I pledge to make a personally significant donation every year to support youth education.
I created this pledge after I realized how lucky I was to be supported by amazing education programs when I was growing up. Those programs played a large role in my personal and professional development, and investing my earnings in the education ecosystem is my way of saying thanks.
When I started this pledge, I donated to a new organization every year so that I would continually discover awesome organizations in this space. However, I realized that donating one year and not the next is not the best way to support organizations that prefer to have a consistent source of donations. Thus, I decided to choose a few organizations to give monthly to and support the rest by volunteering my time, work, or network.
To read more about how my pledge started, check out my blog post on this topic.
I started volunteering with BEAM when I moved to New York and was immediately impressed with the organization’s mission to create a community around an interest in math rather than a focus on test prep.
Students talk about how they felt like outsiders until they participated in the BEAM summer camp, where they became friends with folks who like them, actually enjoy math. I could immediately tell that this program changes lives and I’m happy to support them in any way I can.
I was lucky enough to attend math/science Magnet programs throughout middle school and high school. Without a doubt, I owe a big chunk of my hard-working and inquisitive nature to the Magnet programs.
The mission of the STEM Talent Pipeline Project is to support students that may not have access to the resources that help build a STEM foundation. Kudos to Samir for founding this initiative!
In summer 2016, my friend A.T. and I founded BookBooster, an initiative to provide books to schools in low income areas. After learning about the correlation between income, books, and literacy, I wanted to get involved to support kids who wanted books but did not have access to them.
To learn more about these “Book Deserts” and why BookBooster was started, check out A.T.’s blog post on our mission.
ARML was a national high school math competition that I went to throughout middle and high school. Our school had around 75 students attend, which was made extra fun by the fact that this was an overnight trip.
Not only was it a great bonding experience with friends, but the competition was always a blast. ARML was one of the things I looked forward to most every year!
I am very grateful to this school and my parents for helping/pushing me to speak Mandarin and read/write Chinese. I attended Hope Chinese School throughout my pre-college years, and would take classes on Sunday.
I disliked the extra work as a kid, but now I understand that the effort was certainly worth it. Not only is Mandarin an in-demand language, but also I am thankful that I am able to converse with my extended family, who for the most part only speak Mandarin.
I volunteered for this program on and off for six years (including for my first summer internship), and I saw firsthand how empowering art projects can be. Parents were always telling us how thankful they were that this great program was free of charge.
This experience also meant a lot to me personally because Stephen, my boss and the program director. He was the perfect role model: he was kind to everyone and dedicated his career to serving others. It was a no-brainer to support Stephen and the program.