By Brandon Wong
The weeks I spent in the Summer Youth Leadership Program have been inspirational and have changed me. I met new friends, learned more about Asian Americans, and learned from many great speakers.
My favorite speaker would have to be Thach Nguyen. He’s like a role model for me. Thach dreams of having a private jet, nice houses, and nice exotic cars. I also dream of having nice things as well, and having a happy family.
Thach said if you know people, you can achieve these hopes and goals because they will help you in life. Knowing more people that like to do what you want to do in the future can help you.
Another speaker that I liked was Andrew Cho. Andrew gave my group an article about how Denny’s (the restaurant chain) was being racist to Asian Americans. Just because these people were Asian, white people either ignored them or beat them.
(Editor’s note: In 1997, six Asian American students from Syracuse University visited a Denny’s restaurant. They waited half an hour as other patrons were repeatedly served and seated. The students complained to the management. They were then forced to leave Denny’s by two security guards, called in by management. According to the students, after they left, a group of white men came out of the Denny’s restaurant and attacked them. It was reported that several students were beaten into unconsciousness.)
If people don’t get along with each other, than racism will never end.
I used to be a shy kid and my social skills weren’t great, but through talking to more and more people through SYLP, I started getting better. I am now friends with everyone in SYLP.
I also learned about how other Asian Americans grew up when they were kids. They almost lived life like how we are living, being made fun of based on stereotypes and our race. SYLP has changed how I view people. ♦
Editor’s note: The ideas here do not necessarily represent Northwest Asian Weekly’s stance.