Harker School Branch
Hi, my name is Jessica and I grew up in Hong Kong but I now go to the Harker School in California. I am very happy to be able to join IOF because it gives me the opportunity to help others. When I was five years old, my mother began taking me to the activities of the "Fuzhi Charity" school of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association every weekend. This school mainly guides everyone to care about others and do more good deeds. During the time I attended the school, we often went to the beach to pick up trash, delivered food to the nursing home, and sometimes sold stickers by the road to raise money for children from poor families. It has been a very happy thing for me to help others in those years. When the Corona virus broke out in Wuhan in 2020, the number of patients rose rapidly, and the protective materials for the medical staff were seriously lacking, endangering doctors and nurses’ lives. My parents and I raised US$10,000 to buy protective items and donated them to five hospitals in Wuhan as well as Stanford Hospital in California. After entering Harker, I learned that IOF was helping children from poor families as those families could not afford the school fees to send their child to school and so, I decided to join IOF. I hope to use what little power I have to help make their wishes come true. In this world, there are people like me who are fortunate enough to live a good life, but there are also many children who urgently need help. Now I live in the United States. I understand Chinese culture and I am also familiar with American culture. I am like a bridge that connects the two to help others more effectively. My goal is to make more people feel our love and let more children grow up happily! Thank you.
VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
Hi! I'm Alina Yuan. I am lucky enough to have grown up with many privileges and lived comfortably. However, when I traveled to rural China several years ago and heard stories about my parents' childhoods, I was exposed to a new lifestyle. Honestly, I was shocked. Families of five would have to split one apple, and children would only get new clothes during the New Year. Getting a good education was also difficult. This experience was eye-opening for me and since then, I have been extremely interested in helping underprivileged families. prompting me to join such a wonderful organization as the International Outlook Foundation.
VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
Hi! My name is Emily Tan, and I am from the Bay Area, CA. As a Chinese American, I would often visit my extended family in both Beijing and Wuhan as a child, but as our trips grew less and less frequent, I realized how much I had missed that connection to my heritage. When I heard of IOF, I knew I wanted to join immediately, especially for the Outlook Pals program, which allowed me to connect with students my age in China. However, my interest in IOF deepened when I found out about its service work; since half my family originates from rural areas of China, I wanted to give back to similar communities and have been able to do so through IOF. IOF has created so many valuable experiences for me, and I look forward to continuing this work with the team!
I’m Victoria Han, a Chinese American student at The Harker School. Ever since I was little, my dad has taught me to always lend a helping hand to others. Whenever we saw homeless people, he would always hand me some cash and ask me to bring it to them. One time, we saw a homeless woman while on vacation in Las Vegas, but my dad didn’t have any cash on him. We ended up walking all the way back to our hotel in the sweltering Las Vegas heat to fetch some money for her. This vivid memory has always stayed with me, and helping those who don’t have the same opportunities and privileges as me has been ingrained in me since my childhood. When I first heard of International Outlook Foundation, I thought it was the perfect way for me to better society while connecting to my culture and roots. Now, I am thrilled to be a part of this organization and will strive to make a positive impact. I truly hope that we will be able to improve the lives of our fellow students in China.
VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS
My name is Emma Dionne, and I live in Northern California. Growing up, I wasn't really exposed to the Chinese culture, and I started learning Chinese in grade 6. Since then, I have taken Chinese class at my school every year, learning more and more about both the Chinese culture and language. As I got older, my interest in this topic truly piqued. I found the IOF club through my high school, and when I saw the opportunity to bond and get to know a high school student who lived in China as well as improve the lives of rural Chinese students who were less privileged than I am, I jumped on it. I had no idea I could have such a large impact on their lives, and I also was not expecting them to have such a large impact on my own life. Learning about a culture that is so different from my own from children my own age has been so much fun, and I can't wait to continue studying Chinese!
VICE PRESIDENT OF WEB DESIGN
Hi, my name is Michelle! I was born in San Jose, California, and the Bay Area has been my home for my whole life. However, I feel that I have found a second home in China, where I spent several months each summer visiting my relatives when I was younger. I grew up simultaneously in both countries, and China has shaped me and molded my values just as much as the United States. As I became older, I began to realize how drastically different these two cultures were. My parents took me to visit the rural outskirts of a city with my relatives, and I saw how the villagers lived in poverty but were still warm and friendly. Although they didn’t have soft beds or large houses, they kept their resilience and discipline, and the children knew that the only way to better their lives was through education. International Outlook Foundation’s mission resonated strongly with me, so I wanted to help with my own efforts. I hope that we can make an impact on these children’s lives through International Outlook Foundation and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY
Hi, my name is Jessica. Growing up as a Chinese-American in California, I tried to blend in with American society. However, over time, I realized that my indigenous culture is such a beautiful part of my background and now proudly embrace it as a part of myself. I joined IOF hoping to not only learn more about Chinese culture, but to also fundraise for those who are less privileged. I had the most eye-opening experience when I traveled to Malawi in East Africa a couple of years ago. Since my mom had donated money to fund meal bags, we had the opportunity to deliver them into the hands of children. This was one of the most impactful weeks of my life. Knowing that each bag I put into the hands of a child would feed them for a month truly made me realize what I had and what I wanted to do with my future. After that trip, I knew that one of my goals was to help those who are less fortunate. In the coming years, I hope to help these children in China in whatever capacity I can, as a member of the International Outlook Foundation.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY
Hi I’m Ashley! I’ve lived in the Bay Area ever since I was born. Since I was young, my parents have always encouraged me to embrace my Chinese heritage, requiring me to attend Chinese class where I not only learned to read and write the language but also developed an appreciation for the country’s history and culture. When I first heard about the International Outlook Foundation, I was interested in connecting with students my age in China. I also enjoy participating in the cultural lessons for elementary school students in rural China, as I have the opportunity to both practice my speaking skills and brighten the day of children who are less privileged than I am. Seeing the students engaged in the lesson always makes the experience worthwhile. Outside of IOF, I volunteer at a local middle school to run an afterschool science club. There, I realized that I enjoyed interacting with the inquisitive students and seeing each develop their own ideas and interests in STEM. As such, I am excited to have this opportunity to connect with my Chinese heritage and also be a part of an international community to support others.
DIRECTOR OF FUNDRAISING
Hi! My name is Lavanya, and I’m currently a sophomore at The Harker School in California. I was born in the Bay Area, but I moved to Hong Kong at the age of five and ended up living there for four years. Those years were transformative for me: some of my earliest childhood memories are with Chinese people and surrounded by the Chinese culture. Additionally, I’ve been blessed to live extremely well-off my entire life. From a young age, my parents have instilled in me the value of giving and lending a hand to others. I’ve always enjoyed being able to put a smile on others’ faces, in whatever way possible. When I entered high school and encountered International Outlook Foundation, an organization focused on both the Chinese culture and providing resources for those less fortunate, I realized it was the perfect fit for me. As the Director of Fundraising this year, I hope to work with the rest of the officer team and devise innovative fundraising initiatives that will help us raise even more money and resources for the underprivileged in China!
Hi! I’m Vasudha Subramanian. I was born in California, however, a significant part of my childhood was living in Hong Kong for four years. There, I started learning Chinese, and I was able to interact with the Chinese culture more than ever before. Whether it was talking to my Chinese classmates or talking to the Chinese cashier at the grocery store, I was easily able to learn about this wonderful culture around me. When I moved back to the United States, I continued this interest by taking Chinese classes at school, and I am still learning the language to this day. When I heard of the International Outlook Foundation, I was so excited because it was a way for me to connect to children in China and to connect back to my childhood years in Hong Kong. I am looking forward to impacting and bringing joy to so many kids in China, and I also hope to grow individually from these experiences!