By Alison Chang, APIASF Scholar
As a third-year student at USC, I look back on the past few years of my life and recognize the immense amount of opportunities I have had. In so many ways, I have been blessed with resources - through my friends and family, my own efforts, or just by chance - that have brought me to where I am today. Financially, however, I was always uncertain as to what I’d do once I hit college. I knew that with three older brothers, my parents would feel burdened with supporting all four of us through college and beyond. Instead of letting this stress factor distract me from my studies, however, I used the uncertainty to motivate me to work even harder in school, with faith that everything would somehow work out.
Receiving the APIASF scholarship was a prayer answered. I can’t say I screamed or jumped out of my chair when I received the congratulations letter; however, upon reading the notice, I recall feeling a sense of peace that, in actuality, everything would work out.
Since then, I have been inspired, encouraged, and empowered to give back in whichever way I can, and I have found my niche within the AAPI community. As a freshman, I immediately became involved with the AAPI Trojan community within student government as an intern for the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly, for which I am now the Assistant Director. As a part of this organization, I work to cultivate a stronger sense of cultural pride and unity here at USC, while also educating and bringing awareness to the issues that plague our community. Exploring my identity as an Asian American and as a Taiwanese American has been a crucial part of my life since receiving the scholarship. I credit much of my current involvement to APIASF and the initial exposure to this national movement, which I consider one of my passions today. I can only hope that, one day, I can use the skills I have developed in college to give back to the AAPI community. It would only make sense to give back to those who first empowered me with these opportunities and resources to pursue my own dreams, right?
Thank you, APIASF! I am proud to #repScholarships for the national AAPI community.