Chloe Choe, 20’s
Current Role: Software Engineer & Writer
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
Tell us about your family story.
My father immigrated to the United States when he was in college while my mom immigrated after college. Both my parents are extremely hard working and successful in what they do.
I was born and raised in the Seattle metropolitan area and my parents have always instilled a sense of culture in me ever since I was born. I have a younger brother who is currently a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and deployed in South Korea. Growing up, my parents always taught me to value education, health, and family.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Korean-American?
Being a second generation Korean-American gives you the best of both worlds. You grow up knowing the ins and outs of American culture, yet you are taught to actively practice and acknowledge your Asian American heritage. Sometimes it comes with challenges, such as being categorized by certain stereotypes or being judged by others around you for your culture, values, or educational level. However, I feel like it's important to embrace our heritage and be proud of where we come from because of the hard work that our ancestors put in to be where we are today.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment would be that I moved to Orange County, California after spending almost my entire life in Seattle. It has been my mom's dream to live in Orange County and because I found a job here, she was able to transfer her job and transition comfortably in an area she had no knowledge about.
This stems from a larger accomplishment that I'm proud of, and that's being proactive in everything that I do. If I want something and I put my mind to it, I will achieve it. This included getting internships, receiving scholarships, and living in cities all across the country. I 100% credit that mindset to my parents, as they always told me I could achieve anything I wanted to do.
Reflecting on how you grew up, what did you learn or appreciate from your family?
My father always taught me to keep my education as my top priority, while my mom taught me to build good relationships and focus on my health. As I grew up, I came to realize that because my parents instilled these values in me, they became the core of who I am today. I appreciate how my parents made me study when I didn't want to, didn't buy me junk food when I wanted to snack, and made me exercise in the early mornings when I didn't want to wake up.
I was taught that strong relationships with friends and family should be a number one priority and I always strive to be a better friend and family member to everyone. As a kid, I really didn't know how valuable these habits and lessons were but I definitely would be a different person if my parents didn't raise me the way that they had. And for that, I am very grateful.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
I am fluent in Korean and this is because my parents rigorously taught me when I was a child. My parents would read me two Korean story books and one English story book every night before I went to sleep when I was younger. Because of this, when I started preschool, I actually didn't know how to speak English! I talked with my Korean friend in class but we would always remind each other to speak English.
I grew to pick up English quickly because of constant exposure in school but I always switched over to Korean at home. I talk and text to my parents in Korean and went to Korean school when I was younger as well. Knowing my family's native language opened lots of doors for me to connect with the culture in a way I couldn't effectively do without the language.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in your Korean-American community?
Value your family and your heritage. Many of us and our families in the United States are currently first or second generation immigrants and it's important for us to understand that our ancestors will have cultural differences, language barriers, and generational gaps that we have to help them through.
Family should be a number one priority and it's important to keep them close and show them that they are valued and loved, while being patient and teaching them things they may need help with.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
I get the greatest joy in life when I achieve my goals or see other people achieve their goals. I've tutored and mentored students since I was in seventh grade and nothing beats seeing someone get excited when they finally understand something or jump around in joy because of an acceptance to college or an internship. I love helping people achieve milestones in their path of life in any way that I can.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
I currently run a blog about personal finance at Off Hour Hustle. I cover everything from credit cards, investing, side gigs, and passive income! Personal finance has always been a big passion of mine since I was young and I find fun in learning more ways to earn and grow money as well as sharing that knowledge to the community. Check it out!
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
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