At an early age, I was forced to learn the meaning of independence and survival. My father abandoned my family before I was born. My mother did her best to give me a fighting chance. So when I was 11, my mother and I left Hong Kong and came to the U.S.
After years of living in a dysfunctional household, with a stepfather and two stepsisters, I decided to leave and live on my own. My one-room basement sanctuary allowed me to focus on getting an education that would prepare me for a future; that was my only way out.
People ask me how I did it. The reality is that I had no other choice. I had to persevere. I had to remain determined and focused. I had to be proactive because I already knew what it was like to be a victim to external circumstances. I excelled academically, but found the greatest reward in what I could share with others about my experience and empowering others through my public service work in the immigrant community.
My efforts paid off. In 2006, I received a letter congratulating me on my receipt of the RMHC/ASIA Scholarship. The Scholarship provided me financial support and so much more. It gave me access to resources and a group of supportive peers and mentors who have kept me strong.
With the scholarship in hand, I embarked on the next chapter of my life at Yale University, where I studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a concentration on medicine and pharmacology. My interest was in the sciences and public health. I traveled extensively during my time in college, conducting community empowerment projects in India, Mainland China, Tibet, and the Dominican Republic. Witnessing the desperate needs of some of the world’s poorest populations further confirmed my commitment to impact-driven work.
The support I received from RMHC and the RMHC/ASIA Scholarship allowed me to make a positive impact on the access to quality health care services for underserved communities around the world.
Thank you RMHC.