International Women’s Day: A time to commemorate the contributions of women throughout history
March celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, a time to commemorate the contributions of women throughout history.
Asian Avenue highlights Asian American young women who are making a difference in their schools and communities!
Alexandra Yao Age: 9 | Denver
Alexandra, who is in 3rd grade, loves classi- cal music and has played the piano since she was 4 and the violin since she was 7. She loves performing and has done so at many senior and nursing homes. She received her black belt in tae kwon do when she turned 7.
Alexandra is learning Chinese through Colorado Chinese Language School in Washington Park and loves learning the language as well as more about her Chinese heritage. She loves participating in community service projects and last year, ran a water bottle donation drive benefiting individuals experiencing homeless- ness at the St. Francis Center in Denver. She was able to get 600 bottles donated!
After having encountered racism as a result of COVID, Alexandra is working with her mom to create a nonprofit organization and podcast helping educate and empower kids to work together as one community to stand up against racism, hate, and bullying. They hope to launch the nonprofit by the end of this year. Alexandra hopes to finish reading at least 50 Newberry books by the end of 3rd grade. She would like to be a lawyer and maybe even a judge someday. She admires Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she advocated for equal rights for women, immigrants, and people of color.
Sophie Liu Age: 13 | Centennia
Sophie is in 8th grade. She was born in Dal- las, Texas and raised in Centennial, Colo. She loves visual and performing arts, and has been playing the piano and going to art classes since she was 6. She has per- formed in many different dance techniques for the majority of her life, including ballet, tap, Chinese folk dance, rhythmic gymnastics, and jazz. With a love for performing, she enjoys providing performances for senior and nursing homes and participating in regional competitions.
Sophie would like to be a dance instructor or an interior designer in the future. She also loves to write her own stories, each time improving her skills even more than before.
Sophie is a part of a nonprofit organization, ACUVA, that raises funds and promotes initiatives to serve the people who need them most. ACUVA has donated over $21,000 and will continue to assist for many years to come. She helps create flyers and posters for events.
She admires Laura Zeng because of her creativity, determination, and dedication to her sport (rhythmic gymnastics). Sophie is very grateful for the freedom and rights that all women deserve and worked hard to earn.
Emma Chou Age: 6 | Highlands Ranch
0-year-olds Alli and Adri are identical twins, born only a minute apart. They love writing and reading stories together. They write as a way to express their voice and imagination, and their writing is usually about family, friendship and hope. In 2018, Alli and Adri entered the Story Bakers and won with their story about two twin bunnies, along with Alli’s own story, which was about three bears going to the end of the rainbow. Their stories were select- ed to be read and performed at the Children’s Festival of Stories.
The twins enjoy playing classical music on Sissel, a freshman in high school, loves to play musical instruments and has been playing Guzheng (a Chinese traditional instrument), since she was five the piano, and improvising music. They are currently writing music and composing a song as a gift for their parents’ wedding anniversary. With a love of animals, they want to be veterinarians one day and to rescue and care for animals in danger. They love riding horses and hope to own a stable with a lot of horses and puppies living with them.
With everything that has been going on in the world, Alli and Adri have gained a new perspective on life. They want the world to become a better place, where people support and respect each other and everyone lives in peace and happiness. They think everyone needs to work together as a community, no matter what their skin color is. That’s why they have helped their parents put baskets of essential items together to give to people in need in their community. They both donated their hair to Locks of Love to help children who are suffering from long term or permanent medical hair loss. They hope that one day people will realize that everyone should be treated equally. For now, they do what they can to speak out for their classmates who are more shy and quiet. They continue to write stories in hopes of standing up against bullying, as they deliver an uplifting, positive message about family, friendship and equality in their writing.
Sissel Wu Age: 15 | Denver
Sissel, a freshman in high school, loves to play musical instruments and has been playing Guzheng (a Chinese traditional instrument), since she was five years old. In the fourth grade, she started learning the flute. She now plays the flute in her high school’s marching band and symphonic band. At the age of 12, she began playing the Chinese flute. Music is very im- portant in her life, and she turns to music to relieve her stress and to relax.
She also enjoys teaching children Chinese on weekends and volunteers to teach stu- dents about four hours on weekends. “I am very proud because I can hear the students begin speaking fluently in Chinese,” she said.
In the few years she has been in the U.S. she has often participated in performances to share about Chinese culture. She joined the Denver Kunming Sister Cities Chinese New Year Committee to share a cultural exchange between the US and China. She also volunteers for the Red Cross and helps with homeless groups.
In the future, she hopes to be a doctor or anesthetist, so she can help people who are ill to get rid of their pain and recover quickly. She also feels it is a way for her to contribute to society. “When I help people, I feel very proud and happy. Helping people is very important to me,” she said.
LiAn Song Age: 16 | Highlands Ranch
LiAn is in the class of 2023 at Mountain Vis- ta High School in Highlands Ranch. She has loved to draw since she was 5 years old. She has played cello for six years and plays in the Denver Young Artists Orchestra’s Conservatory.
At school, she participates in Technolo- gy Student Association (TSA), Colorado TSA Community Outreach Committee, DECA (for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs), and Coding Club.
She is involved with Great Wall Chinese Academy, both as a volunteer beginner’s art teacher and as a student. She is also in the art department on Youth Creates Team, primarily focusing on designing graphics. In the future, she wants to find a job in which she can both help others and herself in various ways.
An issue that is important to LiAn is the deeply integrated racism and xenophobia against people of all races. “There are too many instances of people casually throwing around racial slurs or making hateful and xenophobic jokes that go unnoticed,” she said. She hopes to stand up with others against racism to put an end to the hate among different groups of people.
Although she is unsure which career path she will go down in the future, she knows she wants to educate people and bring more love into the world.
Something LiAn loves about being a woman is the community. “It’s really reassuring to know that the community of women in society will always have each other’s backs. It’s truly something to be cherished,” she said.
Sai Allareddy Age: 15 | aurora
Sai is a sophomore in high school, and she is currently involved in swimming, orchestra, speech and debate, and she does a lot of volunteering. Sai is on the swim team at her high school, and although the season has been cut short, she has been making the most out of the time she has. She also par- takes in the highest level orchestra (Chamber Orchestra) at her school and has been play- ing the violin separately for 6 and a half years.
Her favorite extracurricular is speech and debate, where she is a part of the Lincoln-Douglas debate circuit. Sai, along with some of her friends additionally started a nonprofit organization, called Money for a Miracle, where they have raised hundreds of dollars so far to support impoverished schools, and they also held a donation drive to make COVID-19 support baskets for the homeless in Denver. They were inspired by seeing those who are not as fortunate as they are, and they want to try to help make a change in the public education system in Colorado, and hopefully, some other places as well. She has also volunteered over a hundred hours since the beginning of high school, at the Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Hospital, the library, and more.
After high school, Sai hopes to major in biology, with a minor in clinical psychology, and go to medical school. Her career goals are to partake in the field of medicine, whether it be as a doctor or a surgeon or a scientist. She really wants to make a change in the world, especially through healthcare and education, and help those who are not as fortunate as she is.
Lux Aimi Umetani
Age: 7 | Denver
Lux is a first grader at Academia Sandoval, which is a dual language Montessori in Den- ver Public Schools. She is becoming bilingual in English and Spanish. Before the pandemic, Lux was taking hula dance lessons and learning how to play taiko, which are Japanese drums.
She started karate six months ago and is currently an orange belt. This school year she started participating in Girl Scouts. She is now a Daisy and is learning all about entrepreneurship with the cookie sale program. Her troop is also planning a take action project to help at an animal shelter. She lives in Denver with her parents and two “crazy little brothers.”
Lux also goes to the Denver Buddhist Temple and participates in the Dharma school. She enjoys ski- ing, ice skating and swimming. In the future, she would like to be a veterinarian because of her love for animals and medicine. “I would like to do something that helps people or animals,” she says. “I want to make it is easier to find vaccines so we don’t have to go through another pandemic like the coronavirus again.”
Lastly, she loves being a girl because she gets to wear dresses and make-up.