Dearest Members of the Class of 2023,
Welcome to Stanford! My name is Ashley Amado, and I am your 2019 Community Coordinator for the Asian American New Student Orientation Committee (AANSOC). I cannot wait to welcome you all to The Farm and the brilliant and diverse Asian & Pacific Islander (API) community that resides here. I remember the surprise and surreal joy I felt when I received my acceptance to Stanford. I also remember nervously wondering about how my life would be here. I was ecstatic yet worried by the prospects of things like new classes and friends. My hometown had little diversity, and moving in to Stanford would be my first opportunity to engage with an organized API community of any sort. Coming from a mixed-race background, I was definitely worried about the idea of needing to be “Asian enough” to fully participate in API groups at Stanford. I always felt like the odd one out as the only Asian kid in my nearly all-white classes, and the fact that I could barely count to ten in Vietnamese made me worried that I would feel like an outsider in the API community as well. Fortunately, I had absolutely nothing to worry about! The API community at Stanford has not only been amazingly welcoming, but a wonderful forum to learn about different languages, traditions, and cultures—including my own.
My experiences with the API community have been immensely positive and impactful. Freshman year I joined the Stanford Vietnamese Student Association as an intern, an opportunity to explore my own culture and join a strong community I had never had before. My friends also roped me into joining a SibFam during NSO through the Asian American Sib program. This was one of the best decisions I made early in my Stanford career, as I was able to become close with fantastic people who I possibly never would have interacted with otherwise. The API community has not only provided me with an amazing support system, but also a way to learn about and appreciate other cultures. Events like Pilipino culture nights, South Asian a cappella performances, Queer and Asian movie screenings, and Taiwanese night markets always manage to bring people from all parts of the community together.
I would like to formally invite all of you to the AANSOC events we have planned during NSO and early fall quarter. A calendar of these events and their descriptions have been included in this packet. AANSOC events are free and open to all students, so please join us and invite any interested new friends you meet along the way! The first 3 events are designed to truly help you understand the different aspects of our community during NSO. I highly recommend signing up to join the AASib Program. SibFams not only connect you to upperclassmen in the API community with similar interests, but also to a group of peers to learn and grow with for years to come. Tenzin Wangdak is the AASib coordinator this year and has also included a written letter onhow to become a Lil Sib!
If you’d like to know more about the API community before arriving, there are plenty of resources to do so. You can explore the A3C website and "like" our Facebook page, or follow us on Instagram "@stanforda3c". I also highly recommend joining our “Stanford API Class of 2023” Facebook group where we will be highlighting resources provided by the A3C and showcasing student leaders within the community. It will also give you a chance to connect with each other as well!
If you are still nervous (I definitely was), there are definitely resources for you to reach out to, and I am one of them! Though the unknown can be stressful, we are here to support you in every way possible. Be sure to take advantage of your resources, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me to ask questions or for anything else at email@example.com. Enjoy the rest of your summer and see you all soon!
B.S. Candidate 2021 | Bioengineering
Asian American New Student Orientation (AANSOC) Coordinator