It's here! The day where tens of thousands of hopeful applicants have their dreams dashed, while a lucky few experience probably the best day yet of their young lives.
For those who feel rejected and dejected - I'm sorry. The odds were stacked against you from the beginning. Use the experience as an opportunity to fuel your ambition. You have the best years of your life just ahead of you, and no matter where you go I know that you will grow.
The Los Angeles Times published a very interesting Op-Ed two days ago:
Pretty timely from them, right?! And now timely of us to piggy-back with a blog post.
Some interesting thoughts in the article:
"Asian Americans are more likely than other groups to believe that attending an elite university — and preferably an Ivy League one — is a necessary step to a successful career."
That statement rings so true to me. Through my involvement with ACE: NextGen I've often thought about the general disparity and apathy among different Asian American groups. Unlike other minority groups, we just don't care to move and act as a voting block. The one thing that binds us is our shared value of education. As a group, I would venture to say that Asian Americans care more about education than any other minority.
"There is at least one clear reason for the emphasis on prestige: Elite credentials are seen as a safeguard against discrimination in the labor market."
Asians, discriminated against? Say it ain't so!
"White men and women are twice as likely as Asians to hold executive positions. And while white women are breaking through the glass ceiling, Asian women are not."
Oh. Well, that sucks.
"Asians are often viewed as smart, diligent, focused, quiet and technically competent — traits that make them desirable employees, but not desirable leaders."
Philosophically, I think a lot of the stereotype stems from a broad and abstract differences in how the two cultures - Occidental and Oriental - view the world. Much of eastern philosophy stems from the idea that we are part of a greater whole, that time is cyclical, and we are just one small part of the vast universe.
Western philosophy on the other hand dictates the importance of the individual, imposing a theory of the universe as solveable as opposed to ultimately unknowable.
Asian Americans and other two culture kids have the unique opportunity to experience and rectify both points of view. And maybe, just maybe, that should be seen as an advantage?
"But our research also indicates that Asian Americans are less likely than white and black Americans to engage in civic activity, which is strongly correlated with corporate leadership."
Totally true, and why Breakthrough has decided to start a Civics program.
It's hard to change broad cultural stereotypes. Understanding, education, and action. We at Breakthrough employ all three to train our students, the majority of whom are Asian American, to prepare them for a better future, and to hopefully one day tear down that bamboo ceiling.