Stephanie Hu // Season 2 // Episode 103 // Dear Asian Youth
Welcome back to Season 2, Episode 103 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Stephanie Hu on this week's show.
We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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Stephanie Hu, a highschool senior from Southern California, is the Founder and Executive Director of Dear Asian Youth and the Co-Founder of CUSD Against Racism. Her identity as a Chinese American has pushed her to passionately uplift marginalized voices into intersectional activism. Stephanie’s organization, Dear Asian Youth, currently has over 180 chapters around the world and 400 works of literature. Stephanie is also the Co-Executive Director of the Women of Color Conference, which united 4,850+ girls of color to engage in a 2-day, virtual conference with career-oriented panels from 31 renowned speakers and $4000 in scholarships. In addition, Stephanie is the Education Policy Director of the California Association of Student Councils, which seeks to equip California students with tools to directly influence the education system, as well as the Media Director of Empowerment Collective, which works to engage and mobilize youth in every step of the legislative process to pass groundbreaking legislation in California.
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Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan.
And my name is Maggie
And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asiansto pursue their dreams and goals.
We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Maggie: (00:00:23) I already won a welcome to the Asian hustle network podcast. Today. We have a very special. With us, her name is Stephanie Hugh. Stephanie is a high school senior from Southern California and as the founder and executive director of dare Asian youth and the co-founder of CUSD against racism, her identity as a Chinese American has pushed her to passionately uplift marginalized voices into intersectional activism. Stephanie’s organization. Dear Asian youth currently has over 180 chapters around the world and 400 works of literature. Stephanie is also the co-executive director of the women of color conference, which United 4,850 plus girls of color to engage in a two day virtual conference with career oriented panels from 31 renowned speakers and $4,000 in scholar.
In addition, Stephanie is the education policy director of the California association of student councils, which seeks to equip California students with tools to directly influence the education system, as well as the media director of empowerment, collective, which works to engage and mobilize youth in every step of the legislative process to pass groundbreaking legislation in California.
Stephanie, welcome to the show.
Stephanie: (00:01:37) Yeah. Thank you guys so much for having me. I’m super, super excited.
Bryan: (00:01:43) Yeah. I mean, that is quite an impressive introduction, right. And I’m pretty sure you hear that all the time, but we just want to say it one more time. It’s definitely are crazily impressive. We’re so excited to have you on the show. Um, I think I mentioned. Beforehand, like before the podcast, too, that I talk about dairy Asian youth a lot, every time I speak in front of the company, I’m like, have you guys heard of their Asian youth are just killing it. Right. And here we are, we have you here. And we definitely want to hear your story. Right. So what was the inspiration idea? Asian youth. And how, how do you get inspiration for, for creating this organism?
Stephanie: (00:02:18) Yeah. So I think, um, my story with debt, it was definitely a very spontaneous process. Like, um, I didn’t think that. Creating a nonprofit. I didn’t ever imagine that it would turn out to be like an organization because everything really started off as a personal, like passion project for me. So I think it was, it was April of last year. So April of 2020, and, um, you know, there was like an increase of Asian hae and like anti-Asian violence across the nation as well as across the world. And then, so I was very affected by that because. Um, you know, seeing people who look like yourself and who look like, you know, your grandparents and your parents being, um, victims of violent crimes on the news is really traumatic.
Um, so I really needed, I think, a place where. Express myself, creative, creatively, and essentially like hash out my thoughts, because I felt like I had so many thoughts. I had so many questions surrounding my identity. I’m living in like predominantly white community. And then as well as seeing all this happening on the news, I really just had no idea what to do.
And for me it always helps to. Write things down, especially in the form of poetry. So I started doing that. So I started writing a lot of poems surrounding like my Chinese American identity. Um, and then a couple of my friends started joining him and like contributing their. Literary pieces as well and contributing their stories.
And then I think from there, it kind of turned into like this literature, literature magazine, and then we started doing all these other things, like, you know, promoting our literature on social media or, um, like hosting virtual events and this and that. And then it kinda just spiraled into, um, the organization that it is.
Maggie: (00:04:14) Wow. That’s amazing. I think it’s so inspirational just to hear the momentum that you experience. And it really reminds me of Asian health on that word because it kind of just spiraled into something crazy too. And to hear that same thing happened to Jerry Asian youth. I think it really exemplifies the need for, you know, Asian stories to be told, because we’re often told that we shouldn’t be sharing our stories.
We should always be quiet. We should always just keep to ourselves and stay in our own lanes, but it’s. We’re living in a generation and a time now where we need to use our voices, especially after what happened during the pandemic. I think a lot of people had figured out, like, I really want to share my story and share my voice.
Bryan: (00:04:53) Yeah. I mean, what you’re doing is very impressive and it really fits the need. As I mentioned before, it’s like, I kind of wished that this organization existed when I was still in high school. Right. And for me, the, for me, it’s so impressive that you realize this about yourself and you decided to take action.
Like, I mean, if I was a high school, When I was a high schooler, I kept thinking like I’m too young to make a difference. I can’t do it. People will respect me. I just want to hear some of your challenges and hurdles, like growing this organization, because essentially mobilize the Asian youth for a bigger change.
Right. And that’s not an easy feat because I feel like there’s so many different personalities. And you know, when you talk to other entrepreneurs who are much older, the first thing you say is I look for entrepreneurs with life. Right. But here you are running a pretty, a very successful organization. Uh, I don’t want to be like agents in any way in any way, but at 17 that’s super crazy.
Impressive. Like, so what were the challenges and hurdles that you face and did you have any mentors that sort of helped you along.
Stephanie: (00:06:57) Yeah. So I think, um, I definitely faced a lot of challenges while growing this organization, because I think when you’re able to like plan ahead and then have a clear vision in mind as to like the path of whatever you’re doing, it’s a lot easier because you’re able to account for potential.
You know, like fall backs and like how to address them, but for me, because everything was so spontaneous and everything was so organic and I really didn’t plan any of it. The momentum just like kept on coming. I really had to, um, you know, like address those hurdles as they came. So I think personally for me, um, the, the biggest, one of the biggest challenges.
I faced, especially like very, very early on was that sense of imposter syndrome. Um, because we are like a student organization. We have a lot of, you know, college students, um, undergraduate students, graduate students, um, you know, people who are. In their early twenties or their early thirties who are full-time professionals.
And then I felt really unqualified at times leading the team because I was like, you know, I started this organization as a sophomore in high school. So I was like, what am I a sophomore in high school? Doing here. I don’t feel like I necessarily have the credentials to lead this team. Like here, here, these people are with their degrees in like Asian-American studies or their degrees in ethnic studies.
Um, and I haven’t even taken. Like AP us history yet. I was just like, I felt they’re at under-qualified, um, a lot of the times, and I think it’s, it was really time that kind of healed that for me, was like recognizing my own ability. Um, and recognizing that it’s not necessarily. Um, you know, that I must have had so much experience already in a leadership position to be a good leader, but rather that it was like my ability to listen to my team.
Um, and really just like be humble and really just. Um, adapt and be flexible, especially when it, when it came to sharing the needs of my team that made me a good leader. So I think it was like actively realizing that. And then also just having an amazing support system, I think for derision youth, um, I’ve like, I’ve met some of my best friends, um, and they live.
Like across the continent or they live all the way in like Europe or Asia or something like that. And I’ve never met them in person, but I’ve stayed up until 3:00 AM on calls with them just like playing games. So it’s also just having that support system. And then the. Uh, for reaffirming the fact that like, I am able to do this, I think that really helped me get through that sense of imposter syndrome.
Um, and as for mentors, I’ve, I’ve definitely had a lot, I think, um, I think I’ve, I reached out a lot to older high school students or like, you know, college students who are also in the student activist space. And then I was able to hear from, um, you know, like their experience leading a team, or especially their experience.
Um, dealing with burnout when it comes to racial justice. I think that was something that those students really, really helped me with because I think something that isn’t really talked about enough is, um, when you are fighting for racial justice, when you’re fighting for equality and equity, but at that same very time, you’re also being like oppressed by those very systems that you’re fighting against.
It’s like a double-edged sword. It’s like you’re being hurt on both ends. I think. That’s something that not enough people talk about. So I was really able to reach out to, um, a lot of those mentors and, um, they were able to like tell me to like, be easy on myself, you know, that you don’t always need to be like constantly scrolling through news media and, um, absorbing all of this really traumatic information that it’s okay to take a break and take it break.
Bryan: (00:10:10) Yeah, I think that was really, really good advice. You know, like there is a lot of information out there that it’s really heavy, right? It’s very emotionally draining. Um, just understanding holistically how the world works. It’s just a very sad place, right? Everything revolves around race, racism, money, power, or whatever.
And for you to be able to absorb that while focusing on your schoolwork. How, how you’ve been taking care of yourself because we know firsthand that running an organization is very difficult, especially running an activist based organization is very ungrateful work. A lot of people are the first to blame you.
There’s a lot of criticism with the things that you’re doing. A lot of tough conversations to navigate. Right. So how to, how do you take care of yourself? Because at the end of the day, it’s like you have, you have other priorities, right? You’re still in school, you’re studying, but you’re still getting like really good grades, great grit, the grades and everything.
So how do you take care of yourself and for other students who want to take action to you? Like how do you just shut it off and be like, you know, This is my boundary. I’m not going to like reply or read or do anything. I’m just going to take care of my meds. Um,
Stephanie: (00:11:33) yeah, so, um, I think this is definitely that I’m still, um, working towards as well.
I’m still learning how to take care of myself. Um, and especially with DEI, I feel like. Honestly, it was just like a full-time job. So it’s like deal. I I’ll be in class and I’ll be like responding to messages and like dealing with emergencies. And then my teacher was like, what are you doing? I’m like nothing.
So it’s definitely like, I’m a full-time job. I remember a lot of the times last year, like I would double zoom, so cause it was online school. So I would have like, I would be, um, Like on my computer, I would be in like math class on my phone. I would be in a day meeting. So I was like, I’ve like done ridiculous things or this organization.
Um, but I think I have also kind of learned how to take care of myself more and more through. Um, my time here. So for me, I think it really looks like just turning off messages for awhile. Like, I think it’s like communicating with my team that, Hey, I’m not going to be available from this time to this time because I’m doing X, Y, Z.
Back on my phone once I’m done with that. And I feel like my team is like really, really amazing. And they’re really understanding when I need to set those boundaries. And I also encourage my team members should to set those boundaries because it’s exhausting to constantly have to work. And it’s also exhausting to constantly have to ponder on like, I dunno, like inequity inequality.
Right. So, um, I think for me, um, What really helps is taking care of myself by spending time with the people that I love. Um, and I think oftentimes when we think of self care, the first thing that comes to mind is like, oh, let me have a spa day. Like I’m gonna put on the face mask and stuff. And I tried that for a long time where I was like, let me just like, not check my phone and just be like, And then read a book.
Um, and I feel like that wasn’t always helpful for me. So I think self care really look, looks different for each and every person. So for me, it just really looks like, you know, spending time with my friends and family, um, and then going back to work. And then it’s also just like a matter of setting boundaries when it comes to not taking meetings as at a certain time.
So like I remember for the woman of color conference, I think because we had east coast. So think about like, I used to wake up at 6:00 AM or something on a Saturday to take meetings. And now I’m just like able to set a hard boundary and say like, I’m only going to be taking meetings from like 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
And I won’t do any time other than that. Um, so it really just looks like knowing your limits, um, and then having other people respect those limits.
Bryan: (00:14:36) Yeah, that’s really, really good. And why is this life long bias as well? For everyone who’s listening. Boundaries is really, really important. It doesn’t matter where you are in life.
Like you need to be able to say no. And being able to say no where you are currently is amazing. Right? Cause I feel like it took me a while to see. I feel like it took me a while, all the way up until my mid twenties to be like, this is my time guys. Like, I can’t answer any more emails. Like this is going to be me.
Right. And I feel like what you’re creating is such a new entity that there’s really not a blueprint for you to follow. Right. And as the founder and you know, and the person who makes all the decision making. How have you felt like your personality and perspective has been seeped into the organization?
Right. But I’m pretty sure that everything that’s been built is because you’re curious as a person you’re like, oh, I probably need this. I need that. And you’ve found that your community does need those things to. Like, can we talk a little more about your creativity, like creative organization, the way we do things, we process things and the way you suggest things and turn those ideas into reality.
That’s amazing to hear more about
Stephanie: (00:15:52) Ron and I, we always talk about how, when people organize an organization or organize a community, Everyone looks to that person, that leader, or, you know, that person that started the community. And it really depends on how our views and perspectives are. Right. Because when someone looks to the leader or the person who started the organization, they see like what our beliefs are, how we, you know, navigate the community, how we kind of like set the values and the mission and the vision.
So it really depends on like how we see the world and that really affects the whole community.
Bryan: (00:16:24) Yeah, it’s super impressed that you’ve been doing this for the last two years, right? Because this organization is a reflection of your personality in this crazy. Interconnected, the two things are the, how, how you don’t likely it seeps into an organization.
You see people in your team act certain way. Like darn it. That’s not what I meant. So I just wanna hear more from, from that side too.
Stephanie: (00:16:48) Yeah, that’s a great question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked a question like that before, but it’s also kind of like making me think too. Um, how my perspectives have seeped into my work with today.
Um, I think the biggest. Well, one of the two biggest things I would say is first the flexibility that we have as an organization. I think something that I really, really value is making sure that all of my team members are heard and that all of them feel like they have the opportunity to pitch a project and then lead a project.
Um, I think, I don’t think we’ve like when, um, someone has come up to me. If a project idea that I’ve ever said, no. Um, I think it’s always like, yes, that sounds super exciting. I have a few, um, pieces of feedback that maybe we could tweak about this project, but let’s do it. I think that is something that is pretty reflective of my personality too, because I’ve always been a very.
You know, like, fuck it. Why not? Let’s just do it. Um, so I think that’s also something that we have with day, which is maybe why we grew. Um, the pace that we grow is because I think we just like kept on adding more and more and just kept on getting more excited as new projects came in, um, which sometimes, you know, it can be a little bit exhausting and can definitely be like, oh my gosh, we’re doing so many things right now.
But. Also, it’s just, um, dairies and youth were like, it’s a very fast paced and exciting work environment, which is a work environment that I like as well. Um, and I think the other thing is really our values for diversity and inclusion. And this is something that I’ve learned throughout my time at day two.
I’ve definitely not been as, um, Uh, what is it called? Like I’ve like, I’ve grown in my perspective of DNI, especially within the Asian community throughout my time as well. And, um, something that I really value and that my team members really value and that I’ve really actively learned from the rest of my team members is the importance of making sure that all the regions and all the cultures and, um, Like everything about Asia is being represented within our organization, because I think for a lot of Asian advocacy spaces, um, there really only is a focus on like east and south east Asians.
And then, um, west Asians, central Asians, north Asians, and south Asians are really left out of the picture a lot of the times. So what I’m trying to do with gears in youth is. A new standard for diversity and inclusion and making sure that that is like the one core pillar that we are just all of our projects revolve around.
And we see that through like the diversity and inclusion task force. We implemented November of last year and they’ve done amazing work since then. And every single social media posts that you see come out on our Instagram is vetted by the diversity and inclusion task force and like, um, a lot of pieces of literature, um, all the podcast episodes.
So every, um, Thing that we do is vetted through the diversity and inclusion task force. And, um, they’ve just done amazing work. And, um, I think, yeah, just one of the core, core core values of our organization is DNR.
Bryan: (00:20:18) Wow. I love that a lot. And I really loved that. It’s one of your core pillars and things. One of the most neglected things out.
When people mention like Asians, Z always think of east Asian, but Asian diaspora is humongous. Right. And a lot of people are still very underrepresented. And I really liked the fact that since it’s one of your core pillars, it really takes on like the model minority myth a lot. So we really appreciate the work that you do.
Um, so I kind of want to switch the conversation a bit to talk about your upbringing, very talking about your parents, like. Have your parents or prepare you for the work that you’re doing right now. And what did he say? But everything that you’re doing, because I know parents tend to have a tendency. To want the best for you.
And they want you to be happy to see. Sometimes we see their kids stressful and the tears are hard. Right. So I want to hear from your perspective, like, what was your, how did your parents teach you? How do your parents prepare you? What did you like? What did it say about the projects that you’re working on?
Stephanie: (00:21:22) Yeah. So, um, I think my parents never really expected this because they themselves are. I would say they’re like not very socially aware at all. Like they aren’t political. I don’t think they’ve. Well, my dad’s a us citizen, but I don’t think he’s ever voted in his life like that. That’s the, like, my parents are super, just like they, they don’t get involved with politics or any of that.
Um, so then they’ve, you know, once I started diversion youth and, um, it got bigger and bigger, they always told me like, I wonder how this came to be. And I don’t really know either. I think it was really influenced a lot just because like I, myself. I would say, like I’m an empath. So I feel a lot of the things that other people are feeling.
And that’s why I’m so passionate about like racial justice and activism work. But I like my parents, I guess they never really expected me to get involved in activism work. Um, with that said though, my parents are also really supportive. I think they’re a little bit confused. Like, I don’t think they like, truly know what’s going on.
I think they’re like, um, she’s just like running meetings all day. Like, I don’t really know what she’s doing in them, but like good for her, I guess. So, um, my parents also live in China. Well, I live in the states with my aunt and uncle. So they also are just like seeing this from all the way back home.
And I know like my parents are also very supportive of my mental health and everything. So they’ve also always told me that I should just like chill a bit, like relax a little bit. I’m like, guys, it’s fine. Um, but now they’re, they’re, they’re pretty supportive. Um, and. Yeah, I think what really solidified my work in activism in terms of my upbringing was really when I, I moved from, um, Shinjin China to California, I’m in eighth grade.
So I was born in upstate New York. Um, and then I lived there for four years, but then I moved around my entire life across like different parts of Asia. And then. Um, I finally moved here in eighth grade and I think it was just like a really big culture shock. And I, myself experienced a lot of racial discrimination, especially in, in the school environment and even from a lot of teachers as well.
So I feel like that was what really drove my interest in an activist.
Maggie: (00:23:53) Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that. And I do want to know, like, what was that transition? Like, just moving from San Jen back to the United States. Like, did you feel like you had to have like a certain identity coming back to the United States and uphold that certain identity?
Or did you kind of like have a very smooth transition transition?
Stephanie: (00:24:12) Yeah, I think I definitely had like an identity crisis in eighth grade. I was like, oh my gosh. Um, I really just, it was pretty bad how much I despised my culture. I think I was really ashamed. Um, I think. Um, I would just like, not want to be seen around school, hanging out with like my Asian friends.
I would like purposefully gravitate towards all my white friends, which is really embarrassing now that I think about it. But back then, I was just really ashamed of my Chinese culture. And I wanted really just to simulate as much as possible, especially because I was seen as the new girl, um, who just moved from China and then.
You know, everyone would be like, oh my gosh, but why are you so good at speaking English? And then I would have to like explain my entire life story to them. And it just felt really alienating. Um, a lot of the times, which made me just. Um, want to like separate myself from my culture even more. And I think it was only when I entered high school, I think like, you know, around like sophomore year or late freshman year, that I finally started to embrace my culture again.
And, um, I think what really helped with that was also just being more comfortable in myself growing as a more confident person and also just seeing, um, other people embrace their cultures and like celebrate their cultures. And I think that really inspired me to do the same.
Maggie: (00:25:44) Yeah, that’s amazing. I mean, I am actually, you know, really jealous that you got through that experience because I didn’t really embrace that Asian culture and Asian tradition.
And so like a lot later, right.
Bryan: (00:26:01) The different I grew up in RTDs and Gibro area and my school was like 99% Asian to the point where, when I finally left for college, like. Wait a minute.
you know, so it’s different, but I really liked that perspective too. And it’s really crazy for me to still hear that, you know, there’s still like the cultural proudness problem where it’s like, you’re not proud of your own heritage. Right? Cause that’s something that’s very, uh, very common in among other Asian American friends that they weren’t proud of their heritage.
But I think that what you’re doing right now, it’s great word because it’s leading the charge of O’Neil to our own heritage and being proud of our own identity, right. Because you’re not the only one that feels that way. Tons and tons of other Asian Americans or Asian Canadian, Asian con uh, Australians also feel the same.
You’re feeling the impact of your organization around the world. So, yeah.
Maggie: (00:26:59) Yeah. And your story is extremely inspirational and can be an inspiration for other people who are dealing with the same things. You know, we meet so many people from, let’s say the Midwest who grew up in very predominantly white areas who were ashamed of like the food that they brought to school, you know, their Asian identity, their Asian culture, but they don’t get to experience or embrace the Asian culture until they’re much older.
Right. Um, and for you to have this platform and community for Asian youth to learn more about Asian identity, Asian culture, how to speak up, you know, and how to be involved in activism. It’s, it’s amazing, you know, and I wish that everyone could be able to experience, you know, just learning from dairy, Asian within your platform.
Bryan: (00:27:41) So I have a question about your personal. Right, because I’m pretty sure that you’re completely different from, from the person you were two years ago just by being in this organization and running in and talking to tons and tons of people around the world. But how have you felt yourself changed throughout the last two years?
And you know, how did, how do you hope that you continue growing as a person in the next couple weeks?
Stephanie: (00:28:06) Yeah, I think, um, honestly being in duration youth has made me grow so much, um, as a person, as a leader, as a student, um, as a fellow activist and also just as a friend as well. Um, I truly think that it’s really what launched myself growth and that if I didn’t start the organization and sustain it, then I wouldn’t kind of be in the same head space and have the same perspectives that I do now.
Um, I feel like the main thing that comes to mind is I’ve learned how to be a lot more. Kind and a lot more understanding. I think, um, this, you know, this past year has been really tough on everyone, especially in terms of like mental health and, um, just like struggles that everyone has been having, especially because of COVID and that like isolation period.
Um, and then, so, you know, seeing. All of my teammates go through that. And then also seeing a lot of people just being so affected by the discrimination that they’ve experienced and, you know, for me to have like conversations with my, um, team members and then they like share, you know, stories of discrimination with me and just start like breaking down and crying and really just sharing a piece of themselves with me, I think has really just opened my eyes and see that.
Everyone is honestly like going through something and everyone is dealing with some sort of like trauma or dealing with some sort of just, yeah, just, yeah, they’re just dealing with something. And I feel like through that, I’ve really grown to be a lot more of like an understanding person and. I’m just like here to listen to other people’s stories and, um, have just grown to be a kinder person as well.
Um, and I think another part is, um, you know, with my work with . I’ve had to had have a lot of tough conversations, especially around diversity and inclusion. Like I can confidently say that my perspectives on DNI, especially, um, in the Asian community was not. Like the way that it is now two years ago, I’ve definitely matured a lot.
And, um, I’ve also just become a lot more knowledgeable, um, about all the different cultures, um, in Asia. And I think, you know, at the very beginning of Jerry’s and youth, um, We definitely were having a lot of problems with diversity and inclusion. It was like, recognizing that like, oh my gosh, this social media manager wrote a problematic script about, um, an Asian identity that they weren’t a part of.
How do we go about dealing with this? What does this say about our organization and how can we then implement solutions to combat this? So it really is just sitting down. And listening to everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and then coming together to create a solution. Um, so I’ve had to have, I’ve had to have a lot of tough conversations.
Um, and I think like one major thing I’ve learned from that is just really, really being open to everything. Um, also just being open to openly, admit your mistakes and be like, okay, this is something that went wrong. Um, let’s not have it happen again. And just taking accountability I think is really difficult, but also just really necessary and something that I’ve learned throughout this journey.
Bryan: (00:31:44) Wow. I really love her mindset. Ally’s it’s really wise beyond your years, and I’m pretty sure you heard that over and over. But those things I learned through my work experience and when I was working with fourth grade, right there used to be vetted that we used to have this called no blame in new England culture, which means that if someone messes up with learning experience, we don’t blame anyone.
Right. And the fact that he talked about ownership as well, that’s, that’s very crucial for any form of success because. You know, I’m a part of a growing is failing. And part of failing is taking ownership and realizing what you did wrong. Right. And the fact that you’re able to speak about this openly speaks volumes about how you are as a person and does very admirable to you because to this day, I know a lot of people at that don’t have that sense of ownership.
It’s kind of depressing to talk about a couple of years at this point of life, but you know, the fact that you have it’s, it’s really amazing to hear. And I know that. They’re Asian youth who continues to grow bigger and bigger. And it kind of leads me down to the next question. Like, how do you feel about the legacy that you’re leaving back for dairy Asian youth?
And I think. Uh, part of growing a very strong organization is, well, this organization survive without me in five years or 10 years. Right? So basically your, your systems and processes, are you leaving behind and more important than the legacy letter you’re leaving behind? I mean, thought about that kind of stuff you had about how you want to do the handover in the next five or 10 years, or if at all? I mean, the name I could change because there Jeremy midlife.
As you get older, just that organization, but I just wanna hear from your perspective, what do you think your legacy.
Stephanie: (00:33:31) Yeah, I think this is definitely something that I’ve pondered a lot about, and I definitely don’t have like a fleshed out idea or plan yet. I know that I definitely want to continue doing duration youth all throughout college.
And maybe after that, I’m just like, but I also do think it’s super, super important. Um, the organization’s mission is fulfilled and that it’s like supporting young Asian people right. And supporting students. And if at one point that I’m not the best fit for that anymore, because I don’t have maybe the same perspectives as a lot of like students in high school or college do anymore than I think it’s definitely necessary and appropriate for me to then to, um, kind of pass it down to.
The next people who carry on this legacy. Um, so I really think, um, I, I definitely don’t have a plan so far, but I think for now, I’m just going to play it by year, but I’m definitely not going to try to be like, um, you know, not like I want to keep this to myself because I feel like the most important thing is the effect and impact that this organization has had on other people.
And. I am not the most fit to lead that anymore, then that’s totally okay. Um, and I will like find, um, the next person to do.
Bryan: (00:34:51) That’s very powerful. Yeah.
Maggie: (00:34:53) That is extremely powerful. And I love that you emphasize on the mission because you know, that really is going to take us to a better place and leave a better world for the next generation, you know, and I’m pretty sure the next generation will feel the effects of dairy Asian youth.
Um, I do want to know, you know, how have you seen the Asian community change, like the mindset of the Asian community change and it within your community ever since you’ve started dirty Asian youth, um, you know, obviously you had a mission to educate and empower Asian youth to learn more about politics, learn more about activism, right.
And with that mission, you’ve seen it grow so large and so fast. I want to know that. How have you seen it grow within the Asian community? And you know, that the mindset was in the Asian community.
Bryan: (00:35:39) I want to add onto that as well. And or what advice would you have for other high school? Early college, early twenties, Asian activists that want to take action.
And I want to be involved, right? Because it’s not easy to speak about these things because our parents don’t understand what’s going on. Behind just accepted the way it was or the way it is, but it’s really hard for us to speak about it openly, right? Because whenever you speak about racial inequality, people have different takes different upbringings that don’t line up and it causes a lot of friction.
So what advice do you have for, for people that want to get involved that don’t know how to be.
Stephanie: (00:36:18) Yeah. So, um, I think that for, I mean, I’ve talked to a lot of my team members personally, and I’m like friends with a ton of them. And something that they’ve all shared with me is how this organization has helped them grow comfortable in their cultural identity.
And I think, um, sometimes I forget the impact that this organization has had, or like I can’t wrap my head around it really. Um, and I know that Deere’s and you’ve had. Affected a lot of people, especially because like our chapters and everything, but I think most immediately, um, and the one that I’m able to directly see is the way that it has affected my own team members.
And they just shared with me, like, um, you know, I’m finally comfortable with using like my, um, Cultural name, my name that was given at birth instead of my English English sized name. And I think when I heard that I was. That is so amazing. Like I think that was one of the moments that I was really starting to understand that the impact that this organization has had.
And I think another way that it has really impacted the way, um, at least my team members think, and then maybe the Asian community at large as well, especially the Asian activism community is that standard of diversity and inclusion, because I think, um, You know, still in a lot of Asian spaces, there isn’t necessarily that emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
And I think derision youth was one of the first organizations to kind of pioneer that being. Pillar of our organization. So I’ve also seen a lot of people really start to emphasize that more as well. Um, and in terms of like the advice I would give to, um, high school and college students who want to make change in their own community is.
I think, okay, this is so cheesy, but I think it’s, it’s so, so true. Um, is that really recognizing that like you aren’t alone in this fight that like, there are so many people there, hundreds of thousands of people who are fighting alongside of you, um, in this fight for a second. Quality and equity. And I think it’s really just recognizing that, um, you know, if you do need support that there is this entire community that’s backing you up and being like, yes, you can do this.
We are also doing this at the very same time as you are. And I think it’s really just like the idea of, um, Across the nation. We’re all different people. We all come from different cultural backgrounds. We all have completely different lifestyles, but that we’re all fighting towards the same thing. I think it’s really keeping that, um, at the back of your mind and always remembering that when you’re having a tough time, maybe like speaking to administration or you’re having a really difficult day with like burnout in terms of racial justice, just keeping that in the battle, in the back of your mind.
There are so many people across the world that are fighting for the same causes you are that really at least keeps me going. And I hope that it can also inspire others to also keep, um, fighting for this like equality.
Maggie: (00:39:46) Absolutely. I mean, 100% agree with you. I think that even though we have very unique differences, you know, in terms of our ethnicity, our traditions, you know, maybe some, some of our culture is a little bit different in terms of our, our different Asian ethnicities.
We’re actually more similar than we are different. You know, we all want the same things. We all have very similar dreams and goals, and we have very similar views in terms of like, we all want racial justice. We all want racial equality, you know, and. That’s a very, very important, um, lesson that we have to learn that we always after to remember that we’re never alone and that we’re always more successful if we work together.
Bryan: (00:40:26) Yeah. So listen to, you gives me a lot of hope and confidence in the next generation, and it’s very inspiring to hear everything that you worked on. So I want to. I guess since you have a lot of listeners and listen to our podcasts, we don’t know who listens to it. What is your first college choice?
Stephanie: (00:40:47) I’m really shooting for Columbia. You know, I want to be a baddie in New York city and like manifesting it 11, 11 every night. I’m like Columbia, Columbia. Yeah. We’ll see. We’ll see how that.
Bryan: (00:41:00) Okay. Uh, for you guys listening, if anyone is to call as missionary Columbia, Stephanie’s a standout student and she does a lot for the community.
Oh, you want to ask one question?
Maggie: (00:41:14) Um, yeah, amazing. So I do have one question or maybe, maybe two more questions. Um, I do want to know, you know, what is your goal for generation youth? Your, your goal is for the next year. I know you’re working on a few programs. I want to hear more about your Asian girl as well.
Um, and what you’re hoping to achieve with that. And if you have any other programs that you have in mind for the next year for dairies,
Stephanie: (00:41:40) Yeah. So, um, do your Asian girl is a podcast that we have that really works to spotlight the unique stories of Asian women everywhere. Um, and they’ve done some amazing things.
I really have to, I’m pretty hands off on that. I have to shout out to Sunna, uh, my assistant director and also my best friend, um, for really. Keeping that entire podcast together and really just spearheading the, um, the entire podcast. And, um, I think we have a new, um, season coming out that is focused on love.
So like, you know, the, whether that be like romantic love or like familial love or like, um, friendship and just really. I dunno, I, I haven’t heard too much about it yet, but I’m excited when I heard that, I was like, wow, this seems really cool. I’m excited to see where this goes. Um, so that’s something that we’re working on.
Um, for duration youth, I’m kind of blinking a little bit right now. It’s so bad. Um, but we’re, we’re really working a lot and on a couple of. Internal things right now. So what we’re trying to do is launch a marketing department and applications are actually open for that right now. So like, if any, um, any listeners are really experienced in marketing and want to join this amazing community, please do.
So. Um, yeah, so that’s something that we’re working on and we’re also just working on a couple of other projects, but my. Mine is not working.
Bryan: (00:43:18) No worries. I know it’s been a long day and the fact that you’re doing this podcast after a lot of school days. Yeah.
Maggie: (00:43:24) Thank you so much. Stop me. So where can our listeners find out more about you and your Asian youth online?
Stephanie: (00:43:40) Yeah. So you can follow years in youth, on Instagram at duration youth. And then you can follow me on Instagram at, I think it’s stuff. J Y H U. Um, so that’s my Instagram handle. And like, I, I get, um, a lot of DM sometimes on like advice for like starting organizations or advice on, you know, how to deal with certain things.
So if anyone needs help, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here to help out. Um,
Maggie: (00:44:03) Thank you so much, Stephanie, you are so generous for, you know, offering to our community help and support. Um, we really loved having you on our podcast today. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
Maggie: (00:44:15) Yeah. Thank you so much for having me this isn’t an amazing time.
Bryan: (00:44:18) Yeah. Thank you so much for everything that you do continue pushing the car. You can’t wait to see where you’re gonna be in the next couple of years, and we’ll always be here to support.
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