Congratulations to the following recipients of the TASF Scholarship!
Ajay Liu – Fullerton, CA
Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara
Hello! My name is Ajay Liu and I’m from Fullerton, California. I was born here in California but when I was around 4, I moved back to Hsinchu, Taiwan, where I spent 10 years growing up with 7-Elevens, YouBikes, and 50嵐 around every corner. When I decided to come back to America for high school, I felt disconnected from my “home country”; I was homesick, isolated, and struggled to fit in with my new environment. During this rough transition, I learned the importance of mental health and self-care. When COVID struck, I noticed many people were struggling from the same isolation that I felt when I first moved back. Hoping to help out, I developed Inspiration Jar, a website where users could share kind and encouraging messages to any visitor who needs them. While it may not have saved the world, I’ve learned the importance of gratitude and kindness and also picked up some web development along the way. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing, coding up projects, and hanging out with my childhood friends in Taiwan.
This fall, I will be attending UC Santa Barbara for Computer Science. I look forward to joining the Taiwanese American Student Association as well as the student dance company—perhaps even the breakdancing club. I will continue creating new projects on my website, ajayliu.com, whether it be funny games or useful tools. I hope to someday start a business where I can use my skills in software engineering to bring more awareness to mental health and help people smile more in their lives.
Computer Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology
My name is Charles Wang and I’m from Livingston, New Jersey. My mother is Taiwanese and I was born in America but spent a lot of time in Taiwan soon after as my younger brother was born in Taiwan. I have spent almost my entire life in New Jersey with trips back to Taiwan whenever affordable. Taking my first computer programming class in sophomore year of high school, I was immediately hooked. On top of problem solving, planning out how my code interacts with other parts of my code is extremely satisfying. In Fall 2022 I will be a sophomore at New Jersey Institute of Technology continuing my pursuit of a BS in Computer Science. With this major I aim to create a career for myself where I can write meaningful code that helps other people no matter how small it may seem. In all of my experiences with part-time jobs and volunteering, the most exciting part of the work is when I’m able to connect with other people. With computer science’s seemingly infinite scope of impact, I aim to make the work I do with computer science achieve a lasting positive impact no matter how small. As I progress deeper into my career in computer science at NJIT I continue to explore the many different subfields of computer science. Artificial intelligence and the generation of otherwise difficult, time consuming, and expensive to create data is currently my main interest. I draw my current inspiration from recent works like DeepMind’s AI which was responsible for a major breakthrough in solving protein structures. The computer science behind their project is/will be directly responsible for speeding up developments in medicine and chemistry. I hope to achieve the same impact with my career and to do so I’m working as a lab assistant writing code to analyze MRI scans under a lab that studies neuromuscular adaptations.
Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hi! My name is Crystal Tang (唐士潔) and I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I love dancing, playing the piano, camping, and sports like Spikeball, football, and ultimate frisbee. At school, I am involved in the Astronomy Club, Women in STEM Club, and the German National Honor Society.
With my dad being born in Taipei, Taiwan, I have always considered Taiwan to be my home. I started learning traditional Chinese at the Tzu Chi Foundation from a young age, which allowed me to learn about and embrace my Taiwanese identity. Every summer, my family and I would visit my relatives in Taiwan. We would spend our days trekking the vast and beautiful mountains, wandering around night markets, and bonding together as a family. While the pandemic has made me unable to go back for almost 3 years, I hope that I will be able to surround myself with the Taiwanese community and become an active volunteer at Tzu Chi once again.
This fall, I will be attending MIT, where I will be studying mechanical engineering. As a kid, my dream was to work at NASA. Now that I’ve grown older, that dream has still stayed with me, as I hope to engineer autonomous air vehicles and rovers in space. While I strive to enter the space industry in the future, I hope to do research in college and design rehabilitation exoskeletons for stroke patients, as my grandfather suffered two strokes before he passed away.
I am incredibly grateful to the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund and its directors and staff for their kindness. With their support, I will not only be able to pursue my passions but also show how proud I am to be Taiwanese-American.
Elliu Huang – San Jose, CA
Networked and Social Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Hello! My name is Elliu Huang, and I am from San Jose, California. Both my parents were born and raised in Taiwan. My mom grew up in Keelung and on the Penghu Islands (澎湖本島), and my dad grew up in Tainan. They moved to the U.S. to pursue higher education. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I plan to major in a special program called NETS (Networked and Social Systems Engineering). I see myself in the future leveraging networks and machine learning to create a safer and more secure online world. Having lived in the Bay Area my entire life, I’m excited to study at Penn. Of course, I will dearly miss my parents who have introduced so much Taiwanese culture to me, my brother who always helps me, and free public tennis courts. Nevertheless, I’m excited to explore the urban lifestyle in Philadelphia, improve my tennis, learn Taiwanese, and try a vegan Philly cheesesteak.
Hsin (Cindy) Cheng – Athens, GA
Music Therapy and Computer Science, University of Georgia
My name is Cindy Cheng. I will become a freshman at the University of Georgia in this fall. I am a new Taiwanese immigrant, building my new sense of belonging in Athens, Georgia since January 2022. I was born in Taipei, Taiwan, where I grew up with my Christian, lovely and supportive family. My father is a Chinese-English translator, and my mother is an English teacher; however, they have always lived in Taiwan. Because I did not like to interact with others when I was very young, my parents introduced music to me, and it has since then become not only a tool to help me speak out my mind but also an indispensable part of my life and soul. I use music to find friends, and I worship and communicate with the Lord through it as well. I participated in the special music program (音樂班) in Taipei for seven years before graduating from junior high school, and then attended the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University, where I received my high school diploma. To grant me more advanced musical training and expand my global horizons, my parents, especially my mom, have been supporting me in staring my new life in the United States. I plan to explore the fields of music therapy and computer science in greater depth during my college years to learn more about how the combination of both can help people with autism spectrum disorder to strengthen their connection to the world around them.
Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College
Born and raised in El Paso, TX, Joanna identifies as a Taiwanese-American with both parents from Taiwan; her dad is from Taipei and her mom is from Chiayi. Joanna recently graduated from Harmony Science Academy and is thrilled to be attending her dream school Dartmouth College this fall. Throughout high school, Joanna volunteered every summer at her local hospital where she has contributed over 850 service hours. Additionally, Joanna also served as the President of the Student Board of Directors over her four years, making her the youngest and longest-serving in this position. At Dartmouth, Joanna intends to pursue a double major in Biological Sciences concentrating in Human Biology and Environmental Studies modified with Sociology, and a Philosophy minor on a pre-med track. Joanna is very passionate about the intersection between how environmental policy affects the human body and society; a goal of hers as a future physician includes addressing healthcare inequities by serving disadvantaged communities in order to help close the gap in healthcare disparities not limited to economic, political, social, and environmental forces. In the long run, Joanna also aspires to teach at a graduate level and become a professor of medicine as she believes in passing down her knowledge and sharing the passion for the importance of multidimensionality to future physicians in training – she credits her educators, Mrs. Murray and Mr. Ekinci, for inspiring her with these values. Most importantly, Joanna would like to thank her parents for instilling Taiwanese culture and values that have taught her to appreciate her roots and background that have shaped who she is today.
University of California, Los Angeles
I was born in the US, but grew up in Taiwan for 10 years until 2015, when my family immigrated back to the US in Daly City, CA. After immigrating, my family faced many challenges, both in the workplace and at home. However, we were able to adapt and learn from those obstacles. In school, I’ve always had an interest in biology and loved doing lab work, which encouraged me to become a bioscience researcher in the future. I’ve had wonderful leadership experiences in high school, notably as the Lead Programmer of Robotics Club and as the co-founder & president of Science Club. I also enjoyed doing community services, particularly on food distribution and the environment. I will be attending UCLA this fall, and I can’t wait for this next chapter of my life.
Shyh-chien Curie Chou – Kaohsiung, TW
Biology and Business, University of California, Berkeley
Hello! I’m Curie and I’m from Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Having lived my whole life in Taiwan before starting college at the University of California, Berkeley, I’d say that Taiwan truly has a special place in my heart. Despite its humidity and extreme heat, the passionate greetings of the pork butchers in the market every morning, the convenient transportation system that makes everywhere nearly within walking distance, and mom’s homemade fried cuttlefish balls never fails to infuse within me a sweet taste of home. As I hope to work in the healthcare field, specifically in the biopharmaceutical sector in areas related to neurodegenerative disease drug discovery, Taiwan’s universal healthcare coverage system built a strong foundation for me to understand healthcare equity that I deem indispensable in advocating for better healthcare delivery reforms in the future. In Fall 2022, I’ll be a sophomore at UC Berkeley pursuing a double major in Biology and Business. In contrast to high school where all my peers share more or less the same cultural background as I do, studying in the United States helped me realize how profoundly a voice our cultural experience bestows on us. By giving me a critical eye in decorticating global issues from multiple cultural lenses, my Taiwanese American identity allowed me to make more insightful political, economical, and sociocultural connections. Carrying forward, I aspire to draw on the tenacity my Taiwanese heritage has taught me and the creativity that my American identity has inspired me, integrating soft and hard skills both cultures have opened my eyes to to contribute to even more innovations in the global biotechnology landscape.
Computer Science, University of Washington
Hi! My name is Sophia Lin (林思雅) and I am from Seattle, WA. My hometown is Fremont, CA. My parents are from Taiwan: my mom is from Taichung and my dad is from Taipei. Almost every summer we visit our extended family in Taiwan, however, due to the pandemic, we have not returned to Taiwan for two years and a half. I hope to be able to visit soon!
In the fall, I will be a freshman at the University of Washington majoring in Computer Science to achieve my career goal of building accessible technology for people with disabilities. As a first-generation student, I grew up with a hearing disability and discovered the power of assistive technology devices like the FM system which transformed my learning experience. I am determined to advocate for people with disabilities by advancing inclusive design. I deliver accessible education to young students by hosting the STEM League Developer Program every summer, a virtual summer coding program for 6-10th grade students from underserved communities which has reached 500+ students globally during the pandemic. During the summer of 2021, I was a NASA High School Intern on the Emergency Preparedness Team where I conducted remote sensing analyses on natural disasters using Python and Google Earth Engine. Having the opportunity to learn from and interact with scientists and engineers who share a passion for STEM further sparked my interest in Aerospace Engineering, which is also a field I plan to explore in college.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the investors of the Asian Pacific Community Fund and the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for believing in me and my dreams. I am forever grateful to you.
Neuroscience, University of Alabama, Birmingham
My name is Spencer Chin and I am a 1st Generation Taiwanese-American who calls Montgomery, Alabama home. Growing up, the biggest supporters in my life were my mother and brother. Being the 2nd in my family to attend college, my brother was a huge influence and invaluable resource in navigating both college and my Taiwanese-American identity.
I am a graduate of Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) in Montgomery, Alabama where I graduated with advanced honors, a member of Mu Alpha Theta, and a member of Latin Honors Society.
I am a rising sophomore currently attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I am majoring in Neuroscience where I hope to eventually become a physician. As a physician, I hope I can continue doing good and providing affordable healthcare to my community as there are many in our nation who are unfortunately unable to get access to healthcare.
With the TASF Scholarship, I will be able to focus on my goals and ambitions while not having to burden my family with constant worry. This scholarship is an investment in my future and I am sincerely thankful to the Board Members of the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for allowing me this opportunity to exemplify the best of the next generation of young Taiwanese-American professionals. Thank you TASF!
Allyson Dye – Flagstaff, AZ
Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
Hello everyone! My name is Allyson Dye (戴艾莉). I currently live in Flagstaff, Arizona, and graduated high school from BASIS Flagstaff.
As a Taiwanese American, I was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. My mother taught me how to speak Mandarin and immersed me within the wonderful culture of Taiwan from a young age. Although I grew up in the United States, I had the privilege of visiting Taiwan for a few summers to learn how to read and write in Traditional Chinese. The Taiwanese culture is invaluable—the amount of respect and generosity that the Taiwanese have for each other is truly special and inspirational. I am grateful and proud to be a Taiwanese American, and I now uphold these cultural values in my own life, as the blend of these two cultures has shaped the person
who I am today.
I will be attending Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California this fall. I will be pursuing a Computer Science degree, and I also intend to minor in Psychology. In the aftermath of the pandemic, I’ve noticed that there has been a rising national mental health crisis and a growing lack of affordability when it comes to mental health care. My career goal is to combine my knowledge in both computer science and psychology to further improve accessibility of mental health care within my community. I envision myself contributing to advancements that support efficient and effective delivery of mental health care by further introducing the implementation of artificial intelligence within the mental health care field.
Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
My name is Andrew Li. I’m from Lake Oswego, Oregon. I was born in Los Angeles, California, but my family and I moved back to Taiwan a few months later. And I’ve lived there for 12 years. Throughout my life in Taiwan, I learned to speak Mandarin. At the age of twelve, my dad and I moved to the United States. I was naïve and scared. I couldn’t talk nor play with the other kids because of the language barrier. But I kept progress and learned to engage with others. By involving the community, I learned about their story, and at the same time, I was able to express myself. Having a background in the cultures of both countries, I learned to combine the two. I found myself inspired by technology’s ability to provide convenience and ease of use yet also experienced technological downfall where I have encountered unenjoyable electrical shocks. During my time honing my electrical engineering skills, my robotics team and I encountered a short circuit that started a fire; luckily, we put it out before it caused the wires and circuit boards to explode. I want to enter the electrical engineering field to increase electrical equipment’s stability and functionality to lower the danger of getting a shock and a short circuit that can cause a fire. Regardless of how advanced a program is, it will not be widely adopted without stability. By pursuing electrical engineering, I hope that I can advance technology to function correctly in every household to reduce potential damage.
Entomology, Cornell University
It was wiggly and squishy. I laughed. This was delightful. A comforting voice from high above broke through my thoughts. It wanted me to place the wiggly thing down. I did what the voice wanted. Many years later, I’m told that I had been holding a rhinoceros beetle larva – my kindergarten’s class pet. That was where it all started. Since then, my love of invertebrates has only grown. I’ve kept a variety of live invertebrates, volunteered with entomology professors, scientifically preserved arachnids, and revolved my life around entomology. As I spend more time outdoors exploring different microhabitats, I learn the intricacies of entomology – the subtle nature of invertebrates in general. My appreciation for them grows. When I step outside, I’m in tune with the gentle buzz of miniscule life… and yet, so few people truly see how amazing the world of invertebrates is. Now I’m headed off to Cornell to study entomology. As I’ve become more involved in entomology, I’ve discovered that the general public is largely ignorant of the invertebrate world living underneath our noses. As such, I hope to pursue a career as an entomology professor so that I can satisfy both my deep curiosity for the field and help educate people about the wonders of it.
Curtis Liu – Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Curtis Liu, and I’m from Rolling Hills Estates, California. In the fall, I will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in mathematics. Both of my parents are from Taiwan; my dad is from Taipei, and my mom is from Yunlin County. Every summer, my family and I would visit Taiwan for two months, where my entire extended family resides. It was from these lengthy experiences where I learned that there were always two (or more) sides to a story. It taught me about the differences in the Taiwanese and American cultures, and how to adapt to these discrepancies. More importantly, these experiences taught me how to become a bridge between the two cultures, and I’m proud of representing this community. I would like to say thank you to the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for awarding me this scholarship, as it will help me tremendously in both the present and the future, along with serving as a reminder to me of my Taiwanese origins.
In the United States, mathematics has been my passion. My very first form of mathematics at the age of 4 was the abacus, which originated in Chinese culture. Through these quick manipulations of arithmetic, I was able to build strength in swift calculations, which led me to qualify for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). In the near future, I plan on competing in several other mathematics competitions to represent the Taiwanese American community.
Hsun-Wei (Alex) Lee – Folsom, CA
Economics or Computer Science, University of Chicago
Hi my name is Hsun-Wei (Alex) Lee and I am currently living in Folsom, California. I was born in Taiwan and moved to the US when I was 12. I moved a couple of times and finally, before high school, we moved to Folsom where I attended Vista Del Lago High School where I graduated from in 2020. In high school I was part of the varsity basketball team where I was the team captain in my senior year. I am also a member of the varsity Track and Field team. I am currently attending the University of Chicago where I have just completed my first year. At the University of Chicago, we are not required to declare our major until the end of our second year so therefore, I am still uncertain what my major is going to be. However, I have great interest in Economics and Computer Science so I aspire to major in Economics with specialization in Data Science or Computer Science. It is my dream and goal to be either a data analyst at a big firm or a computer scientist when I graduate. As I take more classes relating to computer science and economics in my second year, it will hopefully narrow down my interests between the two. At the University of Chicago, I am also a student athlete. I am a member of our school’s varsity Track and Field Team where my main event is high jump.
Kimberly Hsueh – South Pasadena, CA
Sociology, Wellesley College
Kimberly Hsueh is from South Pasadena, CA, and her pronouns are she/her/hers. As a low-income student, she would like to first thank the Asian Pacific Community Fund for awarding her the 2021 Cathay Bank Scholarship Award, as it will help her immensely in alleviating her parents’ financial worries and affording college expenses. Recently, she graduated from South Pasadena High School with lifelong memories. From being a columnist and staff writer for her school’s newspaper,Tiger, to filling leadership positions, such as the Commissioner of Academics and the founder of the Taiwanese-American Student Association, she has come to realize what community means to her and has seen firsthand how effort, time, and dedication in building a community have resulted in tighter bonds among individuals. She recognized how consistent outreach and communication have exposed her peers and educated them of the different cultures, traditions, and experiences, the harmful consequences of ignorance, and the significance of movements. With these experiences in high school, she hopes to carry this purpose of community and enlightenment to Wellesley College. She wants to be part of an open dialogue, one that demands student engagement. Wellesley provides an environment made for exploring, where she can find her own communities and stand together with her peers to work towards positive change on and beyond campus grounds. At Wellesley, she hopes to use her education and her major in sociology to build her knowledge and use her voice to create a larger, global community.
Applied Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley
My name is Oscar Cheng and I am a Taiwanese immigrant. My mother and father met in Taiwan and that was where I was born and raised for 11 months. Afterwards, I flew to Arcadia, CA and began my life as an official Taiwanese American. As a young student, I aspired to be the pinnacle of a successful student. Representing my Taiwanese heritage, I took pride in being one of the only non-Caucasian students at my school. My inclination to math drove me to compete in American Math Competitions and to skip classes of math in high school. Even after being told by my teachers and counselors that skipping math classes would be a bad idea and a waste of everyone’s time, I pressed on and proved them wrong. Because of my unrelenting urge to explore deeper topics of mathematics, I can now skip almost all lower division math classes at UC Berkeley, the college I am attending this fall. At Cal, I am pursuing an Applied Mathematics degree with an emphasis in economics. However, I may choose to double major in economics instead with the extra room in my class schedule. I look forward to meeting new people and learning more intriguing math concepts at Berkeley. Go Bears!
Yi Chi (Izzy) Huang – Glenview, IL
Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University
My name is Izzy, I grew up in Taiwan and moved to the United States in my sophomore year of high school. Pollution is personal for me. Growing up in heavily polluted cities in Taiwan exposed me to the harmfulness of industrial air pollution, as I developed serious air allergies. After finding my passion for math and chemistry in high school, I plan to major in chemical engineering when I study at Northwestern University this fall. I hope to develop my specialties in the field of chemical engineering to help tackle worldwide pollution issues in the future. A science research project in high school and some volunteering experience in my neighborhood solidified my passion for the field of chemical engineering, and I believe a college education would further my passion for chemical engineering and equip me with the knowledge and skillsets required to tackle worldwide environmental challenges. In addition, I’m also planning to participate in the Northwestern Integrated Science Program to delve deeper into my passion for math and sciences and explore their extensive research opportunities.
Cognitive Science, University of California, Berkeley
Hi! My name is Yvonne Guu and I’m from Artesia, California. My mom was born and raised in rural Pingtung, Taiwan alongside her five other siblings before moving to America. My grandparents have worked as farmers to support our family for decades, planting and harvesting all kinds of crops from bananas to lemons. Seeing my grandparents’ unwavering resilience and patience while tending the fields has instilled a sense of perseverance and determination in me. This fall, I will be attending the University of California, Berkeley where I intend to major in Cognitive Science. With this interdisciplinary field, I am eager to gain more insight into how people interact with technology so I can learn to create more user-friendly platforms for all individuals. Having lived in Southern California for my whole life, I am super excited to explore the Bay Area and meet new people. In the future, I would like to learn more languages and travel around the world in hopes of bridging different cultures together while sharing my Taiwanese culture with others.
Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University
Hello! My name is Zoe Slatkin, and I am from Zionsville, Indiana. I am a Taiwanese-American since my mother is Taiwanese. Although I was born in the United States, I lived in Taipei for seven years until we moved back at the start of elementary school. I grew up in a bilingual and bicultural household where I ate well—at Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year— and grew up appreciating the best of both worlds. More than anything, I miss the night markets and street foods like mán tou, yóuyú wán, and zhu xiě gāo. This fall, I will attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. I plan to pursue a double major in aeronautical and mechanical engineering. In the future, I see myself working as an engineer at NASA or SpaceX, the leading forces of cutting-edge aerospace technologies and aviation. In addition to designing and testing engines, I hope to focus my studies on zero-fuel aircraft and advanced materials, notably graphene and nanotubes. I am currently an active member of Model United Nations, Engineering Club, and Kiwanis Key Club. I have also volunteered for years with my father at a community kitchen, putting in hundreds of hours and helping different communities around the city, including the Asian-American community. Additionally, I would like to improve my Chinese, take up figure skating once again, go on another cross-country road trip, and learn to cook without the rice cooker.
Dual Foreign Languages, University of Florida
In Fall of 2020, I will be attending the University of Florida as a transfer student to pursue my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dual Foreign Languages, which includes Mandarin Chinese and Arabic. Since I grew up in a Taiwanese American household, I am able to speak, comprehend, read, and write traditional Mandarin — I was also raised speaking the Taiwanese Minnan dialect. I am pursuing this language in university in order to formally improve my fluency and preserve my family’s mother tongue for future generations. After earning my degree in Chinese Mandarin and Arabic, I plan to enlist in the United States Army as an interpreter and translator, as it is the best way to utilize my passion and talent for languages. My ultimate goal in life is to serve as a Special Agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Both of these career paths allow me to serve and protect the country to which my family immigrated 40 years ago, while simultaneously enjoying and pursuing my talents with which I have been blessed. My passion for languages goes hand-in-hand with my desire to serve and protect not only my home, but my Taiwanese heritage as well. It is my hope to spread knowledge of this unique culture and my family’s dying language. Someday, I plan to return to Taiwan in hopes of formally learning the Minnan dialect so that I am able to keep it alive and well with my family remaining here in the States.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have been brought to light in this world, but the most important lesson that I am learning is the meaning of sacrifice. My grandparents are my world, so it has been extremely difficult to be far away from them for long periods of time. However, I have realized that in order to keep them safe and healthy, I have to sacrifice my desire to be with them to place their needs ahead of my wants. This pandemic has also reminded me of the meaning of family and our inextricably intertwined bonds.
Henry Luu – San Bernardino, CA
Data Science, University of California, San Diego
Henry Luu was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. His pronouns are he/ him/ his and he identifies as a Taiwanese American. He enjoys playing sports, exploring nature, and longboarding. He comes from a large family, with 7 older sisters. Growing up with so many older sisters played a crucial role in shaping his observant characteristics. His position in the family, as the youngest, provided him the opportunity to observe the nuances of human interaction. He learned conflict could be avoided if people are more cognizant of their approach to situations. Thus, he is emboldened to start conversations without judgment in order to bridge both sides of the story. Consequently, he is adept at mitigating conflict. Being observant allows Henry to be level-headed and properly gauge the tones of situations and gives him the chance to reflect on his own subsequent impact before he reacts. Henry recently graduated from San Gorgonio High School as the Class of 2020 Valedictorian and is excited to continue his education at the University of California, San Diego where he will be studying Data Science in Thurgood Marshall College. Growing up in a largely first-generation, low-income community, he has personally seen the effects of systemic inequality and of the asymmetric access to resources. Henry wants to challenge himself to learn more about the deep-rooted issues in society and initiate deeper conversations. He hopes that through Computer Science and Data Science, he can empower others in underserved areas to broaden their horizons, think critically, and challenge socioeconomic barriers they may face.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a significant, unsuspecting shock to everybody, affecting how we work, learn, and socialize with others. Throughout this pandemic, I have been staying home and staying socially distant in order to play my part in restricting the spread of the virus. While at home, I have been immersing myself in new books and taking part in a summer program at UCSD where I am gaining exposure into computer science. I hope that our country is able to control the spread of this virus and keep everybody safe.
Business Administration, Mount San Antonio College
Hello, my name is Ian Wang, and I am 18 years old. I was born in San Francisco and moved to Houston, Texas for 10 years. I recently moved to Los Angeles in the middle of my senior year. As a result, the longest time I have stayed in one school is three years. This has taught me how to adapt to new situations while maintaining my Taiwanese lifestyle and core values. I grew up in a church and my faith in God has been a major part of my life. The church has given me the opportunity to join the worship team and embark on a mission trip to a small rural village in Taiwan. Joining the worship team has sparked my passion for singing and playing guitar and going on this mission trip has given me a deeper connection to my Taiwanese descent. I would not be the person I am today without these experiences and my faith in God. Having started a new life in California, I will be attending Mount San Antonio College in the fall. I will be a business administration major, and I plan on transferring to either Cal State Fullerton or UC Irvine. I aspire to earn an MBA degree and find a stable job so that I can support my family. My mother is a single parent taking care of me and my brother, while my dad is working in Taiwan. I want to do my best in holding the weight for my parents and taking care of my little brother. I am very excited for the college journey ahead of me, and I want to thank TASF for this opportunity!
This current pandemic situation has given me a chance for self-reflection on my relationship with others, my faith in God, and my perspective on world matters. Living a life of social distancing, I have shown a tendency to be more introverted, focusing more on myself and avoiding everything else. However, by doing so I started to realize how I should be acting during this pandemic and what should be at the center of my life. I have reminded myself that even though the world has been changing, I should focus my heart and mind on reaching out to my friends and family, pursuing a pure and loving life in Christ, and responding to topics such as sexual abuse and racial injustice.
Psychology, New York University
My name is Kayla Hudson and I’m from Livingston, New Jersey. My great-grandmother emigrated from Taiwan to escape rising tensions before World War II. This fall semester, I will be attending New York University as a freshman. I will be starting at NYU’s Liberal Studies Core for two years and then I will be attending their College of the Arts and Sciences to major in psychology. As of now, I want to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist or a therapist (I’m still considering if I should go to med school) to provide people with a way to share their thoughts and feelings with someone whom they feel comfortable with sharing instead of repressing their emotions. I want to be able to help others avoid feeling lonely and stop them from engaging in harmful activities in an effort to escape from their emotions and/or everyday adversities. I’m aware that just creating a goal will only take me but so far, but to achieve my dream career I will need to work hard throughout my four years at New York University to make my goals a reality. Not only has the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund brought me closer to achieving that goal, but they also motivated me to be successful in the future so I can help other low-income students achieve their dreams.
As a student in 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic has taught me the importance of science. With some media outlets capitalizing off human fear, it’s hard to know if what we see online is true. However, science has been the only constant and reliable resource that humans can universally trust. As a result, the real heroes of this pandemic, like researchers who’re trying to create a vaccine and medical workers who’re trying to help infected civilians recover, are relying solely on their background in the medical field to help restore our world to some type of normalcy. Thanks to science, we can encounter and manage a pandemic without repeating the same mistakes made in the 14th century with the plague.
Kyla Yu-Swanson – San Diego, CA
Chemical Engineering/Material Sciences, California Institute of Technology
I’m Kyla Yu-Swanson, a 17-year-old from sunny San Diego. My Chinese name is 余琪. My maternal grandparents are both Taiwanese Chinese immigrants. Although I have not been to Taiwan since I was two years old to attend a family wedding, I hope to return and reconnect with my many Taiwanese relatives. Meanwhile I’ll be attending the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) this year leaning towards studying Chemical Engineering or Material Sciences. I aspire to use her degree to create more environmentally friendly products. I also like to draw and paint nature and floral designs. Eventually, I plan to compile my illustrations into an adult coloring book. I’ve also been involved in several public art projects, including at least three in the San Diego area. Thank you, Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund; your generous gift has both helped ease the strain of financing college and given me a stronger tie to my roots in Taiwan.
I’m currently taking a course called Math 0 in preparation for proof-based math at Caltech. Proof-based math is very different from any algebra or calculus I’ve done before. Learning to do proofs has restructured how I view math. Instead of just solving problems, I now have to prove basic principles I used to just assume. Math is much more nuanced and interesting to me now.
Pre-Human Biology and Society, University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Megan Hsing-Huan Hernandez, I am a recent graduate of class of 2020. This fall, I will be attending University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in pre-human biology and society. My mother was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan before she moved to America for college on an athletic scholarship. Growing up, I spent almost every summer in Taiwan, for which all my extended family lives there. I love Taiwan and would like to spend a year studying abroad there in the future, in hopes of bettering my Mandarin Chinese and embarking more in Taiwanese culture. Here in the US, I attended Sunnyside High School in Fresno, California. During high school, I loved to be involved, I was my school’s representative on the district’s Student Advisory Board. I was also athlete of the year, playing volleyball and competing in track and field. Additionally, I was a student in the UCSF Doctors Academy, a program that guides low-income students from the central valley to pursue the medical field. Since I was in elementary school, I have dreamed of becoming a medical professional, and since then I have been working towards that goal. Through the Doctors Academy, I have gotten the opportunity to meet medical professionals of all kinds and even personally shadow them over the summer. Loving my experience in the operating room, I would like to pursue the path of being a surgeon. Outside the classroom, my mother and I volunteer at my local Tzu Chi Foundation, that aids the underserved in the central valley. It’s a way of giving back while being surrounded by my fellow Taiwanese people.
During the outbreak of COVID-19, schools and universities have closed which has put a halt in normal classroom lessons, however that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Classes have continued online and in home but regardless of textbook learning; I think there is a bigger lesson that I have learned during the quarantine. It’s that battles aren’t won by one man; it’s takes the whole group for action to take place. Unfortunately, during the battle against COVID-19, the US has been severely hurt due to the lack of effort from the whole group. The only way to flatten the curve is through an entire group’s collaboration and I hope we can achieve that soon.
Styvalizh Uribe – Alhambra, CA
Architecture, Columbia University
A native of the golden coast but raised in Taiwanese spirits, my life had been an unyielding line of Chinese culture and teachings. As I continued life through calligraphy competitions and grew up with a deep sense of self, my multiethnicity identity had been unexplored. The paradox was that while I identified as wholly taiwanese, my difference hindered me from being socially empowered. As black as my hair was, I continued to retain my Asian roots while assimilating into American culture. My love for black sugar milk tea with honey boba parallels my adoration of a fresh glass of horchata as my inability to handle spice aligns with my ability to scarf down tacos, spaghetti, and pad thai. This diversity allowed me to enter new heights of understanding, in both a breadth and depth in its examination of humanity. I am currently transitioning to my freshman year at Columbia University. I hope to study Architecture with a minor in sustainability, to complete research on building materials and methods in light of climate change. I hope to travel and study New York’s historical houses and how they were traditionally built to adapt to their continental climate. The goal of which is to understand and predict how they would perform in response to climate change and if alternative materials would be better suited. I hope to explore these topics and develop potential solutions that respect and incorporate the city’s unique architectural character, as well as promoting Taiwanese American representation.
We all have a fire within us, a passion that drives our motivation and allows us to better ourselves. Of speaking out to injustice. Of protecting our loved ones and community from an emotionally driven and physical pandemic. The most important thing I have learned from this pandemic is that mutual contempt can only get us so far. In actuality, it is love and acceptance that can allow an entire society to change for the better and become healthy and whole again. Currently, I am attending a Columbian journalism fellowship.
Sydney Hirayama – Honolulu, HI
Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Although I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, my childhood embodied the bustling streets of Taipei. My one-year old mind does not recall my first time in Taiwan, maybe only the smell of chou tofu. But, ever since then, my yearly visits give me more and more reasons to fall in love. The cheese-foam green tea, mouthwatering beef noodles, and soup filled dumplings reserve the top of my list of favorite delicacies. Still, nothing can top my ama’s cooking and I always go back for seconds. Besides food, I enjoy Taiwan for their undying hospitality embedded into the culture. Every meal is shared, and even friends of cousins are family. During gatherings, sounds of laughter from kids and the over enthusiastic gossip from aunties warm up the room, and I always feel at home. With that being said, I hope to take these qualities into my second year of college at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I am majoring in Biology and continuing my pre-med path as an upcoming doctor. In the future, I wish to use my years of education to give back to the community. My utmost goal is to open up a free clinic that serves everyone, especially underprivileged individuals. There are times when my aspirations seem unattainable, but funds like the Taiwanese American Scholarship makes me realize the support that I have from my Taiwanese community. I am extremely grateful for this award which has inspired me to continue striving for the highest.
During this pandemic, I learned patience. Staying at home with my family 24/7 does get overwhelming. But there were a lot of entertaining and wholesome moments that I would never have experienced with them if they had been at work or school. My feelings of gratitude also strengthened especially for those who serve on the front lines and continue to fight against this virus. More so, I am very thankful for essential workers that risk their lives every day to do their jobs.
Tristan Griffith – Fernley, NV
Computer Science, Washington State University
The main reason why I wanted to go into Computer Science is to learn how to develop video games. Since a young age, I have played video game classics such as Super Mario Brothers 3, Tetris, and Mega Man. That influenced me to enjoy the finer details, the ideas and the way the people behind the games captured their own ideas. Washington State University allows me to pursue that and branch out, since I will be attending one of the nation’s best schools in this field. Washington State University also promised me that there are people like me, so perhaps I can start sooner on a few of my projects than I anticipated. I hope I have a wonderful time there and make new great friends. Perhaps create something that others can’t understand, and write wonderful stories, mostly because I always have enjoyed creating stories and visual novels. One of my biggest goals is to become a “indie” game developer, where random people like myself create amazing stories that even triple A parties have to notice. I want to be noticed in the involved game industry and hopefully inspire more people to be like me. Another goal I have is to find people that are in other fields so I can work with them and have them help me create my ideas onto a screen format, like coders, voice actors and others. Simply put, I want to start my own community around my games and watch that community grow from the ground up.
I learned that people are stupid, panicky and will freak out over anything they don’t understand. It’s honestly kind of tragic, since there is so much to see and do, but people never change. If people could be more informed of what is happening and why it is happening, the maybe 2020 wouldn’t have been as bad.
Yi Shan (Tina) Chang – Chandler, AZ
Business Data Analytics, Arizona State University
My name is Tina Chang and I am so grateful to be selected as one of the recipients of the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will enable me to attend Arizona State University to pursue my Business Data Analytics major. Improvisation has become one of my biggest strengths. In fact, I am so obsessed with problem solving that I have decided to take it to the next level. In college, I am taking my Business Data Analytics major to the next level. I joined a research lab, where we are partnering with Adidas analyzing social media using sentiment analysis machine learning to improve their supply chain and marketing strategy. I am excited that I can apply my creativity and quick thinking to solve these issues. I cannot wait to tackle the corporate world. Academics has been the only constant in my life. I knew that if I succeeded academically, I would succeed no matter what. I took off running in college, maintaining good grades, making meaningful connections, and securing many leadership roles. My experience as an intern for many cultural clubs has taught me so much about organization and management. I was even able to land a facilitator role for WPC101, a class that prepares freshman business students for success. I am extremely excited to be able to pass on my acquired knowledge and help other students succeed.
I busy myself in quarantine by either learning about business models or practicing for the GMAT. Because my local library is shut down, I am utilizing free online websites and videos to self-study. I am also researching unconventional business models; more specifically online websites that do not utilize traditional business practices. I am also casually learning the art of café drink-making.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Film/Animation/Video, Rhode Island School of Design
Cohan Lin is a freshman at the Rhode Island School of Design and will be majoring in Film/Animation/Video. He is a first-generation Taiwanese American and was born in San Francisco. Inspired by his mother, he has always loved all kinds of art and has found animation to be the perfect medium to explore his interests. He hopes to experiment and collaborate with other artists to create work that can connect with people around the world. As an artist in animation, he hopes to be a storyboard or visual development artist for feature film and television, but also hopes to create independent short films. He hopes his work can make an impact on people one day and inspire people to pursue what they are truly passionate about. He spends time every week helping his mom at work and teaching kids arts and crafts. As a scout and musician, he has spent years doing volunteer work for his community, school, local and national parks, summer camps, percussion ensemble, and troop where he has had the opportunity to be involved in local Asian American and Taiwanese American communities. The Taiwanese community in the Bay Area and his family in Taiwan has always been a source of support and love, and he takes great pride in his heritage. He has not been able to visit Taiwan since he was 4 but hopes to return soon to visit his family, eat good food, and explore and draw the beautiful places across the country.
Entrepreneurship, University of Oklahoma
In the fall of 2018 I will be a freshman at the University of Oklahoma in Norman where I plan on attending the Price School of Business and major in Entrepreneurship. I chose to be a business major for many reasons, one being, my dad who is in the real estate business. His work has always fascinated me and being able to help him and learn from him has been a huge privilege. Warren Buffett, Mark Cuban, and Nick Woodman have all had a major influence in my decision to go down the path of business. My future plans after college is to create my own real estate development company and hope to be an investor and an entrepreneur in other aspects after that. Community service has always been a big part of my life, whenever I got the chance I would always try to give back to the community. I have volunteered as an assistant counselor at a Chinese youth camp (CYC). I joined an organization called Formosa Association of Student Cultural Ambassadors (FASCA) which helped further my volunteering opportunities, where I have accumulated over 400+ volunteer hours. Not only have I became a assistant counselor at CYC but I have also at another camp called Heritage Camp hosted by Dillon International, a camp where adoptees of Asian descent come together to learn about their heritage and meet others who are in the same circumstances they are in as well. Our Oklahoma City Chinese School has also given me the opportunity to teach other children about Chinese culture activity called the Chinese Yo-yo or more commonly known as the diablo. All of these Asian volunteer opportunities have really given me a perspective of admiration for my parents who have devoted so much time and effort in helping me succeed.
Statistics, University of California, Berkeley
My name is Edward Chang, and this coming fall, I will be attending the University of California, Berkeley and planning to major in statistics. I am the youngest of three sons of Taiwanese immigrants. In my four years of high school, I have actively engaged in the STEM field through AP sciences, AP mathematics and clubs. I have joined clubs like Science Olympiad (which I have competed for all four years and consistently medaled), Engineering Club, and Computer Science Club—all to bolster my understanding of the vast STEM field. Through my exploration of the STEM field, I desire to become an actuary in the future because of my deep passion for mathematics throughout high school.
Apart from my engagement in the STEM field at school, I have participated in my high school’s Chamber Choir and achieved a black belt in Taekwondo. These two activities have helped me understand the importance of hard work through the experience of slipping up and making mistakes.
And driven by a desire to understand my culture and language more, I have taken Chinese classes in high school and visited Taiwan. In Taiwan, I volunteered as an English teacher at Changhua County’s Wu Feng Elementary School. My love and interest in Taiwanese culture has also led me to explore the popular culture in Taiwan and seek for more food, songs, and artists to follow.
Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign
Hi everyone! My name is Gene Lee and I was born in Mountain View, California, but I moved back to Taiwan during fourth grade. Having just graduated from National Tainan Senior High, I am going to attend the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign for Electrical Engineering, while looking to minor in Business, Economics, or even Physics. I want to be more than just an engineer, and this was also reflected through my high school life. Besides just studying, I was also the captain of my school’s soccer team, and participated in many Model United Nations conferences as a delegate, chair, and instructor. Thus, I hope to possibly pursue an MBA to become a data analyst at Wall Street, or use my vast and diverse skillset to work on A.I. to change the world for the better.
Throughout high school, I volunteered on many occasions, the most prominent two being serving as the head lecturer of a camp held for elementary school students in remote areas in Tainan, and also regularly visiting a center for disabled children. I also have hosted many foreign students including those from Japan and Australia (as a translator, a master of ceremony, and a student ambassador), and introduced them to the culture of Taiwan. Through these experiences, I felt the joy and pleasure of seeing the smiles on the children’s faces, and the thrill I got by giving back to my community.
Business and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
I grew up with my single mother in Arcadia, California. She immigrated from Taiwan to the United States the year she was pregnant with me. Growing up, I lived a bicultural lifestyle, speaking mandarin and english, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year, and learning different customs. In eighth grade, I decided to attend Midland, a small, private school on 2,860 acres of land in Los Olivos, California for high school. After stumbling across the school online, I was immediately drawn to how different the lifestyle was compared to my norm. Unlike other schools, the eighty-eight students at Midland live in cabins, have limited internet access, and all contribute to the community through a daily job such as washing dishes or feeding horses. In the past four years, I’ve loved making desserts for my entire community to enjoy during dinner. I’ve loved being freshman girls’ prefect and checking them in every night before bed. I’ve loved exploring nature, and experiencing new adventures with my friends. Midland taught me the importance of community, and became my home. Next year, I will attend the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where I plan to study both business and anthropology. Seeing the world through two cultures has inspired me to be curious about how culture influences decisions in a global business economy. The next chapter of my life at Penn will be full of adventure; I’m enthusiastic to explore my interests, tackle real-world problems, and make a difference in our society.
Aerospace and Astronautical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
My name is Michelle Tang, and I am a rising sophomore from Houston, Texas. I am majoring in aerospace and astronautical engineering and minoring in astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to developing air and space technologies and adapting them to other sectors, I am planning to continue with my research on asteroid orbital dynamics, an area that I have been involved in for the past few years. In the future, I hope to help mitigate light pollution through lobbying for the implementation of effective technology, as well as work on the reform of American public education. Additionally, I would like to improve my Chinese and German, earn my pilot’s license, make a latch hook rug, and take up piano again. I am currently a choreographer for the Asian Dance Team and an active member of Women in Aerospace Engineering, Flying Club, and Photography Club. I am also involved with the Association of Taiwanese Students, promoting the culture that was such a fundamental part of my personal development. Finally, in my spare time, I enjoy reading, baking, Ultimate Frisbee, figure skating, and slacklining.
Political Science and International Relations, University of California, San Diego
Cradling two delicate halves of a Matryoshka doll in my stubby hands, I realized the existence of a second doll inside the first, lacquered clothing peeking out between carefully sculpted edges of the outer. As my grandmother laughed, my eyes, glossy but round with curiosity, paralleled those of Russians at the Exposition Universelle, where the emergence of the nesting dolls had first impressed the world – a toy that embodied the complexity of unfolding flower petals. As I grew, I began to perceive the reality of a Russian doll inside myself – a culmination of tirelessly crafted layers of diverse fascinations. While one doll delved into the art of English – devoured books as sustenance – another studied the law of murder cases, captaining peers and new freshmen to realize their love for public speaking and understanding the American judicial system. Yet another doll spoke to constituents at Congressman Royce’s office, presenting local honorees and businesses with certificates of recognition – as another embraced her Taiwanese culture, intertwining the foods, fruits, and phrases of local Taiwanese citizens into daily interactions. It is this onion-like character that I will take with me this fall to the University of California, San Diego – as I study political science and international relations, concentrations that reflect both my love for diversity, and my future aspirations of pursuing a career in law. I am hopeful that I will become a connoisseur of many subjects, and continue to grow in both my intellect and knowledge of the Taiwanese community.
Ying Fan (Tina) Ou – Flushing, NY
International Business, Queens College
Hello, my name is Tina Ou. My mandarin name is 毆瑩凡. I am going to Queens College for international business major and minoring in Korean. Growing up speaking multiple languages was a pro, as well as a con. Mandarin is a popular language that people speak nowadays. I grew up in Taiwan until I was 10. My memory only allowed me to remember the parts where I grew up running around in a hotel. Thus, to combine my advantage of speaking multiple languages and the environment I grew up in, I would like to pursue to hospitality. I wish to offer a comfortable travel experience for people that live in the hotel I work in because language is often the main barrier. I would also like to promote Taiwanese culture during my time working for the travel/ hotel industry, so people may travel to Taiwan and see its beauty. In terms of helping out the Taiwanese community, I have helped out Passport to Taiwan in New York for about two years now to help promote Taiwanese culture.
Biology and Psychology, California Lutheran University
Hi, my name is Sarah Teruya, and I’m from San Diego, California. My grandparents were born and raised in Taiwan, and my mother was born in Taiwan before moving to Guam. In the Fall, I will be a freshman at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles. I will be studying to receive my Masters in Biology and Psychology, and plan to attend further graduate school to study Neurology or Neuroscience. I hope to someday work as a criminal analyst at the F.B.I. My involvement with my culture ties deeply to my religion. I am an active member of the Taiwanese Lutheran Church of San Diego, where I lead Bible discovery sessions and youth camps. I’ve made lifelong friends and have been able to connect with my culture in the duality of a faith-based setting. This summer, I will be going on a month-long missions trip to Taiwan in July, where we will be teaching with my church group of 15 students to Bible studies in the provinces of Wugu and Dalin. With this scholarship, I will be able to pursue my academic career while supplemented with work study to mitigate the costs of college my freshman year. I will have the opportunity to get involved on campus, make connections, and enjoy the beginning of my college journey with ease. I would like to thank the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for this great award. Thank you so much for investing in my future!
Sylvanus (Van) Tetzner – Madison, WI
Music, Berklee College of Music
My name is Van Tetzner, and I am a musician. I found my love for music in Taiwan, where I learned piano in a tiny buxiban tucked into a towering city building. I remember my heart rising as the elevator drew me close enough to hear piano scales, making me smile. Once I was four, my family moved to Madison, Wisconsin because my mother thought the schooling in America would fit us better; being a new immigrant was difficult, and I stuck to the periphery of things, immersing myself in music to avoid the wide-eyed stares and snide assumptions. However, I quickly learned English and made treasured friends I still see to this day; I found a place in America with my friends, the spirit of freedom, and the pursuit of success deeply rooted in American culture. By high school, my commitment to music evolved past love into commitment, as I began to see music as a tool to bring peace to an increasingly tumultuous America. In Social Justice Book Club, I learned about hate crimes, police brutality, and gun violence – and the more I learned, the more I focused on my craft. This fall, I am attending Berklee College of Music so I can study songwriting and performance and bring my music to new levels; I am going to become a musician of the caliber of Jay Chou and John Lennon and use my focus and dedication to break the barriers of hate and unite people through song.
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.
Justin Chang – San Gabriel, CA
Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Justin Chang, and I look forward to majoring in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on circuits and embedded systems or integrated circuits. I grew up in San Gabriel, CA, and am very active in my community. I have participated in many extracurricular activities such as basketball, cross country, track and field, Math club (Vice President), Future Business Leaders of America (Treasurer), Engineering and Mathematics Club (Events Coordinator), Kiwanis Key Club, and Rotary Interact Club for all of my high school years. I look forward to joining IEEE, an engineering club in College and hope to join the honors society, Eta Kappa Nu and also conduct undergraduate research for professors. I also hope to participate in an internship program in my sophomore year alongside having hands on experience with OPS in IEEE and one day make a contribution to our world’s technology, seeking to improve efficiency and effectiveness of many items. My passion in Electrical Engineering was sparked by a presentation in my 7th grade career day. The presenter discussed the limitless capabilities an LC circuit had and truly shocked and inspired me to become much more engaged in learning about its properties. As a result, I began to investigate the many different types of products my mom was buying for her business, discovering there were many items with circuits and attempted to apply whatever knowledge I could muster based on my online research to analyze the circuits.
International Relations, George Washington University
In the fall of 2016, Cindy Chou will be a sophomore at the George Washington University. Born in Portland, Oregon to Taiwanese parents, Cindy was involved in her Chinese school’s folk dance team and Lunar New Year carnival, where she emceed and performed the ribbon and lion dance. In high school, she was the president of Model UN and Key Club. Because of her passion for Model UN and her Taiwanese upbringing, she is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in International Affairs, with a focus on US foreign policy and cross-Strait relations. In college, she is involved with Agape and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and is currently interning at Formosan Association for Public Affairs. She hopes to become a foreign service officer. Last summer, she participated in a summer missions program in Changhua, Taiwan. She will return to Taiwan this summer to intern at a think tank.
Human Biology, University of Texas, Austin
I was born and raised in Texas, and was accepted by the University of Texas at Austin for the 2016 fall semester. I will graduate from Cedar Creek High School fourth in my class, having taken numerous Advanced Placement classes in order to fully prepare myself for college. I enjoy reading and dancing, and am the Co-Captain of my Drill Team, the Soaring Eaglettes. I have worked at the Sherwood Forest Renaissance Faire in Texas for multiple years, and have engaged myself actively in community service, being a member of the National Honor Society as well as President of the Cedar Creek Interact Club, a ‘service above self’ organization. I plan on majoring in Biology at UT, due to my fascination with how the world works at a molecular level. I hope to eventually become a molecular researcher that will make significant breakthroughs within the scientific community. My grandparents, on my mother’s side, are Taiwanese, and have pushed me to achieve my goals all these years. I loved visiting them – the Taiwanese cuisine, the mahjong competition and the random snatches of Taiwanese coming from both them and the TV. Despite the language barrier, communication with them was never strained; they taught me that words are not needed to show kindness and love. I learned so much from them; their lessons diffusing through all aspects of my life – socially and academically. Sadly, my grandmother passed away this year due to cancer, but her continuous enthusiasm for my future supports me even today, and I hope to make her and my grandfather proud.
Willis Hao – Johns Creek, GA
Chemistry, Emory University
Willis Hao, a senior at Chattahoochee High School, is rising into the class of 2020 at Emory University and is beyond excited! Although he loves the sciences and intends to major in Chemistry, he loves the fine arts first and foremost. When he’s not studying or working, you can catch Willis in a dance, theatre, or a vocal class. He finds perfect balance in being athletic, artistic and technical. He intends to extend his knowledge both in a logical and abstract sense and hopes that his artistic side will help progress him in the pursuit of science!
Eugenie Juan – Chino Hills, CA
Media Arts, University of California, San Diego
Eugenie Juan ’18 studied in Taiwan for eight years and is fluent in Mandarin and Taiwanese. She is a senior who will graduate from Chino Hills High School in California in June. At Chino Hills High, Eugenie was the co-captain and the founder of her school’s California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Badminton Varsity Team. She also participated in Key Club, Christian Club Leadership, and many more. During her high school years, she managed to volunteer at Asian Pacific Film Festival as well as working as an Unit Production Manager (UPM) for Blue Penguin Production She made her first documentary film on the history of salt production field at Jiangjun 將軍 in Tainan, Taiwan. Eugenie has a great passion in film and she hopes to deliver messages of the people who don’t have of chance to share their stories. Eugenie got accepted by the University of California, San Diego, the Department of Visual Arts. She will take a major in media arts with a minor in filmmaking. In the future, she dreams to make a movie in Hollywood. She hopes to help Asian Americans take more stand in this industry and to help people see the beauty of Taiwan.
Business Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
My name is Timothy Kao and I am a Taiwanese American. I was born in Northridge, California, and have lived in Van Nuys, California in the Los Angeles County ever since I was born. My parents and their entire generation are from Taiwan, they are both Taiwanese citizens, and they moved to the United States before having me. This fall, I will attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a freshman. I plan to major in Business Economics in order to either go to a business school and get a MBA or a law school and get a law degree. I am also considering the possibility of dual majoring in Computer Science. This scholarship means a lot to me. The cost of attending college keeps going up every year, and even with financial aid, it will be difficult for my family to pay for my tuition. This extremely generous scholarship will go a long way to help ease up my student loans and debt, and I am very grateful to the Taiwanese American Scholarship fund for awarding me with this money. My parents and I now have one less thing to worry about as I prepare to go off to college, and I cannot thank the TASF enough. Thank you for believing in me and investing in my future!
Environmental Studies, Pitzer College
In the fall of 2016, I will attend Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. I hope to pursue a field in the sciences/economics. Both my parents immigrated from Taiwan and raised me in Walnut, CA, where I grew up for the majority of my life. In high school, I enjoyed participating in environmental activism with my high school environmental club, ECGA. My most memorable high school memory is when I joined the Walnut Solar Car Team and participated in the 2015 Solar Car Challenge in Texas. My main inspiration at school would be my friend Rhea Lin, a TASF scholarship recipient from last year, whom I met and got close with during my time in the Walnut Solar Car Team. At home, I am extremely appreciative of my family and everything they have done for me. I would like to thank TASF for giving me this opportunity and supporting my college funds. I hope that one day, I am able to pay it forward and give back to the community.
Chia Chun (Josh) Lu – Tustin, CA
Computer Science, University of California, Irvine
In the fall of 2016, Joshua Lu will be continuing his studies at the University of California, Irvine as a freshman majoring in Computer Science. Joining the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Joshua hopes of one day being able to join a tech startup where new designs and new technologies may be used to help change people’s way of life. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan and immigrated to the US in 2001. He is very thankful to have a supportive family and is grateful for their encouragement throughout his life. In high school, he participated in various extracurricular activities including church, music, and volunteering as a tutor. He also greatly enjoys photography and filmography. Joshua is honored by the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for choosing toinvest in him and his college academics, and is beyond words in gratefulness for their belief in him and his vision.
Political Science, Wellesley College
My name is Sharon Lu and I am from San Gabriel. While I was born in California, my father is a Taiwanese citizen who immigrated here in hopes of getting better opportunities. I will be attending Wellesley College in Massachusetts as a freshman this Fall where I plan on majoring in Political Science with the dream of becoming an ambassador for the United States. In high school I was involved in several extracurriculars and community service clubs such as Speech and Debate, Mock Trial, Basketball, National Honor Society, HOSA, and much more. I have gone to the State Championships in Speech and Debate for four years in a row and have been a 3 year Varsity in both Mock Trial and Basketball. I was also a part of San Gabriel’s Youth in Government Program where I was inspired to look more into public service as a career. I am so thankful for the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund because it will give me the chance to transition into my first year of college without the added stress of looking for a job. If it wasn’t for this scholarship I would have had to adapt to balancing my academic life with work all while trying to ease into the college experience. Now I can look forward to my first year at Wellesley where I hope to gain different perspectives on the world around me and learn about how I can give back to those in need.
Chemical Engineering, Oregon State University
I was born in Virginia, USA in 1998 to my Taiwanese mother and American father. We moved to Taipei, Taiwan when I was two years old. I spent eleven years in Taiwan before relocating to Oregon, USA in 2010. I have a younger sister who was born in Taiwan. I attended Chi-Jen Elementary (私立及人小學) and Nanmen Elementary School. In the sixth grade, I was honored to receive the Role Model Award (市模範生獎) from Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin (郝龍斌). Acclimating to life in the USA has been both a significant challenge and a noteworthy personal accomplishment. Moving to Corvallis, Oregon, USA in the summer of 2010, I received my first introduction to life in the USA and started my American education entering the seventh grade. I struggled to adapt to the new culture and language but, with support from family and teachers, overcame the challenge. Currently, I am preparing to start college as a freshman in Oregon State University, aiming for a career in healthcare and medical research. I grew interested in health sciences through four years of volunteering at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Oregon. My goal in college and work is to build on academic interests and volunteer experiences toward a degree in engineering or chemistry, which I feel will prepare me for a career in healthcare.
Human Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Alex Renn will attend University of California, Berkeley as a sophomore during the Fall of 2016 where he will be majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Alex graduated from Mira Loma High School as a Salutatorian Scholar, where he led the school’s Health Occupation Students of America team in addition to volunteering at the local hospital and elementary school. Alex also participated in ML’s Future Business Leader of America team in which he served as the public relations director and public speaking events coach. He was born to two Taiwanese immigrants whom moved to the Bay Area from Taipei during their early 20s – their sacrifices are a large motivating factor to Alex. Beginning from a young age, Alex has always been interested in science, whether it was from anatomy books, to science class/projects and science fiction novels. This interest manifested itself in Alex’s research project that he conducted over the summer of 2015 at the UC Davis School of Medicine. His research project, regarding the topic of colon cancer, is still progressing and he hopes to publish his results by 2017. Alex is looking forward to this upcoming summer in which he will be interning for Dynavax Technologies as a research intern for a lung cancer project. Finally, Alex would like to thank his parents for their unconditional support and love, and of course TASF, for their generosity and kindness.
Jiunn Siow – Hacienda Heights, CA
Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles
Leo Siow will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles and will try to double major in electrical engineering and bioengineering. He is the son of Taiwanese immigrants and resides with his family in Hacienda Heights, California. In high school, he served as the co-founder and president of Future Business Leaders of America, president of Habitats for Humanity, and participated in Science Olympiad. He also created his own 3D printing company, which currently remains self-sustaining and profitable. Leo hopes to become a cardiovascular surgeon in the future, while using his engineering background to enhance his technical abilities. Leo is extremely grateful for the TASF scholarship, as it will help his family will be support the education of their two children.
Jonathan Sun – Diamond Bar, CA
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley
In the fall of 2016, Jonathan Sun will be attending the University of California, Berkeley as a freshman to pursue the Bachelor of Science major program in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Born in Stamford, Connecticut to Taiwanese parents and moving to Texas and later to Diamond Bar, California, Jonathan has taken in Taiwanese culture at home, Chinese classes at schools and on occasional trips to Taiwan. Jonathan has passionately pursued cello performance as a hobby and contributed plenty to his high school’s music program, leading the school symphony orchestra’s cello section and regularly playing for community events and chamber recitals on behalf of the music program. Meanwhile, he has performed with the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra as a cellist for the past four years. Jonathan also serves the community through the volunteer orchestra group World Relief Chamber Music, where he has played for five consecutive years and served as fundraising committee co-chairman and fundraising concert co-president. In addition, he has developed a significant interest in computer programming during his high school years, creating personal programming projects ever since first taking AP Computer Science in sophomore year and later creating a computational model on vascular network growth for a biomathematics team at UCLA as an internship project. Jonathan seeks to continue exercising his passion for design and music through hobbies like cello practice, drawing, as well as programming and aims to use these passions for society’s benefit in the future through creative projects and endeavors in computational biology research.
Human Biology, University of California, Irvine
My name is Ethan Teng and I am a Taiwanese America from the San Gabriel Valley. I am currently a senior at Temple City High School and I will attend the University of California, Irvine next year. I am a passionate energy driven individual pursuing the path of medicine. As of now, I am a full time student with a part time job as a Teacher’s Aid working with students in Math, Language Arts and Sciences. I am also currently the President of the club JTASA (Junior Taiwanese American Student Association) at Temple City High School. As a community driven club, our club helps spread the Taiwanese culture and help give back the community through any volunteer events we can find. Some accomplishments I’ve achieved throughout the years are my memberships in the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation along with my 1st degree Black Belt that I obtained in 2014 after eight years of rigorous training. Nevertheless, these activities help me realize my dream of wanting to become a Physician. However, my ultimate decision to pursue medicine was a self-found passion that I had for helping people. As a part of a growing maturity and a newfound goal, I’ve dedicated my next eight years to studying medicine. I am an individual pursuing my lifetime goals of wanting to wear the Rod of Ascelpius on his shoulders. I see myself as an individual destined for healing and medicine, ultimately aiming to meaningfully alter the world that surrounds us all.
Danielle Valencia – Torrance, CA
Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton
Two years ago, the fear of losing a father after his diagnoses of lung cancer, along with the motivation of striving for a better education system, brought me to the decision of leaving the country I’ve grown up in, Taiwan, and furthering my education in the U.S. This decision drew me away from the environment and family I’ve grown up with since I was two years old, facing drastic transitions of language and lifestyle. Including studying in a second language, continuing and transferring classes, and taking on the responsibility of caregiving for my dad who’s in need, and my own demands on a daily basis. After his surgery, my dad lost physical functions needed to accommodate everyday lives. Therefore, I learned how to drive, cook, and how to take care of a household. In addition, I learned effective skills on caring for my father and administering his tests and treatments, including measuring blood pressure, assisting with insulin shots, and managing medications to assist with his overall rehabilitation process. My mother on the other hand, has given me trust throughout the transition, allowing me to gain independence from the tough situations I’ve faced along the way. Even though we are now sixteen hours apart, she continues to give me courage and inspiration every day. My personal experience continues to motivate me towards a higher education, as well as given me the passion to pursue my career in the medical field.
Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Sean Wang will enter his sophomore year of college in the fall of 2016. Midway through the transfer admissions process, he has transferred from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was an electrical engineering major, and has been accepted to Vanderbilt University, where he hopes to double major in biomedical and electrical engineering. He graduated from Fullerton’s Troy High School’s Troy Tech Specialized Secondary School Magnet Program in Math, Science, and Technology. As a result of this program, he studied biology and computer science throughout his high school career, and discovered his passion for both fields. Born in Taiwan, he immigrated to Walnut, CA at a young age, but grew up distant from his ancestral roots, except for family and the occasional trips back home. As a result, he currently aims to reconnect with his heritage and strives to eventually study abroad at the National Taiwan University, whose academic achievements are lauded around the globe. Through his international education, he hopes to further interconnect the fields of technology and medicine, while becoming more involved with his culture. This summer, he will teach English to Taiwanese children, where he hopes to truly immerse himself in the unique Taiwan environment. He is thankful for the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for easing the financial burden that he carries through his studies. Because of the much needed financial aid, Sean can now focus less on working part-time jobs, and instead direct more attention towards his academic endeavors and his career goals.
Maureen Wu – Rochester Hills, MI
Physics, University of Michigan
In the fall of 2016, Maureen Wu will attend the University of Michigan as a sophomore majoring in Business Administration. She was born to parents who immigrated from Taiwan and is from Rochester Hills, MI. Maureen is currently involved in doing pro-bono management consulting for 180 Degrees Consulting, an organization with a focus on non-profits and social enterprises. Additionally, she is heavily involved in Dance Marathon at UM, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for pediatric rehabilitation programs, and is part of the Corporate Relations Foundation Leadership Team. She is also a volunteer at the UM Health Systems and competes on the UM Figure Skating Team. Upon graduation from Michigan, Maureen hopes to pursue a career that combines her interest with business and healthcare.
Shang- Jung (Sharon) Wu – Houston, Texas
Business Administration, University of Texas, Austin
Sharon Wu was born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Houston, Texas. All her life, she has strived to stay in-touch with her cultural roots by returning to visit Taiwan every summer and actively educating herself on Taiwanese traditional and pop-culture. She has also dedicated much time and effort to maintaining a high proficiency in both Chinese and Taiwanese as she feels that it is important to pass on her Taiwanese heritage to future generations. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar and drums as a member of her church’s praise band, hugging her dogs, and exploring new places. She served as president of Rho Kappa (Social Studies National Honor Society) and secretary of the Science National Honor Society at her high school. She was able to give back to the local community in Taiwan by volunteering with the Assisting Individuals with Disadvantages Summer Program, teaching English to underprivileged elementary school students in remote areas. She will attend the University of California, Los Angeles, in the fall and plans to pursue a double-major in Global Studies and Statistics. In the future, she hopes to play an integral role in bridging the gap between the East and West, the two regions that make up her Taiwanese-American background.
Hao-Yin (Brenda) Yu – Pleasanton, CA
Graphic Design, San Jose State University
My name is Hao-Yin Yu. In the fall of 2016, I will attend San Jose State University as a freshman. I was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Pleasanton, California since 2012. I am the first generation immigrant in my family. In my childhood, I join many teams in school and participate in many volunteer jobs outside of the school. As soon as I move to the United States and attend high school, I join many cultural clubs such as Chinese Club, Chinese Yo-Yo Club, and Japanese Club. I also participate in the Global Classroom Program which allows me to host student who comes from other country and help them on learning new things in the United States. I am most excited for this summer where the hosting program is starting to sign up for participation. At San Jose State University, I am looking forward to develop new skills and get more connection with the society in order to accomplish a better me than before. Lastly, I want to thanks all the people who have provided me so many supports and helps, especially my mom and my friends. Without them, I am not able to accomplish such a great success for my life. Thank you!
Chiayu (Jackie) Yuan – Moorestown, NJ
Management/ Economics, Villanova University
I’m Chiayu Jackie Yuan, people usually call me Jackie. In the fall of 2016, I will attend Villanova University School of Business as a freshman. Although currently undeclared, I’m planning to major in either Management or Economics and minor in International Business. I was born in Taiwan and later my family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 13. Although struggled to assimilate into the American culture and learn a new language at first, throughout my six years in the states, I never give up any opportunity that is given to me. For instance, besides participating in Track and Cross Country, I also hold certain positions in various clubs. I am the president for the Photography Club, fundraising manager for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), co-council for the International Affairs Club, and have participated in our high school’s orchestra all four years. I’m also member of Interact Club and Urban Challenge Club where we use our ability to give back to the community by volunteering in various events locally. Knowing the hardships to learn a new language, I also volunteer at Chinese School of South Jersey every Sunday as a teaching assistant, hoping to use my knowledge and understanding in Chinese to assist the students. In fact, my choice to study business in college is related to my interested in culinary arts and photography. Although this goal sounds slightly different to the majority of the people, one day, I hope to utilize the knowledge I learn in business school to become an entrepreneur that start my own baking business. Lastly, I would like to take a moment to sincerely appreciate the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for helping me to pursue my education.
Jasmine Banks – North Port, Florida
Florida International University
My name is Jasmine Banks, I am 18 years old and I currently reside in North Port, Florida. I was born in Taiwan, but from just looking at me, most people would never guess I have any Asian in me. I was in foster care for 9 years before I was adopted by my father along with my older sister. I had a rough childhood and teen years, but I have accomplished so much and came so far to where I am today. I have recently graduated in the top 20% of my class from North Port High School with Honors. I was very involved in my school and community I was the Track and Field and Weightlifting team Captain, Senior Class Vice President, Boys Varsity team manager, I was also a part of Link Crew, National Honor Society and a mentor for our local elementary school. I am attending Florida International University in the fall and will be a walk on for their Track and Field team. I am currently undecided on a major but I plan on double majoring in Chinese Literature to gain the Chinese I have lost and to become more advanced in the language, and study international relations. With these two degrees I hope to work for the Government, and be a traveling translator or in a similar career field. Or to major in abnormal Psychology and business in hopes of opening my own practice. I am beyond grateful for this scholarship and opportunity and to have help towards my education. Thank you.
Che-Kai Chang – New Hyde Park, New York
New York University
The name that people usually call me as is Kyle Chang. However, I am formally known as Che-Kai Chang, with “Kyle” just being a convenient, easy-to-pronounce nickname for others to say. I believe that a name alone does not define a person, but everything that happens to him and his hopes for the future. I am going to New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering as an incoming freshman this coming fall and will be majoring in Computer Science. I believe that this major is the right choice for me because I find computers and how they work fascinating. In addition, the knowledge and logic that keeps this kind of technology alive is very interesting. I believe that the purpose of being human is to help others with their problems, whether it is trying to find a cure for cancer or helping a neighbor move some of his belongings around. It is sad how there are people who like to take advantage of others for their own desires. They do not see that there is a wonderful feeling of gratification when assisting others with their problems. I wish that people can see the usefulness of working for the community that they are in, not just working for themselves. John Nash said, in the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” that in order to achieve that best outcome, it is not enough for each person to work for themselves, but to cooperate and work for what is best for the group. That way, all the individuals benefit. I just believe that the more fortunate people should just care more about the less fortunate people’s suffering.
Ivy Chen – Garden Grove, California
University of California, Irvine
My name is Ivy Chen, and I am a Taiwanese American from Garden Grove, California. Growing up, my biggest supporters were my family members—my two sisters and parents. They’ve taught me to be compassionate and hardworking, while also encouraging me to do my best in school and other activities. I owe many of my successes to them, and I am very thankful to have such a supportive family. Born and raised in Orange County, I have come to enjoy various outdoor activities, especially track and archery. Throughout high school I have been track captain and have been the president of the archery club there. When I have some free time, I like to sew and volunteer within my community. During high school, I was in volunteer clubs such as National Honors Society and Key Club. I recently graduated from Pacifica High School and will be attending UC Irvine in the fall of 2015. At UCI, I plan to major in Biological Sciences and hopefully minor in Cognitive Science so that I can work towards becoming a primary care physician. As a physician, I can continue what I believe I am good at doing: giving and making people smile. There are many unfortunate people out there, and I believe that as a doctor I can make the lives of those better by relieving them of their pain and saving them. Furthermore, I would like to achieve my dream of volunteering with the Doctors without Borders organization and saving the lives of other individuals around the world.
Leona Chen – Temple City, California
University of California, Berkeley
I was born seventeen years ago in San Gabriel, but I live in Temple City, California and graduated from Temple City High School. I am grateful to have the best parents on Earth, who are both my friends and mentors in life. My mother is a Taiwanese citizen (my whole maternal side all reside in Taiwan), while my father was from Nanning, China. I also have an incredibly wise brother named Kevin, who influenced me to appreciate my Chinese/Taiwanese heritage. I have not seen him in two years, as he teaches English in Japan. I love my family very much, and I value spending time with them. My hobbies and interests have been constantly changing as I grow older and discover new things. But one thing is for sure, though I do not currently have a pet, I love furry animals and hope to adopt a Poodle mix one day. My father used to purchase pet beta fish, but they always mysteriously pass away. I like to ride my bicycle when the weather is nice, because it’s exciting to see my neighborhood speed behind me. Ironically, my favorite TV show is The Walking Dead, because it is horrifyingly repulsive. I absolutely love any science-fiction movies, and my current favorite is Interstellar, because it gave me terrifying chills. In the fall, I will be a freshman at UC Berkeley and will find my way through a campus of bright scholars. I will most likely be majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology, and either become a researcher or pursue the no-sleep doctor career. I am very grateful for the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for selecting me, as it lifts a portion of the money-burdening stress away. I hope to discover more things about myself, and develop into an independent go-getter at Berkeley!
Arizona State University
My name is Naomi Chien and I am a graduate of Dobson High School in Mesa, Arizona. Born in Taiwan, I moved to the United States when I was eight years old, allowing me to exhibit a blend of Taiwanese and American culture. Mandarin Chinese is my first language, with English close behind; at the age of thirteen, I started learning Spanish as my third language. Throughout the years, I have completed ten AP classes, earned the honor of AP Scholar with Distinction, and graduated as the valedictorian of my class with a 4.882 GPA. Besides schoolwork, I love dedicating my time to extracurricular activities. In the past two years, I have served on the Mesa Mayor’s Youth Committee and acted as a representative for Dobson at the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State. In addition, my desire to give back to my community has prompted me to become a volunteer at the Chinese Linguistic School of Phoenix as well as the 2014 Assisting Individuals with Disadvantages English Summer Program in Taiwan. Aside from involvement in my community, I enjoyed serving my high school as president of Key Club, vice president of the National Honor Society, and vice president of Orchestra Council. Music is my passion and the violin has been my companion for twelve years. Through my parents’ support and my violin teacher’s patient teaching, I had the privilege of earning a chair in Arizona Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra three years in a row. I also had the honor of serving as concertmaster of my high school’s top orchestra and performing the Symphonie Espagnole, Op. 21 by Lalo as the violin soloist. In the Fall, I am attending Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University to study Biological Sciences in pursuit of a medical career.
Travis Chin – Montgomery, Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Travis Chin is a first-generation Taiwanese American who is an active member of the music scene in the community and surrounding areas. He started his formal music lessons for the violin at the age of three and the piano at six. He also was a founding member of the prominent music project that provides students a musical education regardless of their financial status: The Montgomery Music Project. He is a graduate of the prestigious Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) high school in Montgomery Alabama where he graduated with advanced honors. During his time at LAMP, he also played an integral role in the student life holding many positions including being a founding member and past president for the school’s first Asian American Club, Director of the Arts Club, and Student Council Vice-President. While a student at LAMP, Travis was one out of 100 in the entire United States to be named as a Horatio Alger National Scholar for 2014. Other awards include being a 2014 National Achievement Semi-Finalist, Montgomery Lions Club Scholar, and a fellowship scholarship awarded by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He currently is attending the University of Alabama in Birmingham under the tutelage of the world class pianist Yakov Kasman. He is majoring in Musical Performance and minoring in Business with a concentration in Copyright Law. Travis has also been part of many orchestras since starting his studies at the age of three. He currently is a permanent member of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. His past memberships include being the former concert master for both of the Montgomery Youth Orchestra and the Alabama Youth Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and the Miami Symphony.
Esther Ho – Irvine, California
University of Southern California
Hi, my name is Esther Ho! I am a second-generation Taiwanese American, and I absolutely love Taiwanese food! In my high school career, I loved to serve as leadership in several clubs like ACCESS Christian Club, KIWINS, Speak for Change, IMPACT and the Ronald McDonald House Club; I also volunteered at the local Taiwanese-Chinese School as a secretary. I play the piano, guitar, violin, drums, and I sing. I enjoy nature and take several walks a day, draw anything and everything, drink gallons of tea every day, listen to music, read books, make pottery, and give back to the community in all ways that I can. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture–this fall, I will be a sophomore at the University Of Southern California School Of Architecture. When I was in my junior year of High School, I attended several mission trips to Mexico where my team and I built houses and played with the local children at the churches. This helped me to realize my true passion for architecture: architecture is the perfect amalgamation of science, math, design, art, and intuitive problem solving that allows me to give back to the community in a creative way. The psychology behind space in architecture is intriguing; the field is also unique because it allows me to foster people-to-people relationships. I want to genuinely thank the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for this opportunity; this amount will alleviate pressure from my mother as a single parent, and I feel more able to concentrate on my studies. Thank you for investing in my future!
Whitney Hsu – Irvine, California
My name is Whitney Hsu, and I am from Orange County. I was born and raised in Southern California, while both my parents are Taiwanese citizens who immigrated to America with their families. I will be a sophomore this upcoming fall at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I am majoring in Pharmacy and plan to be a pharmacist in the hospital or community setting. I hope by becoming a pharmacist that I will be able to help people gain more access to the knowledge in obtaining their medication to treat the illness. Having patients and the people around them understand what types of medicine they are taking in depth helps reduce the medication errors and that became my motivation in becoming a pharmacist after being exposed to the background of the pharmacy field in my first year. Receiving this scholarship means a lot to my family and me. Since I am the first in the family to attend college, the process was a very new experience to us so I was not fully exposed to what I needed. The first year in college was a fun experience; however, with financial burden and loans to pay, the money issue always echoed in my mind. Now that my sister is getting ready to go to college, there would be more difficulties with finances. But with this scholarship, it has created a leeway for my family and I so that I can continue attending college, and that my sister has a chance to apply for the colleges she wants and to have an exciting memory for her last year in high school. Thank you so much to the Taiwanese American Scholarship for this gracious award and for investing to not only my future but also my sister’s.
Jacqueline Kao – Diamond Bar, California
University of California, Irvine
My name is Jacqueline or Jackie for short. I was born in Whittier, California and raised in a small city known as Diamond Bar. My mom’s side is from Beijing, China and my dad’s is from Taipei, Taiwan. As a first generation U.S. born child in my family, I am grateful to be able to experience the diverse cultures and magnificent history, language, literature, architecture, dance, music, science, food, and nature’s beauty of America, China, and Taiwan. I grew to obtain a deep appreciation for the arts of all cultures, and from an early age, I was positive I would pursue a career in the art world. However, as a senior at Diamond Bar High School, I was applying for colleges and had doubts of whether a career in the arts would be a practical and wise choice. Families, friends, and even strangers have consistently expressed their disbeliefs in sustaining a life as an artist. Despite constant negativity, I am currently following my dreams as a freshmen art major, doubling in Business Administration at the University of California, Irvine. As for my future career goals, I aspire to be an interior designer and possibly look into architecture as well. I strongly believe that the right environment can shape and nurture one’s character. My passions in a variety of fields offer me self-confidence and motivation to go after many opportunities, such as filming for an international commercial for Apple Inc. Face Time in 2012, attending Ryman Arts with a full scholarship, serving the community as the 3rd Princess of the 2014 Miss Taiwanese American, and performing on the China Airlines float for the 2015 Rose Parade in Pasadena.
Justin Kuo – Redondo Beach, California
University of California, Los Angeles
Justin Kuo is 18 years old and graduated from Torrance High School. Both of his parents immigrated from Taiwan and raised him in New York until their family moved to the Southbay in 2002. He was named a valedictory scholar and accumulated a 4.64 GPA, part of his school’s varsity volleyball team where he served as captain for 2 years, he is in the school’s Associated Student Body, was the 2014 representative for Torrance High at Boy’s State, and actively involved in both extracurriculars and other activities within his community. He has participated in various organizations including Boy Scouts of America. Within Boy Scouts, Justin attained the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 14 and earned 4 additional eagle palms. He also served as the Senior Patrol Leader for a year and led his troop on their long term hike to Mt. Whitney. Justin began playing piano at 5 years old and violin at the age of 7. In 2007, he was part of the pit orchestra for the performance of Les Miserables and at the age of 12, won 2nd place in the Southbay Youth Music Festival. In addition, he has been a part of the El Camino College Symphony Orchestra since his freshman year where he has served as the concertmaster for 3 years and performed Mendelssohn’s violin concerto. With his spare time, he volunteers with many different organizations playing music at senior citizen homes, hanging out with kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, feeding the homeless, and participating in community beautification. In the fall, he plans to attend the University of California Los Angeles and major in business economics and minor in music.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
My name is Rhea Lin and I recently graduated from Walnut High School. I am an ABC girl whose parents are from Taiwan. I think of myself as a clumsy, loyal, perpetually hungry, accepting, and starry-eyed individual with an undying passion for all things science and music. I also have an unhealthy obsession for movie soundtracks (especially those of Hans Zimmer) and K-pop. In high school, my heart and soul belonged to jazz band, the Future Business Leaders of America organization, and the Walnut Solar Car Team. Highlights of my high school career were being a part of my FBLA Entrepreneurship team, learning to play new instruments, and getting accepted into college. In the future, I dream of building, inventing, or designing something revolutionary that can help a lot of people. I believe that the ultimate purpose of my life is to have fun and bring happiness to myself and others in any way, shape, or form. This summer, I plan to compete in the annual national Solar Car Challenge in Texas for the third year with my solar car team and then chill for the rest of the time. I hope I can also go to Taiwan again to reunite with my cousins and grandparents and eat a lot of yummy Taiwanese food. I will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this coming fall. I look forward to learning about all kinds of intriguing things from the most phenomenal professors in the world and forming friendships with my genius classmates. I am forever indebted to my parents and my younger sister Phoebe who has always been and always will be my greatest inspirations.
Michelle Lyu – Chino Hills, California
University of Pennsylvania
Michelle Lyu will attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall as a Biological Basis of Behavior major. She graduated from Diamond Bar High School as valedictorian, where she led the school’s yearbook as editor-in-chief, French Club as president, and California Scholarship Federation as vice president her senior year. She also served as the president of P.A.I.N.T. Club for two years, a club dedicated to assisting disadvantaged homeowners by painting and renovating their houses. Over the years, she also participated in community service outside of school, where she developed a strong passion for helping others by volunteering at various locations including the Chino Hills Library, Ontario Kaiser Hospital, and Oak Canyon Nature Center. In the summer before her senior year, she spent a month interning at an internal medicine clinic and a month in Taiwan, where she taught English to disadvantaged students in rural communities. Growing up, Michelle discovered she loved science, whether it was through observing nesting birds, working on junior high school physics experiments, or poring through scientific novels. She aspires toward a future that will blend her passion for biology with her love of helping others, whether it is through a career in medicine, research, or another field. Although she is keeping an open mind with her college major selection, ultimately, her goal is to benefit others by doing something she truly loves. Finally, Michelle would like to sincerely thank her family for their unconditional love and support and the Asian Pacific Community Fund for helping her further her education while supporting her aspirations.
Benice Mach – Oakland Gardens, New York
SUNY Binghamton University
Benice Mach has recently become part of Benjamin N. Cardozo’s alumni family this past June. She currently resides in Queens, New York and will be starting the next chapter of her life at Binghamton University this upcoming fall, as an incoming freshman. Her mother and father are from Taiwan and Vietnam, respectively. She is known to be extremely hyper and bubbly to the point where her mother thought she was hyperactive ever since she was a little girl. Benice has always been an active participant in school and her community where she would volunteer at her local library and read to little kids. She even joined a school club where she would visit an elementary school and help little kids with their homework. Benice believes that a simple smile is powerful enough to influence others around her. Therefore, she participated in the Quality of Life Innovation, where she proposed and implemented a project to make her school a better place called P.O.T.S (Power of the Smile) with a friend. Being part of Cardozo’s DaVinci’s Math and Science Program, she decided to take the math research class and ended up winning a gold medal at the Metropolitan Math Fair. During high school, she also decided to pick up running as a hobby and joined her school’s track team for three years and won the scholar’s award all three years. Benice spent her senior year mostly working at an afterschool, with little kids, but she still served as the Social Events Coordinator in her school’s National Honor Society. Even though Benice is still undecided on a major, she hopes to pursue a career related to event planning or interior design. However, no matter what happens Benice knows that if she “keep[s] smiling … one day life will get tired of upsetting [her].”
Ta-Chung (Morris) Mou – Ellicott City, Maryland
Johns Hopkins University
Last year, Morris was among the many high school seniors trying really hard to see himself in different university settings and figuring out where to go. He decided to stay close to his home in Maryland. Now, entering into his second year of undergraduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University, he continues to pursue a double major in the field of neuroscience and molecular and cellular biology. He currently works in a neuroscience laboratory at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and investigates synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, he is also involved in the Hopkins Hosting Society and the first year and transfer student orientation program, helping both prospective and incoming students get to know campus and adjust to university lifestyle. In terms of community outreach, Morris participates in the Tutorial Project, one of Hopkins’s oldest program helping Baltimore City elementary school children with reading, writing, and mathematics. Although he hasn’t decided between graduate and medical school after four years at Hopkins, Morris is certain that he will carry on his passion for scientific endeavors whether in research or the practice of medicine. At the same time, he expresses great interests in the fine arts. The medical illustration program offered by the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine is one of the many reasons that drive him to Hopkins.
Amber Tu – Hacienda Heights, California
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
My name is Amber Tu and I am 17 years old. In high school, I was a part of the cross country and track team, participated in Link Crew, which is a leadership organization on campus, and volunteered at the Red Cross program in Taiwan as well as a club called Autism Youth Ambassadors. I currently live in Hacienda Heights, California with my grandparents, parents, my older sister, and my younger brother. Both my grandparents and parents came from Taiwan and all of our relatives are of Taiwanese descent. In the fall of 2015, I will be attending St. Louis College of Pharmacy, as a freshman, in St. Louis, Missouri. My major will be emphasized on obtaining a pharmaceutical degree and in the future, I hope to gain some work experience within the pharmacy field before eventually opening my own pharmacy store alongside my two siblings. This scholarship will help start the continuation of my education at St. Louis College of Pharmacy which is a seven year, out-of-state college program. Additionally, this scholarship will help my parents who also have to support my two other siblings’ college tuitions.
Jen-Yeu Wang – San Gabriel, California
University of California, Berkeley
My name is Jen-Yeu Wang. I am graduating from Northwood High School in Irvine and will attend the University of California, Berkeley, as chemistry major. Throughout high school, I have participated in diverse extracurricular activities such as speech and debate, music, language-learning, and tutoring. I enjoy taking classes on a variety of subjects, including those not part of my intended field of study; overall, I love learning because we have access to a practically unlimited amount of information, and I am just too inquisitive to pass off the opportunity to learn anything that comes my way. My interests are diverse as well, ranging from politics to linguistics; however my main passion is chemistry. Having taken numerous chemistry classes and labs, I believe that the most fundamental method to solve the world’s problems is through chemistry, whether it be energy, nuclear applications, or fuel. At UC Berkeley, I will take advantage of the opportunities given to me because they are unique and will shape my future. I would like to become involved in research, given that UC Berkeley is one of the top research schools in the world and often considered number one in chemistry. Hopefully, I will meet people who are or will become experts in their field of study, and they will become life-long friends. After college, I plan to attend medical school so that I can become a significant contributor to society by helping those that need help. I am very grateful to the Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund for the amazing award because the scholarship will help me focus on my academics, so that I can achieve my educational and career goals.
Andersen Yang – San Francisco, California
University of California, Davis
My name is Andersen Yang and I am an incoming freshmen undergraduate to the University of California, Davis. I am planning to major in biochemical engineering with an emphasis on biomedical sciences. Born and raised in San Francisco, I am culturally aware of my city’s diversity. San Francisco embodies a melting pot of different kinds of race, religion, sex, and educational levels. With a huge Asian population, I am not seen as a minority. Growing up in this city has shaped my character to be more open to differences in the human race, physical and behavioral attributes, and socio-economic status. I am a first generation Asian American in which my family had immigrated here from the continent of Asia. I have heard many narratives, of stories of Asian immigrants to California over a span of almost 200 years. We have experienced and heard the struggles, anguish, and perseverance our own race had tread through to make an impact. In the same way, I emulate many of the Chinese or Taiwanese immigrants’ goals and aspirations in America. We all want to pursue the well- known American Dream, a reason that attracts an influx of immigrants each year. In my case, I come from a low income family and a frugal lifestyle trying to utilize every resource possible for educational purposes and career opportunities. I have an interest in medicine, but I also have a forte for problem solving. I want to bridge together engineering and medicine in hope to solve complex medical problems our society holds. Aside from career oriented details about me, I enjoy walking leisurely around my city, jogging, reading social and political news articles, and having conversations with friends on social media.
Five years later: I am now pursuing public health as a career. While my interests have moved away from solving complex medical problems with engineering, I am now more acutely aware of the deeper issues within our healthcare system such as the role of social determinants in health. Social determinants like race, socioeconomic status, and even where someone lives affect health and well-being outcomes. I am also passionate about seeking health equity and using data, storytelling, and narratives to bring healing and change within our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. At the end of the day, my goal is really to better the lives of people who are in need. Furthermore, I have been so inspired by the donors of TASF who believe in giving back to their communities. Thank you again for providing financially towards my college education!
Katherine Yang – Roanoke, Virginia
University of Virginia
My name is Katherine Yang. I am an American born Taiwanese. I’ve lived in Roanoke, Virginia my entire life, 19 years. Both of my parents were born and raised in Taiwan, and I am half Hakka, from my mother’s side. I am grateful for the opportunities that my parents haven given me to be able to return to Taiwan to learn more about my culture and fall in love with the country more each time. I graduated from my high school valedictorian and went on to the University of Virginia to study Mechanical Engineering with an anticipated minor in Computer Science. I hope that once I graduate, I can pursue a career focused on medical devices, and even more specifically with pediatric patients. My most recent experiences in Taiwan aided me in choosing this career path. I spent two summers volunteering with the Red Cross and Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) in Taiwan teaching English to children and aiding those in need. These experiences and memories led me to who I am today, an American born Taiwanese in love with both sides of her culture. At the University of Virginia, I am active in my volunteer work and community and hope to do so as a rising second year. In my first year of college, I became active in two organizations: Trigon, an engineering society, and alpha Kappa Delta Phi, an international Asian-American interest sorority. I also frequently volunteer with an organization named Madison House by tutoring English-Second Language (ESL) students at the local elementary schools. With the aid of the Taiwanese Award Scholarship Fund, I can continue to stay active in my community and strive towards my degree. I hope to honor this award and thank those that have given me this wonderful opportunity.