How the Move Changed My Life

Topics: Hometown

My parents sacrificed their steady jobs, left all their friends and family in Taiwan and immigrated to a foreign country in 2000. Being raised in an immigrant family has always reminded me to treat everyone equally and respectfully. It has allowed me to recognize the strength and perseverance of immigrants seeking a better life. Interacting with people with all kinds of ethnicities at my school and in my community has also shaped the way I treat others today.

Growing up multicultural has allowed me to experience holidays from both America and Taiwan, such as New Years.

In America, I celebrate this holiday on the night of December 31st by going to a friend’s house and counting down the seconds to the next year; whereas, for Chinese New Year, my mom cooks a dinner full of traditional Taiwanese foods and lots of friends and family celebrate the new year based on the lunar calendar. Experiencing holidays from different cultures has reinforced that I should respect other people’s traditions and cultures.

Last summer, I organized my own service trip to Taiwan and shared my American culture at two local middle schools in my dad’s hometown in hopes of experiencing a part of my parents’ childhood. I hoped to understand first hand what it was like to spend nine hours at a school and witness the strict actions of teachers I have heard countless stories about. Being able to be a part of another country’s education system has made me appreciate the opportunities I have in America and the chance to receive an education in Dublin, Ohio and has increased my desire to give back to my community.

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These are two of the things that has made me appreciate my culture and others more.

There are also challenges that come with being Asian-American. Through the eight years of being on a competitive gymnastics team, I have experienced the feeling of being excluded and different. Everyone on the team was caucasian, and since my parents did not grow up in America, it was difficult to understand the cultural “norms” of America. I didn’t have all the advanced technologies as them nor all the different varieties of clothing. The feeling of exclusion has taught me to be more open minded, and I try to include everyone at school. In eighth grade, a girl from Kenya had recently joined my middle school. She was noticeably struggling in class, and I offered to help her with classwork. Throughout the year, I learned more about Kenyan culture and the dangerous living situations she faced in her hometown. This experience showed me how everyone is facing different adversities and how simply anyone can make others feel included.

I believe I can contribute to ODI’s mission of advancing “equity, inclusion, and diversity by supporting and advocating for individuals and groups who have been traditionally underserved in education and beyond” because I am always willing to help others and I always approach everyone open-mindedly. Having a multicultural background, and attending a diverse school has allowed me to appreciate everyone’s variety of cultures and to help others who are less fortunate. I would like to continue organizing service trips to benefit my community and helping other students have the opportunities they need in order to succeed in their futures.

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How the Move Changed My Life. (2021, Dec 26). Retrieved from

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