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My name is Rachel On Tung Cheung and I am an Asian American from Hong Kong. I am a 17-year-old high school student at Aiglon College who is passionate about writing and empowering minority communities internationally. I use both of my passions to create a common focal point in order to connect writing with social justice. Specifically, I hope to spark cultural pride within people of minority backgrounds. I hope one day our world can be more mentally diverse and open to those of all backgrounds. Through diversifying our beliefs, one day, a world of unity can be achieved.

my story

A fact about me is I have never lived in a single place for over three years. I am constantly moving - across the world, to different continents, several different cities. It's always hard to pack my bags and start again, however, I have learned to love it. 

I was born in a small town in northern South Carolina. It was an easy-going and peaceful town. I realized my differences from a young age as I was usually one of the only few Asian-Americans in my classes. I spent my first few years in a predominately white town, therefore, I stood out as a minority. I hated standing out as I wanted to fit in with the rest of my community. Sadly enough, when I was little, I had always dreamt of being white like my peers and those around me. I thought if I was white, my life would be much simpler and I would feel happier, however, I realized this wasn't the case. 

I moved to Singapore when I was 6. I just loved Singapore for its beautiful architecture, booming culture, and all of the people I met - they were actually similar to me! I wore flowered covered Baju Kurungs and filling my little mouth with lotus seed-filled mooncakes. I watch as animated dragons dance through Singapore's busy streets, their tails mimicking a hurricane’s wind. I fell in love with my own culture at a young age, therefore, I feel so fortunate to have experienced my culture first-hand. Singapore taught me to embrace the Chinese in me. 

After Singapore, it was Indonesia. Indonesia was massively different, I have to admit, however, I learned a lot from my experiences. I loved Indonesia for its tasty Nasi-Goreng and the colorful sarongs. My eyes were drawn to the Javanese wayang puppets and I learned to play traditional Indonesian instruments. I love how unique Indonesia is - there is just no other country similar. My local friends taught me about their culture, letting me sample their home-cooked dishes. I learned to use Indonesian spices with every dish and was determined to get to know more about the country, however, I was only able to stay for a few years before I had to leave, once again. 

I moved back to South Carolina for a little. Everything seemed so different and I had many difficulties fitting in. I believe most of the students I attended school with have never befriended an Asian person before, therefore, out of ignorance, they always teased me with painfully racist jokes. I always knew they were not plain evil - they were just never taught the importance of seeing every race equally. But their ignorance made me and other kids from minority groups suffer. I rejected myself for my Asian background and hated standing out - so I tried everything I possibly could to "erase" my Chinese identity as horrible as it sounds. 

I moved to the United Arab Emirates in the middle east years later and went to an international school where the student body was culturally diverse. I learned to love myself for my background once again and realized the importance of staying true to my own identity. 

I moved to Houston for a short while and now, my family continues to live in Abu Dhabi whilst I am currently attending boarding school in Vaud, Switzerland. 

In the summer of 2020, I founded the Asian Hispanic Empowerment Organization alongside Alessandro Iaia in order to teach younger children about diversity and the importance of racial equality. Children are most susceptible to learning, therefore, teaching them at a young age will impact how they view the world around them. We started the organization as a national led nonprofit, however, to our pleasant surprise, the organization grew to over 150+ members from over 20+ different countries. Our international organization now serves to teach, publish, and empower. We publish journals filled with works of literature relating to celebrating culture as well as inform. You can view our latest journal in the "publications" section of this website. 

I now spend my time managing my organization as well as publishing poetry books and other forms of literature relating to culture and identity. With the recent rise in racism against Asian Americans, I feel obligated to use my work as an outlet to create peace and unity within people of all backgrounds. I try to implement positive aspects of diversity as well as bring awareness to the hardships faced by these communities. It is amazing how much the AHEO has accomplished together, and I am proud of all 150+ members from all 20+ countries of their continued passion and desire to create an equal world. 

Contact

Reach out to me!

Let's connect.

+1(846)315-8311

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