I spoke about the rise in xenophobia against the AAPI community due to COVID-19 at my school assembly at the beginning of the pandemic back in 2020, at a time when no one was talking about it. After a year of witnessing the increase in anti-Asian sentiment and violence toward my community, I decided to take more action. Originally I had a little idea to hang a sign in support of the AAPI community over the I-80, one of the busiest intersections in CA. This small idea evolved into the AAPI Youth Rising Rally.
On March 28, 2021 community members representing the diversity of the Bay Area came together in solidarity with the AAPI community at our rally in Berkeley, CA. Originally, I had hoped for 70 participants. To my surprise, over 1,200 participants joined the crowd. On a bright and sunny day, we heard from many brave youth as we raised our voices. A first-grader even spoke up! We then marched to the SF Bay Pedestrian Footbridge and hung our signs on the overpass while we heard motorists honk in support. It was an inspirational day for all of us. In that moment, we realized that even as middle-schoolers, we can make a difference. These small actions add up.
President Biden honored me as a “Uniter” at the United We Stand Summit held in Washington DC in 2022. For my research on theta waves and memory, I am honored to be the 2022 Robert Wood Johnson Health Equity Award Winner for Broadcom MASTERS, a program of Society for Science. I am also a Top 5 Finalist for 2022 Time Kid of the Year and Act to Change’s Changemaker of the Year. I love to draw. I like learning about the human mind and current events. But most of all, I’m honored to lead AAPI Youth Rising.
Oakland, CA, Class of 2026