Through a student organization I was able to meet an alumni that was kind enough to invite me to the Asian Pacific Alumni Association (APAA) Gala. I came into USC focused on joining so many organizations, but a culture-based association never crossed my mind. Feeling very out of place as scholarly students and alumni surrounded me, I decided to just walk around and introduce myself to as many people as possible.

From these conversations I met individuals from Tokyo, Diamond Bar, and Chicago. I quickly learned that the students were being awarded scholarships for their academic excellence and involvement in the Asian American Culture. At this moment I was thinking to myself, “What am I doing here?”

Then before I knew it, a Chinese Dragon Dance began ushering us into the room to sit for the program. Throughout the Gala, I quickly learned that APAA is an organization dedicated to providing assistance for college students at USC. This assistance ranged from financial scholarships to mentorship programs to networking connections.

The APAA honored the scholarship winners along with the USC Alumni that have excelled in their pursuits and service.

The most intriguing part of the Gala was the focus on the history of AsianAmericans and their struggle for education. This group of alumni and current students look out for the wellbeing of each student and I think it is so important to be a part of.

Following this program, the band played the Fight Song as a feeling of pride washed over me. This feeling was due to being included in a community of Asian Americans who support each others endeavors and in a Trojan Family that extends generations.

Now by the end of this blog you might be wondering why the Try Guys was included in this title. Well by attending the APAA Gala, I had the honor of meeting USC alum Eugene Lee Yang. We were able to discuss topics such as his fashion statement to what it means to bean Asian American at USC.

One of the many cool opportunities USC has been able to provide me!