I have strong conviction and confidence in myself to pursue higher education toward pursuing a career in public policy. Coming from a working class background and with the rising cost of college tuition and expenses, like many other AAPI students, I have felt the restrains of financial barriers toward an affordable college education. From my experience with youth-led and -run programs, Adopt-An-Alleyway and Chinatown Alleyway Tours, I’ve had the opportunity of providing direct services to many residents of San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood who face many issues such as affordable housing and transit accessibility. I can sympathize with the individuals in this community, especially as a former resident and youth tour guide of this neighborhood. My experience with teaching about the historic significance and the important role of Chinatown in San Francisco shaped my goal of pursuing a career in policymaking. I want to improve the quality of the lives of those living in San Francisco.
This post is part of the “Changing Face of America” special 2013 AAPI Heritage Month celebration blog series, which features the voices of 10 AAPI students who share their unique experiences when attempting to access and complete their postsecondary degrees. These students’ stories will hopefully help campus administrators, higher education leaders, and policymakers understand the emerging challenges facing all AAPI college students.