As I progress through the Summer Youth Leadership Program, I’m starting to realize a lot of things about being Asian American and how stereotypes can affect my future goals and success.
Growing up with first generation Chinese American parents and being the oldest child, I am expected to lead and pave a path for my younger brother and sister to succeed in school and, perhaps, in the real world.
I am supposed to get good grades and go to a good school and get involved in the medical profession.
That’s what my parents want.
I was kind of fine with the whole idea and all until school started and I didn’t do so well, so the dream faded away. I felt awful at times looking at my report card, but now, I realize that those dreams of what my parents want aren’t what I want.
Thach Nguyen, a guest speaker who came to SYLP to speak to us, really made an impact in my life.
His background and his story of going from rags to riches, being self-made, were very powerful. His advice sounded clichéd because I’m sure everyone has heard about it — go and pursue your own dreams.
But to actually see someone truly mean what they say, and especially see it in person is an incredible thing.
Thach’s humbleness also impacted me.
He is a millionaire and can spend all his money on himself and be stingy about it. But instead, he contributes to society by buying and renting out houses for people who are in desperate need of shelter, who are homeless.
Hearing Thach’s story made me realize that I did not want to live a dream that my parents want. I want to live my own dream and be someone in society and help contribute back to the community. ♦
Editor’s note: The ideas here do not necessarily represent Northwest Asian Weekly’s stance.