement in the Taiwanese community have only been supporting Taiwan and eating their delicious food. If ever since I came here from Taipei, Taiwan; I haven’t gone back and it has made me miss the culture and food. I would try to eat Taiwanese food whenever I can.
Marketing, Babson College, Massachusetts
My name is Eric Yu from San Diego, California. Both my parents are of Taiwanese heritage and we moved to America four years ago. I will be attending Babson College located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. I will be majoring in Marketing hoping to obtain a Business degree. In the future, I aspire to become an entrepreneur and create my own fashion line. My freshman year, I started my high school’s first Taiwanese Culture Club. Four years later as the President and Founder, my club has grown to 100 members where we celebrate Taiwan and the significant meaning it has to us. In 2014, the Taiwanese Culture Club fundraised $2,000 to donate to the 2014 Kao Hsiang explosion. Furthermore, I also volunteer every Sunday at the San Diego Chinese Academy as a teacher’s assistant in helping children learn Mandarin. I am proud to be a Taiwanese and to represent my heritage every day in my life.