I was so far from the model of a smart, calm, and collected Asian woman. When I watched TV, all the Asian female characters were stereotypes. At home, my independent single Laotian mom meant everything to me and I wanted to make her proud.
My diploma was initially denied due to incomplete coursework. Depression halted my final senior paper, and almost got the best of me completely. Over those four collegiate years I had decided to drop out twice but was talked out of it each time by my father. The “model minority” isn’t just about STEM; it’s an idea about esteem and excellence.