By Teagan Verreux (Gamma Pi, University of Tampa)
I am a proud member of the AAPI community, and despite feeling ashamed multiple times as a child for being Asian, along with hearing the many stereotypes that come along with it, I love being Thai and that my sisters support me no matter what. My cultural values have definitely shaped me as the person I am today, and a big part of this comes from my mother. My mother is the most kind, generous and hard-working person I know. She has always taught me the most important virtues of Buddhism, which include being generous, kind, compassionate and patient. She loves to give back and strongly believes in karma: what you do to others will reflect how you are as a person, and if you do good, good things will happen for you. She also loves to give to others whether it’s gift giving, cooking a meal for them or taking them somewhere special. I believe that I am such an emotional and empathetic person due to what she has taught me growing up as a Thai woman. Even when someone made fun of her Asian accent, she would not respond negatively and just put a smile on her face even though that is a good reason to feel upset. I could not have asked for a better role model.
I am also a proud member of Alpha Chi Omega and thankful that my chapter helps break the sorority stereotype by recognizing the diversity of our members and standing up for what is right. Starting off, I was drawn to Alpha Chi’s philanthropy and how open and kind the women were during recruitment. I knew from the start that this is where I wanted to be and was ecstatic when I found out I received a bid. Alpha Chi and my sisters have been nothing but supportive and welcoming since I have joined, and I could not have asked for a better environment. Our chapter is very diverse and encourages all to join. We have a great diversity board that always sends us emails in regard to standing up and being informed on what is currently happening in our society today; I was shocked in a good way when they emailed about Stop Asian Hate and what we could in order to help. I am so glad that I am a part of an organization that makes me feel included.