I didn’t realize until just now why the 3 videos I posted up on YouTube of this event got so many hits… until I realized that Wong Fu happened to find the videos right after the event & shared the links to the videos up on their Twitter (the last tweet of May 1st just before May 2nd - “wongfupro Wong Fu Productions: In case you weren’t there last night… us, talking. woohoo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svZ1s2Y4pM”) & website (link above)! xD I’m so not technically savvy. xP Anyhow, I’m glad I could share the videos for everyone who couldn’t go to experience this wonderful & fun event to see these talented young men!! ;)
The Beautiful Truth (2008)
JTASA, the Junior Taiwanese American Student Association, is a new movement initiated by two high school students and an ambitious camp director to create a national organization for Taiwanese American high school students and guide them to become future leaders in their communities.
In collaboration with TACL (Taiwanese American Citizen’s League) JTASA will introduce volunteer and networking opportunities as well as several scholarships and internships to members while increasing awareness of Taiwanese culture and heritage.
In an effort to encourage high school students across America to start their own JTASA, co-founders Monica Chen and John Wang and National JTASA Advisor Jason Tsai have created a JTASA handbook that breaks down the club-building process step-by-step.
Are you a high school student interested in starting a JTASA chapter at your school?
Visit the JTASA website:
Download the manual at:
See what’s happening across Taiwanese America:
After the fundraising dinner, I decided to go onto the Formosa Foundation website to learn more about by the organization. However, soon after, I then became busy with other projects over the next several weeks.
When February 2010 came around, I saw Terri again in DC while attending the Formosa Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) week-long workshop to learn about US -Taiwan-China relations. I did not expect to Terri there, but nonetheless it was great to see her again. There she introduced Formosa Foundation to everyone, and she encouraged the workshop participants to apply for their Ambassador Program. During break time and after all the meetings were over, I was able to touch base with her again to learn more about her active involvement in the Taiwanese American community.
Later, after my DC trip, I would frequently visit Taiwan Center in Rosemead, CA, and quickly scan through the Taiwan-related fliers in their lobby. Among the fliers, the Formosa Foundation newsletters stood out since it was among the few pamphlets that were colorfully made and printed in English. So I took a Formosa Foundation newsletter and brought it home with me.
Then the next time I had heard about Formosa Foundation was when active first generation Taiwanese American individuals in the community strongly recommended that I participate in the Ambassador Program. I wasn’t sure whether I would make the deadline or not, but since the deadline was later extended, I thought, “Well, what have I got to lose? It could be an experience of a lifetime on Capitol Hill!” So I applied, was accepted & went to DC this past June 2010.
So how did I like the Ambassador Program? Wow. It was difficult to handle the demanding schedule like the hectic FAPA week-long workshop, but this one lasted two weeks long with the second week of learning how to work together in groups to advocate for Taiwan. We were forced to constantly be on the move - that was what Terri taught us. The culture of Capitol Hill and politics in general is to always be on the go, & that we learned very well. During the 2nd week in DC, my group of four ran around from building to building and office to office to meet with congressional staff. Our group visited twenty-six offices total in the span of four days! Not to mention we were doing all of this in 80°F weather! We were wearing our long-sleeved suits too! As exhausting & challenging as this whole experience felt, I’m glad to say that I went through and completed this program because now, I understand what it takes to lobby on Capitol Hill since I experienced it first-hand.
Also through this program, I’ve learned more about the idea of soft power, which is the ability to shape the preferences of others and get others to want the same outcomes you want, or so Terri calls the “drip drip method.” The drip drip method of Formosa Foundation undoubtedly influenced me over this last year. By only having a conversation with Terri two times, seeing and hearing the name Formosa Foundation every so often, Formosa Foundation drew me into its Ambassador Program, and this is the kind of soft power effect that Formosa Foundation has on Capitol Hill. It uses its soft power techniques to help promote Taiwan to all 536 members of Congress – through constant contact and reminders in order to promote US-Taiwan relations.
All in all, I’m grateful that I was able to go through this program for these three reasons. First, I learned more historical and current happenings among the US-Taiwan-China relations from many intelligent speakers and scholars. Secondly, I was coached by experienced facilitators on how to succinctly deliver a message to advocate for Taiwan. Then lastly, I was able to meet and learn how to effectively work as a team with bright young individuals from all over the world.
So would I recommend this program? Yes, I would definitely recommend it, but only to (1) one who is eager and passionate to learn more about US-Taiwan-China relations and (2) one who would truly want to know what it is like to work on public advocacy on Capitol Hill.