"Personally, I am a Forensics Science major from the Class of 2019, who hails from Lake Forest in Southern California. Aside from an interest in investigative sciences, I enjoy playing guitar, rock climbing, bouldering and embracing my Asian American heritage. Coming to A&M, I thought that I would be the only Asian American person on campus; however, it was a pleasant surprise to see so many Asian and other minority organizations thriving on campus. I identify as Chinese American, and for me, that meant that I got the opportunity to dive into both aspects of my cultural identity. I loved seeing both come together in my life and continue to cherish the values both hold as well. Christianity has also really shaped and molded the way I view myself and others. It has allowed me to become more self-aware at how to serve as a helping hand to others.
If I could give any kind of advice to others, it would be to grasp what goals you have early on and what impact you want to have on others in society. Furthermore, we tend to look at what we are going to achieve, but do not really look at what results they will entail. Therefore, it is good to make your goals into challenges and take them a step further and not just look at the completion of the goal. Another subject I want to bring up is the line between reality and vision since there should be a balance between the two when setting goals. Too much of only vision or reality will only lead to frustrations, as you will be unable to achieve any goals. Good leaders need to be adept in acheiving goals.
Speaking of leaders, I wanted to be a leader within the Asian community and in general so that I could make people feel more comfortable and provide them with open spaces. This would give people the chance to discover who they are, whether that is through religion, ethnicity or even career interests. At A&M, the Asian American population is a minority, so I wanted to help cultivate a space for them to feel free to talk about anything and share it with others. Leading such a group led me to realize that it was also crucial for me to avoid becoming my own little bubble and forming a niche; instead, I wanted to create a community and be open to all who were interested and just needed support.
I am currently the president of Asian American Inner Varsity, which is a Christian organization and it is related to how faith and culture play into who you are on campus, but it is much more. An important topic that we tackle is mental health, through our new program known as Revival. We started this because mental health in the Asian community is quite taboo when inner worked with our culture, thanks to the emphasis on pride and shame. It is not, however to point fingers at older generations as they are not accustomed to such thoughts, so my vision is to merely change future generations and grow past such mentalities and better ourselves.
At the end of the day, my vision for A&M in the future is an increase in minorities having safe spaces throughout A&M. We are all Aggies, and the feeling of inclusion of any foreigner or cultural identity is a beautiful thing, and I hope we continue to do that and grow in our love for one another more and more each year. As a final message for anyone to take to heart, we need to know where we have come from before we can understand where we are going."
- Jonathan Chang, Class of 2019