As a first-generation Southeast Asian college graduate, I have benefited from the teachers, professors, and advisors who supported me both academically and mentally. During my time at VAYLA-NO as a community organizer, I worked with two other staff members to create and implement an intensive six-week course on research methodologies, political history, and organizing for youths ages 13 to 18. This experience helped me understand that having a reciprocal relationship with students builds trust, facilitates dialogues that are crucial to learning, and encourages honest feedback. Consequently, I center mentorship and empowerment in my pedagogical philosophy. Years later, I joined College Track as a college advisory leader and taught workshops to help high school students navigate issues of financial aid.
In the classroom and during office hours, I view each student as a unique individual with unique educational needs. For example, as a teaching assistant for Global Cultures and Society, I gave 90 students one-on-one feedback for their final essays each quarter. Nothing made me happier than seeing students grow over the course of the class and become better critical thinkers and writers.
Starting fall of 2017, I joined the CC2PHD (Community College to Ph.D.) Association as a graduate mentor, working with community college students, guiding their research project, and providing feedback on materials pertinent to their transfer to a four-year school.