My students and their heart to evoke change have been the guiding force for me. The vast majority have historically and systematically been excluded from higher education. They come into college with great ambitions and overwhelming responsibilities. Being a first-generation minority student and an immigrant, their goals and dreams deeply resonate with me. Pursuing creative careers is nerve-racking, let alone, seeking a degree in it, for both students and their families. It feels you are going nowhere at times and the odds are always against you to have a prosperous career. In the throes of my quarter-life crisis, I had considered leaving the U.S. forever and pursuing a monastic life instead. However, words by a Tibetan monk jolted me awake - "Living in a monastery is the easiest. Strive in the real world." How liberating it was! It led me to question and challenge the status quo and imagine. I have not stopped since. How do I prepare students to flourish? Imagination generates alternate future possibilities and can become wellsprings of freedom. This has become vital, more than ever in a VUCA world, that is increasingly socially divided. I strive to nurture students with adaptable skills and knowledge to fearlessly dream up and carve out space of their own. With this ability instilled into them, students can withstand the hardship, feed their passion to practice what they love, and through which, change the world around them. They open up new horizons. Over the course of their study, students come to find their own voice and transform into critical and creative thinkers and makers. They become future leaders and enable others to follow in their footsteps. Having the opportunity to partake in the process of their transformation has been rewarding - a privilege. This drives me to achieve more, for them.
What Drives You to #AchieveMore?