Yue Zhang

Age: 20

Education: Bellevue College, Associate in Business, 2018

SU Major: Accounting, 2020

Service:

  • Administrative Assistant, King County Downtown Public Health Center, 2018–Present

  • Tutor, Business Study Center, Bellevue College, 2017–2018

  • Tech Hub Rover, Bellevue College Library, 2017–2018

  • Volunteer Tax Preparer, United Way, 2016–2018

Awards/Honors:

  • Messina Scholar, Seattle University, 2018–2019

  • Alfie Scholar, Seattle University

Goals:

After gaining my Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in Accounting, I will go to graduate school to receive further education in accounting and work hard to become a Certified Public Accountant. One of my long-term goals is applying my knowledge of three languages and accounting skills to help low-income or immigrant families to gain more financial stability through tax help or providing financial advice and by supporting small businesses with financial assessments that help them grow.

Civility:

To me, people who behave with civility treat others with politeness, kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness; seek and promote justice in the society; and contribute to the well-being of the world. I used to think civility equaled politeness while politeness is only a part of civility. Civil people always respect others, never judge others, think in other people’s shoes, and treat others in ways that people would like to be treated. They highly value justice. When they notice any injustice in the society, they will point it out and fight for justice. They always have other people’s and society’s well-being in mind. They also care about animals and the environment. They contribute their knowledge and invest their time and energy to make the world be a better place to live. With their attitude and actions, they inspire others to do the same.

Autobiography:

Born and raised in China, I was always surrounded by my loving family and friends. As my family valued education and my parents both graduated from college, I always try my best to excel in schools and earn at least a master’s degree. When I immigrated to the United States, life seemed hard as there were so many changes and challenges. Almost all of my loved ones are in China, so I felt sad and lonely. Luckily, I still have my mom with me, who always shows me her love and support. Due to my limited English skills, I had a hard time expressing myself and understanding others. I still remember how people could not understand what I was talking about when I spelled my name. Despite of all those intimidating experiences, I took a public speaking class, worked hard to practice my English skills every day, and became more comfortable talking to other people.

Even though I had been a leader in many ways in my life, it did not occur to me that I should be a leader when I first immigrated to the United States as I am part of a minority. However, the longer I have stayed in the U.S., the more I witnessed unfair treatment that the minorities received. I came to realize that people of different ethnicities are underrepresented in this country and our communities need leaders from diverse backgrounds to contribute to solving problems with their unique experience and knowledge. I can give back to the communities in more effective ways with good leadership skills. Since then, I have tried to practice my leadership skills in any opportunities I could get. I started by stepping out of my comfort zone and talked to more people. I have volunteered as a tax preparer in the past two years. Half of the low-income families and individuals that I have helped to prepare their tax returns were from China. It is difficult for immigrants with limited English to prepare their own tax return. This volunteering experience made me want to become a bilingual accountant to help low-income families gain more financial stability. I also became team leader in my business classes’ projects. Unlike what I did in most of my business classes, I did not volunteer as the team leader in a multicultural business consulting class as I was the most inexperienced and lacked marketing knowledge when we had to work with a real business and present in front of more than 130 people. Encouraged by my instructor, I became the team leader after our former team leader stepped down and one teammate dropped the class. At that time, our group was behind schedule and needed to work in a new direction that we believed would yield better results for the company. I worked a lot, checked in with my instructor, teammates, and our Rotary Club mentors regularly, and motivated and helped my teammates when they needed. To my great joy, we received high praise for our presentation and final report. And since our group consulted for a book publishing company which aims to promote food literacy, I knew more about the poverty, nutrition, and environmental problems and how difficult it is for minorities to succeed in business. And I have been finding ways to solve them since then.

Advice:

The advice I would like to give the future Alfies is always stay positive. After all these years, I found that positive attitude is contagious in a good way. If you approach others with a positive attitude, they will also think positively and be more open-minded. Then we can work hard together and get positive outcomes. Being positive also means that you will be more likely to work hard and seize opportunities. You never know if you can do it unless you try. For example, I hesitated to apply for the Alfie Scholarship as I thought I was not good enough to be accepted. But then I thought positively: “What if l get accepted? Even if I am not accepted, it would be a great opportunity to learn how to write those essays and interview.” I applied and was accepted to this amazing program. Therefore, we should always stay positive.

What it means to be an Alfie Scholar:

As an Alfie Scholar, I know that I will learn more about civility, social justice, and leadership skills and have support from my Alfie family, which will enable me to excel in my academic journey and career. I am sure that because I work as hard as I can, I will achieve my goal of becoming an accountant and a leader who gives back to the program and communities by helping people with diverse backgrounds with all the skills I have. All the Alfies will support one another and make our communities better places to live in.