This is all true: 1) Diana Chao is a 19-year-old Chinese-American immigrant; 2) She grew up in California and currently studies physics at Princeton University; 3) She spent a lot of her life confused.
Growing up in an English tongue-tied family, she found herself working at a young age (12-hour labor shifts on weekends > gym membership, hands down). Then the confusion set in. She fell temporarily blind multiple times due to uveitis, yet pursued photography nonetheless. Her stubbornness about elevating POC stories to the fine art industry led to features by Vogue Italia, Adobe and Redbubble. To date, Diana has exhibited to over 75,000 people. She received a publishing deal for fantasy fiction at the age of 13, was recognized by the U.S. Navy for her research on dengue virus when she was 16 years old, and researched for NASA with a feature at the American Astronomical Society conference by the time she was 18 years old. She directed marketing for a business with over 1 million online hits a week while simultaneously throwing herself to the philanthropy world by founding Letters to Strangers (L2S) in 10th grade. L2S is a youth-run mental health organization that has impacted over 27,000 people on four continents. A Coca-Cola Scholar, Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader and (self-proclaimed) karaoke-fu champion, Diana was honored by President Obama as 2016’s sole female Academic U.S. Presidential Scholar from California.
So maybe #3 isn’t true. She just took some detours to realize who she really was. A storyteller. A believer in the human connection. Ready to create change—together.