2019 Recipients

Albert Lee – Norwalk, CA

Economics & Political Science, Yale University

My name is Albert Lee, and I am a rising sophomore from Norwalk, California. I am majoring in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. Growing up as a low income, first generation Taiwanese American, I developed a passion for exploring the melting pot of cultures in America and sought to expand financial literacy to those in my community. I worked in several government offices and created the Road2Success foundation in high school to address the lack of educational resources for lower socioeconomic individuals and provide counseling to at risk teens. Now, I serve as the training coordinator of Yale’s Volunteer Income Tax Association. As the training coordinator, I teach undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students how to file income taxes and understand tax law. Moreover, I help file income taxes and provide financial planning advice for families in the Greater New Haven area. I aspire to work in the finance industry after graduation and one day serve as a political representative for the community that has already given me so much.


Angelica Choi – Taiwan

Studio Art, University of Texas at Austin

My name is Angelica Choi, and I am a rising sophomore at University of Texas at Austin. I major in Studio Art and aspire to become a conceptual artist so that I can join teams of professional animators to bring animation stories to life after graduation. Two years ago, I was motivated to pursue a better art education, and I decided to leave the country I had grown up in, Taiwan. I faced cultural shock as I moved to America. As I was drawn away from the environment and family I was familiar with since I was one-year-old, I started to embrace my Taiwanese identity and search for links to my culture. Gradually, I turned to express my feelings and my stories in my art, as a Taiwanese American. Growing up as a hearing-impaired person, thriving despite rigorous and Spartan style parents’ discipline and expectations, living as a bilingual person, I had expressed my own unique perspective of the world as an artist. My personal experience continues to motivate me to express my inner voice through my artworks, as well as given me the passion to pursue my career in the animation industry. I hope to create a Taiwanese animation story that can bring awareness to Taiwanese cultures and heritages on an international platform someday, thus, promoting Taiwanese American representation through storytelling and animation


Austin Chen – Akron, Ohio

Engineering & Applied Mathmatics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Born in Ohio, but essentially raised in Taipei, my life has been characterized by frequent travels between the two countries and thus, forming quite a unique educational duality.  Coming from a family of Taiwanese-Americans, my mom felt that the American education system was better suited for both me and my sister, yet, my dad was unyielding in his request for us to obtain a Taiwanese education.  Therefore, I did not formally move to the states until the sixth grade, and consequently, I became someone who, despite being completely assimilated into the American culture, still retains their valuable Asian roots.  However, I believe my connection with Taiwan extends far beyond just education.  Yes, I do indeed enjoy a tranquil cruise trip to the Bahamas, but I also appreciate arguing for a good bargain at the crowded marketplaces of Taiwan.  Yes, I do love a good Swenson’s Galley Boy, but stinky-tofu is something absolutely to die for. Embodying the duality in these two distinct countries, I plan to double major in engineering and applied mathematics at the University of Michigan this upcoming fall.  Understanding the power of time and its ability to change a person’s aspirations, I cannot say for certain where I will end up in the future.  Nonetheless, one of the beauties of college is its flexibility and freedom of allowing an individual to pursue their wildest desires, thus, I am grateful for this privileged opportunity, and plan to make both the Taiwanese and American community proud.


Christina Hung – Atlanta, Georgia

Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Christina Hung is an American born Chinese, plant enthusiast, big dreamer, music lover, and a first-generation college student that will begin her undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in the fall of 2019. As a Public Health major, Christina is also on the Pre-Med track and has thoughts of possibly double majoring in another field (possibly economics). She expresses great thanks to her aunt, who has taken her back to Taiwan quite a few times already, making her fall in love with Taiwan more and more each time. She loves the numerous vegetarian delicacies she can find in the narrow alleys of Taipei, the fact that there are 7-Elevens very conveniently located at every turn of every street, and the warmth she feels when she overhears her grandparents bicker in Mandarin and Taiwanese. She has volunteered with the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) in Taiwan, teaching English to children in the rural areas of Nantou County. Christina is beyond grateful to be able to experience the diverse cultures she has been brought up in. With desires to make an impact on the world we live in, she looks forward to the upcoming four years, hoping to make the most out of her time while enjoying the journey. Christina takes immense pride in her heritage and upbringing and is very thankful for the Taiwanese Award Scholarship Fund award that will help her greatly with her academic endeavors.


Christy Wang – San Gabriel, CA

Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

My name is Christy Wang, I graduated this year from Gabrielino High School located in San Gabriel, CA. I grew up in many different places, from the Dominican Republic to Maryland, to Taiwan, to Georgia, back to Taiwan, back to Georgia, and then finally here in California. With all of the transferring, I have decided to remain in California for college, thus I will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles this fall. I plan on majoring in Chemistry and entering Veterinarian School so I can obtain a Doctorates degree and practice veterinary medicine. It has been my goal since my internship in 2017 to become a veterinarian and aid animal. At the hospital I interned at, many animals were being experimented on for the sake of creating and testing medicine. Although I recognize the importance of such procedures for humanity, I still cannot agree with the method. I want to become a voice for animals because they do not have as much representation and power in our society as humans, and are constantly mistreated. Currently, I want to work with large animals, not just domestic animals, and hopefully, be able to help endangered creatures as well.


Elva Chen – Hailey, ID

Industrial Design, University of Washington

I will be pursuing Industrial Design as a major at the University of Washington in Seattle. I have a strong art and mathematical background and wanted to use it in my future occupation. I discovered the career “Industrial Design” a while ago and felt immediately drawn to it because it was the perfect mix of technology and art that allowed me to design a beautiful object with practical, useful applications. Identifying problems and working out solutions is a challenging and fun part of this profession, and that is the main reason I have chosen to pursue this career path, to create and to challenge myself. I am planning to finish school in four years while working as a part time worker and upon graduation at UW, I will endeavor to remain in on the west coast and to find employment there. My research indicated that Industrial Design provides a comfortable income that eventually would allow me to pursue an MBA to expand my business knowledge, and assist me in rising into a management or a higher position at work. My future goal is to work for a large industrial design firm with experience in product designing, preferably located in a large modern city like Los Angeles, Seattle or San Francisco.


Justine Wu – Cerritos, CA

Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Hello! My name is Justine Wu. I was born in Taiwan and moved to America when I was only 4 months old. It has always been important for my family and I to keep the Taiwanese culture alive in our household so I have grown up speaking Chinese, celebrating the holidays, and often visiting Taiwan where I even had the opportunity to work in the Taipei City Hall and teach English at FuAn Elementary School during the summer of 2018. Throughout my senior year in high school, I served as the California Scholarship Federation club’s president and the Whitney class of 2019’s Class Secretary. And as an avid volunteer in my community, I am also head of Technior (a technology class for senior citizens) at the Cerritos Senior Center, a basketball coach for kindergarteners through 2nd graders, and was on the Key Club cabinet for multiple terms. On top of that, I was a dedicated member and captain of the Whitney Girls Varsity basketball team. Because of my love for international affairs, I was heavily involved with my school’s Model United Nations, and was invited to speak on behalf of the Thirst Project at the United Nations in April 2019. As a result of this opportunity, I was nominated as an ABC7 Cool Kid in June 2019. In the upcoming fall, I will be attending the University of California, Santa Barbara where I will be majoring in global studies, in hopes of becoming a foreign ambassador in the future.


Kaleb Teetsel – Denver, CO

Engineering Physics, Colorado School of Mines

Hello, my name is Kaleb Teetsel, and I will be attending Colorado School of Mines as a freshman this year, intending to major in Engineering Physics.  My mom was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to Colorado when she was 22.  I have visited Taiwan many times, the last being 3 years ago.  I want to visit it more, as Taiwan is one of my favorite places.  Throughout my 4 years of high school, I was very active in my school.  I received the IB diploma for being a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program at my school, which has challenged me and pushed me to do more than I thought I was capable of and allowed me to realize and further develop my love for mathematics and the sciences.  Music is also a huge part of my life, and I was very involved in my school’s band programs.  I play the baritone, euphonium, and trombone.  During marching band, I was one of the field captains which means that I oversaw teaching and assisting the brass section with their marching and visuals.  Playing music gave me memories that I otherwise wouldn’t have had, and gives me an outlet in which I can express myself.  I was also part of our school’s academic team for knowledge bowl, in which we won many local tournaments and were able to compete in state competition.  Serving others is also something I am passionate about.  I was a part of my school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and often volunteered with my church.  Finally, I would like to thank the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for this generous scholarship.


Hitomi Torng – Cypress, CA

Cognitive Science and Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley

Hitomi Torng is a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley and plans to double major in Cognitive Science and Linguistics. She has been involved within her community since beginning high school; at her Chinese school, she founded a tutoring program to curb the drop-out rate of non-native students. She was also the past Student Board President of a non-profit organization that seeks to improve accessibility of local STEM opportunities. From volunteering at Friends for Hope events, a partnership with Oxford and a local high school with special needs, to teaching weekly writing workshops at a local elementary school through a club she co-founded, she wants to dedicate her life to helping people. Hitomi is passionate about issues such as gender equality, having been both a speaker and part of the executive team to organize a women’s empowerment conference.Currently, she is a student teacher at Cal CREATE, a on-campus volunteer organization where she teaches weekly art lessons to Berkeley elementary students, and Vice President of Linguaphile Student Association, a language-exchange club where she teaches other students Mandarin and Japanese. Spurred by her fascination with linguistics and different cultures, Hitomi speaks four languages and hopes to become quintilingual. In the future, she wants to become a speech language pathologist, diagnosing and treating speech disorders in children and adults alike. A few other of Hitomi’s life goals include running a half-marathon and becoming a children’s book illustrator. In her free time, she daydreams excessively, writes poems, and reads self-help books.


Yi-Wen (Cassie) Chen – Richmond, TX

Chinese & Government, University of Texas at Austin

Hi! My name is Cassie Chen and I am currently attending the University of Texas at Austin where I plan to double major in Chinese and Government. After my undergraduate studies, I will apply to law school in order to obtain my J.D. I chose this career path because I want to give a voice to those who don’t always have one. Furthermore, I want to prove to myself and everyone else that I, a female Taiwanese immigrant, can succeed in a male-dominated career path. Many groups in the United States that are marginalized and constantly face discrimination, and I aspire to bring justice to these people through the court of law. My career vision is to defend those who were wrongly incarcerated, fight for minors who get prosecuted as adults for violations, and fight for the safety and humane treatment of prisoners who often live in facilities rampant with rape, beatings by correctional officers, overcrowding, and inedible food.  After establishing a solid career in criminal justice litigation, I plan to run for office as a Judge in a District Court and move up on to Appellate court or even achieve Supreme Court status, which is my dream job. As a judge, I will be able to oversee criminal court cases and fairly decide the outcome of them. Ultimately, my future accomplishments involve stopping gender discrimination and wrongful persecution of minorities through the court of the law.