Oakland Charter High School, Oakland
Becky epitomizes the saying “speak your mind, even if your voice shakes”. A quiet individual, Becky’s opinion resounds when she speaks up. But it wasn’t always this way. Becky joined the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach Youth Advisory Council, driven by her indignation at stereotypes that objective Asian women, and her desire to be part of something that speaks out against injustice. Through her work with the Council, Becky has developed a powerful political voice, understanding the importance of outreach to Asian Pacific Islander communities, where witnesses to violence are often conditioned to keep silent.
Coming from a low-income Laotian refugee background, Becky has had to seek out resources in order to excel academically. She’s used this experience to help others access API Legal Outreach when they needed resources. Moved to action after seeing a group of classmates at school crying because they were from mixed-status families and worried about what would happen to their undocumented parents, Becky began volunteering at Know Your Rights workshops, and building connections between school counselors and immigration attorneys to set up events at her school. Not one to rest on her laurels, Becky is busy reaching out to develop other younger members, who start out shy and insecure in their activism. Becky relates beautifully to students who, like her, never thought that they could be activists, showing them that they, too, have the power to speak their minds and change the world.