A first-generation college student who majored in human biology, James (‘15) describes his experience of Stanford's student diversity and immersion in the Asian American community.
I am Vietnamese-American, a son of immigrants, a first-generation college student, an activist, and a mentor. I owe much of my growth to the Asian American Issues trip I took freshman year through Stanford’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program because it jump-started my involvement in the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community at Stanford. As both a participant and leader, ASB gave me a deep appreciation for my community’s history of immigration and struggles of fighting institutionalized racism to stay in America. The trip also sparked a desire within me to fight for social justice.
Diversity has played a large role in my Stanford experience. I come from what some might call an ‘underprivileged,’ rather homogenous environment; thus, it was a culture shock when I came to Stanford and met so many people who came from different walks of life—whether in race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, schooling backgrounds, childhood experiences, or interests. Learning about their lived experiences has been one of the highlights of my Stanford career; hearing about the backgrounds of others inspires me to be conscientious of what people say and do. This diversity has propelled me toward being an activist to maintain diversity at Stanford and beyond.
James Huynh, ‘15
story and photo courtesy of Undergraduate Admission