Tag Archive | "SYLP 2011"

The joys of SYLP

The joys of SYLP

For three weeks, dozens of students from the Puget Sound region came together and celebrated the International District, community-building, leadership — and made a lot of friends along the way.

Photos by Ina Dash

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SYLP students on one of the first days of the program

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SYLP students at Tsue Chong Noodle Factory

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Smile! An SYLP group pic

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SYLP students with UW tour guide Jamil Suleman

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SYLP students with Officer Jonathan Chin

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From left: SYLP lead mentor Alan Leung, SYLP coordinator Yolanda Eng, SYLP lead mentor Ina Dash, SYLP scholarship winners Harrison Lo, Sandy Yee, Ivy Wong, and Daniel Luke

 

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SYLP students walking in the ID

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SYLP students at the Wing

 

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (1)

A stuggling identity

A stuggling identity

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/erik.JPGBy Erik Wagner
SYLP student

Identity is an interesting thing. Struggling to find our identities can be difficult. In fact, it can be completely miserable and utterly confusing. How do we find our identities? But before we discuss this, we must define what identity is in the first place.

The dictionary defines identity as “the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another.” Simple enough, yes?
Yet, isn’t being oneself one of the simplest tasks conceivable? Easier than breathing, it sounds. How could you be anyone else after all? Unfortunately, some, including myself, struggle to be ourselves.

I personally find it very difficult to express myself in certain situations. It takes me a long time to get comfortable in a new environment with new people. Until I do feel comfortable, life is tough. I’m awkward. I stay away from people mostly. I don’t talk much. I don’t really want to do much of anything except be awkward and pretend to be sleeping so people don’t talk to me.

But I’m really not like that at all. When I’m with friends I know well, I’m … myself. Being sociable just comes naturally. I don’t have to force words out. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (1)

Defining Asian Americans

Defining Asian Americans

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/vicki.JPGBy Vicki Tang
SYLP student

The words “Dude, stop being so Asian” have become typical words in a young Asian American’s vocabulary. However, most people don’t think about what the expression really means. Of those who do, almost no one thinks about its implications.

Being Asian literally means belonging to or having ancestry from the continent of Asia. But that is not the definition of Asian that is being used by the new generation.

The history of Asians in America isn’t a pleasant one. Asian Americans settled in the United States as early as 1750 — in Louisiana. Eventually, the British and Spanish brought slaves from China, India, and the Philippines into South America in 1840. The first large group of immigrants came to California in 1848, lured by “Gold Mountain” (the Chinese nickname for California).

But from the start, Asian Americans experienced discrimination ranging from the Foreign Miner Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act to being given the most dangerous and dirtiest jobs working on the transcontinental railroad. They were paid only 60 percent of what European immigrant workers were paid. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

The path to success

The path to success

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/jessica.JPGBy Jessica Lee
SYLP student

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, she came to the United States all by herself when she was only 17 years old. With no extra money and knowing no Vietnamese people in the States, she learned to speak English and graduated from Nathan Hale High School only two years after arriving.

She lived with an adoptive family. Her parents and 10 siblings were still in Saigon. What was she supposed to do? Leave them there during the midst of the Vietnam War?

She decided that it would be cowardly if she didn’t try to find success in the United States and bring her family over to America for their safety.

She attended Seattle Central Community College and majored in biochemistry, which, for her, was the easiest thing to learn. She had to drop out after only two years due to lack of money. Her adoptive family had left her to fight the world by herself. The only money she made was through working at a grocery store in Chinatown.

By then, she had lost all hope. She thought that, with no education, she would never be able to get a job to save enough money to bring her family over. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

Racial slurs (chink)

Racial slurs (chink)

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/karen.JPGBy Karen Liang
SYLP student

Words can be extremely powerful, and when they are used negatively, they can be harmful. There are many offensive words out there these days, but one racial slur that has been with me for a while is the word chink.

The word chink can be used to offend someone. You could say, “You are a chink,” which is basically saying that you have very small eyes. Another expression is “Open your eyes, you chink.”

You can also use the word as an adjective, like, “You are very chinky.”

Many people say the word chink originated from the Chinese courtesy ching ching, and also the word China. Other people say it came from the word Qing, as in the Qing dynasty. Qing is pronounced “ching,” so that’s why it’s a possibility.

In the early 20th century, Chinese immigration was perceived as a threat to the living standards of whites in North America. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

What is the Summer Youth Leadership Program?

What is the Summer Youth Leadership Program?

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/kabrina.JPGBy Kabrina Wright
SYLP student

The Summer Youth Leadership Program, or SYLP for short, is a program organized by the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation, a nonprofit organization of the Northwest Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post. SYLP is a three-week program designed for Asian American teens to find out what it means to be Asian American in our times and what it means to be a leader on top of that.

The things that are discussed include clashes of our Asian heritage and customs with the American ways that are all around us.

During the three weeks, we get to meet and talk to many prominent and successful Asian American leaders in our community. The speakers talk to us about what it was like to be Asian as they were going through life to get to where they are now. The stereotypes that people have about Asians comprise one of the biggest discussed topics.

Tough questions like “How can we stop this?” and “Have you ever experienced this?” are asked and talked about in a safe and open environment. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

SYLP: a poem

SYLP: a poem

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/stina.JPGBy Stina Shen
SYLP student

The three weeks of SYLP
Was not what I expected it to be!
I started nervous as hell,
But it went really swell.
I’m sure participants would agree.
Through a ton of awkward ice-breakers,
I found me some kindly friend-makers.
We promptly got down
To exploring Chinatown.
We became master leaf-rakers.
Though the social aspect was quite nice
Getting bubble tea with friends (no ice!)
At the end of the day,
I’m still sure I could say,
I learned being Asian means more than white rice!
During the fun days of SYLP,
Influential Asian Americans we did see:
Lori Matsukawa, Bob Santos, Andrew Cho
Caroline Yuen, Thach Nguyen, Hoan Do
They all spoke with us excellently.
We learned all about history Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

What is SYLP?

What is SYLP?

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/kevin.JPGBy Kevin Fong
SYLP student

You might be wondering, what is the Summer Youth Leadership Program? Well, it is an amazing program filled with fun learning experiences.

There are so many things that happen in this program that it is almost impossible to name them all. You get to learn about what it takes to be a leader, meet very cool and informative speakers, meet new people, and even get food from the area — for free.

Through this program, we met a community activist named Bob Santos, who told us about some of the International District’s history. Another day, we met news anchor Lori Matsukawa, who told us about how she got to where she is and showed us around the Japanese Cultural Center. We also met Thach Nguyen, who showed us that we can be successful no matter what we do.

The program isn’t only about listening to speakers. We did things ranging from martial arts to hip hop dancing. Learning martial arts was great because it not only acts as a way to defend yourself, but it’s also good exercise. We also learned how to dance to songs like “Down,” by Jay Sean, and “Wedding Dress,” by Taeyang. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

GAMING: Sixteen-year-old Asian American becomes Korea’s national champion

GAMING: Sixteen-year-old Asian American becomes Korea’s national champion

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/alex.JPGBy Alex Tien
SYLP student

Editor’s note: Alex Tien chose to write a fictionalized news story based on some true facts for his SYLP essay.

Sixteen-year-old Chinese American Bob Chang attended the Global Starcraft League (GSL) in Korea and won the GSL Code S, which shocked the whole Starcraft (video game) community.

During the final round, Chang was behind and came back with a wonderful victory. “An unknown player who came out of nowhere and dominated top players is a miracle,” said Min-Chul Kim, a top coach for Starcraft.

There are three races in the game: Terran, Protoss, and Zerg.

Each race has different and unique abilities and technologies.

Bob Chang, playing the weakest race, the Zerg, dominated the GSL.

Bob stated, “I only wanted to show the world that the youngest players can become a top professional and show entertaining games.” Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

MUSIC: Who deserves the fame?

MUSIC: Who deserves the fame?

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/ivy.JPGBy Ivy Wong
SYLP student

Everybody has a dream, whether we are young or old. For some, it is to become a professional sports player. Others may want to become a teacher. Some might want to be a therapist.

Today, inspiring Asian musicians who dream of achieving global fame like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber wonder why Asians have difficulties entering the United States and global music industry, especially since famous Asian artists themselves have been unable to break into the industry successfully. Many Asian artists are only famous in Asia. Is it impossible for Asians to achieve that level of success outside of their own race? Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (3)

CHANGES: Simple gestures of kindness

CHANGES: Simple gestures of kindness

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/sarah.JPGBy Sarah Tu
SYLP student

Too often, we overlook the opportunities to reach out and do something nice for someone else. Simple acts of kindness or appreciation that could have far reaching effects are thus kept hidden from view. Saying “thank you” is stifled for fear of self embarrassment or because we are too self-centered, but when something so simple can make such a positive impact, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

While walking down the street in the International District with Bob Santos, unfamiliar faces stopped to say hello and strike up a conversation or silently nod and smile as Bob passed by.

It seems everyone knows the influential Seattleite who first made his mark on the area through his activism for the International District.

When later asked what his secret to success is, Bob Santos said it’s to be kind to others and say hello to everyone you meet. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

CHANGES: Be like water

CHANGES: Be like water

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/tony.JPGBy Tony Le
SYLP student

Change. It happens to all of us. Whether it be a change in hairstyle or a change in character, everyone changes. Change will not always be a good thing, nor will it always be bad.

Sometimes, it may be so slow and subtle that it will occur without you noticing.

For me, it was the day I talked to an old friend and realized how much life has changed.

Entering my junior year, I was a simple, fun-loving high school student ready to take on what I thought could be the most difficult year yet. What was in store for my friends and I was unknown. We all blindly took our first steps into a world where there would be more responsibilities, more stress, and greater conflicts. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

IDENTITY: Being half Asian

IDENTITY: Being half Asian

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/addison.JPGBy Addison Wright
SYLP student

This year, I participated in the Summer Youth Leadership Program, which is run by Northwest Asian Weekly. I am going to be a senior at Newport High School next year. I play tennis and I dabble in other sports as well. It was really fun to get to know people from outside our normal group of friends.

However, the program is gauged towards those of mostly full Asian descent. I, however, happen to be half Chinese and half white. Because of this, I felt it was harder to participate in the conversations and presentations, especially about stereotypes.

Although I was a half-Asian participant, I still felt very welcome and not at all excluded. I have always been proud of being a half-Asian. “The best of both worlds,” I would tell myself when thinking of my heritage. Despite my positive attitude though, it is sometimes hard not being fully one race or the other, especially in social situations. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (1)

IDENTITY: Opening up

IDENTITY: Opening up

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/william.JPGBy William Zhou
SYLP student

I was one of the older students in the Summer Youth Leadership Program, but age didn’t stop me from meeting new friends.

About two months ago, when I graduated from high school, I realized that I probably won’t see some of those people ever again. However, SYLP is sort of different. The people are local and should still be around.

Listening to Carolyn Yuen and Thach Nguyen was really inspirational. They proved that people can do whatever they’re interested in and still be successful. Most importantly, they are happy with what they’re doing. Coming from a traditional Chinese family, my parents want me to grow up and work a white collar job. I’m not saying that I don’t want to, but I’m still figuring out what I’m interested in. When I grow up, I want a job that I’m going to look forward to working every day. I want a job that my parents can still be proud of me for. I don’t want a job that would just make them happy. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

IDENTITY: Growing up with a mixed background

IDENTITY: Growing up with a mixed background

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/michelle.JPGBy Michelle Wagner
SYLP student

When people first meet or see me, I’ve been told that it’s usually difficult to tell what ethnicity I am, and eventually, people ask me about it. I’ve been told that I look Caucasian, Mexican, anything except Asian.

To answer the question, I am half Chinese and a mix of German, Irish, and Scottish. As a girl who comes from a very mixed background, the questions that usually come up are:

“What is it like to be half Asian and half European?”

“Do you speak Chinese?”

“Which one of your parents is Asian?”

“What is your family like?”

“Do you consider yourself to be more Asian or Caucasian?” Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

IDENTITY: Losing the Chinese culture

IDENTITY: Losing the Chinese culture

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/daniel.JPGBy Daniel Luke
SYLP student

Over the past two to three decades, the rapid growth of modernization across the globe has caused much more value to be put into the educational system and technology. Living side-by-side with this fast-paced society, things became very hectic.

However, if we look beyond the past 20 to 30 years, at a more cultural aspect of life, we see that traditions, customs, and beliefs were held much in reverence, as opposed to the life nowadays. However, the question that always persists whenever we’re moving on toward a new age is this:

Are we ready for such a test and would it be beneficial for society to take this next step?

For example, when the Scientific Revolution began around the 1300s to 1400s, many people were opposed to the idea, but in the end, the world ended up gaining vast amounts of knowledge about their immediate surroundings than they previously thought was possible. Read the full story

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INSPIRATION: Clearer goals for life

INSPIRATION: Clearer goals for life

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/craig.JPGBy Craig Yamaguchi
SYLP student

This camp has improved my leadership abilities a lot. It has helped me to believe in what I do and learn more about life lessons and goals for the future. The speakers that have come through for the camp really affected me in many ways.

The speakers who were in the music entertainment business helped me to look at music in a different way, and I feel that they helped me realize what kind of goals I want to set out for myself.

Also, most of the speakers have told us about life lessons, like taking risks and setting future goals for yourself. They made me really think about those things in a clearer way because they’ve experienced the lessons that they were telling us.

Jamil Suleman, one of the speakers for SYLP, helped me learn more about the music industry and about many other artists that are trying to become big around the city.

I’ve learned that I’ve got to find something that I enjoy. Read the full story

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INSPIRATION: The inspiration of success

INSPIRATION: The inspiration of success

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/erichuynh.JPGBy Eric Huynh
SYLP student

There’s no better feeling than excelling at what you do.

No one would’ve known that a 14-year-old student would be a part of something much bigger and be known around the nation.

After being coached by several top players in the world and learning from their success, I set out for my own success.

After three years of practice, training, and playing, I tried out for the second time for one of the top youth club teams in the Northwest. Looking at my coaches, I saw something similar between us. They were playing on top teams in the world and have won many tournaments.

After I played on my club team, Fryz, in some top youth tournaments, the team became the top in the nation. In both the girls division and open (boys) division, we were ranked number one in the nation and still hold that position. The team practices every Sunday and we have become closer, not just as a team, but as a family. Knowing each other so well, we play with incredible skill and spirit to become a successful group of kids who are known all around for their abilities. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

INSPIRATION: Dream on

INSPIRATION: Dream on

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/jennifer.JPGBy Jennifer Khuu
SYLP student

Everyone has his or her own personal legend. While being a participant at the Summer Youth Leadership Program, founded by the publisher of the Northwest Asian Weekly, Assunta Ng, I’ve been able to hear amazing guest speakers and learn a little bit more about myself. We should all do what we enjoy and never try to be who someone else wants us to be in life.

A personal legend is something that you are born to do and are passionate about. Whether it’s fashion designing or politics, each individual has something that they are passionate about and no one should stop them from pursuing it because anything is possible.

No one should stray away from their dreams due to the impacts of others and thoughts of failing. Failing just means it didn’t work out and there are more opportunities to make it work in the future, if you keep trying. Everyone makes mistakes, so never think that when you fail, you can’t do anything correct.

“Do what makes your heart sing,” says local entrepreneur Thach Nguyen. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

INSPIRATION: Have passion

INSPIRATION: Have passion

http://nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/30_36/christina.JPGBy Christina Nguyen
SYLP student

As an Asian American, you have to do what people tell you to do in order to “succeed.” There is too much pressure  on our shoulders, whether it’s listening to parents grumble about chores to knowing who to fall in love with.

Letting people tell you what you want isn’t the key to success.

Instead, knowing what you love and being into what you love is the right way to go. Everyone has opinions, and I mean everyone. Whether it’s the haters or the lovers, everyone has their two cents … especially parents.

Parents, we as children don’t ask for much except for support and for you to listen to what we have to say. In the Asian culture, parents don’t ask much except for what we want for dinner — I mean, they do ask more — but what I’m trying to say is that we don’t connect much with our folks because of how the past generations were raised. Read the full story

Posted in Education, Vol 30 No 36 | 9/3-9/9Comments (0)

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