A big issue that I face in my AANHPI community is the fact that we are seen as the “model minority.” In other words, we were once distinguished as low-income laborers and immigrants, but now we are seen as successful and educated contributors to society. Sounds great right? WRONG.
Since a young age, I have been fed these stereotypes about the model minority, and you can even call me the poster child of the model minority. Out of all my friends, I played the violin, I got the Principal’s honor roll, I was great at Math, I enrolled in Honors and Advanced Placement classes, and I wanted to go to college. I have always lived up to these stereotypes of our model minority that my community was shocked when I declared a major that was not up to society’s expectations.
There’s a sweeping generalization that many AAPI students pursue the medical field and become doctors when they grow up. I want to become a politician or lawyer one day, and it was something that my family and friends could not accept. Being a statistic of the model minority has hindered people’s acceptance of my passions to find a career outside of the medical field. Being a statistic of the model minority has also made society tell me that a young Vietnamese womyn like me will never survive in politics.