Using the tools of journalism and storytelling – including a national award-winning podcast – Amanda has been confronting the impacts of racism.
Amanda vividly recalls her first encounter with racism, outside a school building in 2020: “teasing and giggles from a group of tall and tough students that came with the comment: ‘that group of Asian girls probably has Coronavirus.’ In an effort to hide my hurt, I began unconsciously shaking as my tears were trying to escape out of me. Similar teasing persisted in the days and weeks to come, but nothing hurt me more than having Asian peers attacking me with the same disturbing kind of comment.”
Her teachers have taken notice of her determination. One of them wrote: “Her podcast recounting the racial slurs she and her friends experienced at the start of the pandemic was beautiful and heart-wrenching; her documentary-in-progress conducting interviews with Asian classmates and teachers on their experiences in the American school system (and the overlooked struggles of Asian Americans) is ambitious and captivating.” As the documentary progressed, the theme of it shifted from Asian Americans' experience with the education system to highlighting the overlooked struggles of Asian Americans. That earlier podcast, called “Masked Kids” and put together by a group calling themselves the Dragon Kids, won a national NPR contest for student podcasts.
Amanda’s work as a fledgling documentarian has not interfered with her academic work at School of the Future High School, where she is sixth in a class of 100. She has increased her average every year, going from a 96.5% in ninth grade to 97.5% in tenth grade and close to 100% in her junior year.
Amanda plans to study communications in college, because “I want to become the voice of those that can't find their position in this world. I aspire to convey their vulnerabilities through stories that will assist in raising awareness and significance.”
Many thanks to Lawrie Mifflin's pod for supporting Amanda through her college journey.