Tiffany Wong


Golden Women Book Scholarship Winner

Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Computer Information Systems.

California State University, Los Angeles

Why continuing an education is so important to her:

“One inspirational quote I came across during my lifetime inspired me to consider pursuing a college education. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia (1892-1975) “The key for the betterment and completeness of modern living is education.” As opposed to the uneducated person, someone educated will be able to express themselves on issues. It pays to pursue higher education because you would be more in control of your own future, rather than being subjected to someone else.

I can still vividly recall my four year old self-wading through a sea of people, holding my mother’s hand. I asked my mom, “Why are we here?” She answered, “To work for a better future.” When my family first entered the United States, my whole family, including my extended family lived in Chinatown. We were crammed into an apartment for shelter. There were three rooms. One, which was the family restroom, which would have to be constantly cleaned or else a foul odor envelops the building. The men (my uncles, my grandfather, etc.) slept on the living room's cold hard wooden floor. The women (my aunts, my mother, my grandmother, etc.) would sleep in the bedroom. The bedroom and living room were about the same size. Our meals consist of a slice of bread for breakfast, and simple home cooked dishes such as congee, and washed vegetables. When the sky began to grow dark, my cousins and I were encouraged to go to bed early especially in the winter. If we had to stay up late, we would all gather and shared an oil lamp.

My aunt barely managed to find my relatives a job at an onion company. The owner agreed to pay them and other undocumented workers 50 cents per box of peeled onions. They worked outside under the baking sun. They came home bathed in smudgy soil, their eyes bloody red, possibly from all the onions, and their skin became tanner. They came home as almost broken bodies. Sometimes they said the owner doesn’t keep his end of the bargain and paid them less. They couldn’t reason with him or sue him. His words were law. He could break his promises but in no way was it the same for my relatives. Those who opposed him received harsher punishments.

Despite being a child back then, having seen their physical conditions, I wished, longingly, that when I grew up, I would be able to find some way to make life better for my family. Education is a transformative tool that empowers the individual, particularly minorities to communicate with others in a civil manner, sympathize with those who experience discrimination based on sex, gender, orientation, ethnicity, race, nationality and/or color and strive to bring equality for the entire nation.”

Tiffany proudly supports:

CollegeXpress; where their mission is to be the light in the dark for students as they navigate through college and beyond. As a selected student writer, she helps current and future students in achieving their goals and eases their doubts in their pursuit towards higher education. Tiffany writes articles about aspects of the college experience such as finding ways to alleviate financial stress.

University Times (CSULA Newspaper): Tiffany writes articles for the CSULA campus ranging from current events to other interests that students may have. She also attends the weekly news budgeting meeting and engages in discussions with other contributors, listening and suggesting ideas of what may potentially make good stories. On selected days, I would volunteer to distribute newspapers by hand and go on morning deliveries, carrying newspaper bundles and replacing old ones with the latest edition. I also ask students, faculty, and staff for any feedback they may have for University Times.

Tiffany’s community work includes:

Garvey Medical Center: Tiffany volunteered assisting the staff with administrative work. She enjoyed interacting with patients and addressing their concerns and directing them to the right resources.

Tag Away Graffiti (T.A.G): Tiffany learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration skills such as notifying the team rather than just reporting to the team leader on graffiti

Operation Christmas Child: Christmas Shoebox Project: Tiffany donated old empty shoeboxes and school supplies (pencils, erasers, notepads), assisted in unloading truckloads of shoeboxes and wrapped shoeboxes and stuffing them with goodies and toys.

Tiffany, what does the term “Golden Women” mean to you?

“I remember from general chemistry that the symbol of gold Au is the Greek word "aurum" which means the color of sunshine. This represents the unique inner beauty of each and every woman. After taking a Pan-African Studies class and a general sociology class, I realize many women do not see the inner beauty that they possess. Entertainment media in America has subjected women into a bind. Women are judged more harshly on their outer appearance, particularly valued for their bodies rather than their abilities. A Golden Woman knows that she is beautiful inside because of what she has achieved. She is confident that there will be people out there who will see her inner sunshine.”

Tiffany, describe something that is plaguing young women today and explain what can be done to turn it around? What can you do to help?

“Media has negatively bombarded young women on what it means for them to feel and be beautiful. Rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Jay Z have perpetually reinforced a negative portrayal of women through misogynistic songs. Women in these songs are seen and defined as nothing more than scantily clad "hoes and bitches" who is only good for giving men genital pleasure. In addition, there is lack of adequate role models women and young girls can go to because the majority of rappers are male.

There are a few songs out there, which bring awareness to this problem. The lyrics in Lupe Fiasco's rap song "Bitch Bad" effectively explains how the word "bitch" has a double meaning and how young girls do not see an actress paid to emphasize her body figure but rather, a way to impress boys and men. There should be more songs like this. Unfortunately, most rappers still continue to devalue the worth of women.

As a writer for CollegeXpress, I will use this opportunity to write articles about how women can support each other and get an education and continue to fight for equality. With the knowledge of Computer Information Systems, I hope to one day build a site where women can be a community and support each other through their journey.”