“Model Minority”

Many Asian American students face enormous pressure in school, much of it related to parental pressure, as well as stereotyping by others that they are the “model minority”.

Growing up, my parents were very strict on my older siblings. They always pressured them to do well and they actually did do well. However, after my brother dropped out of high school, everything changed. My parents realized that pressure only causes stress and makes us unhappy. They heard a story about a boy who used to always submit to his parents’ wishes and expectations. He turned out to be extremely successful, but ultimately suffered from depression and committed suicide.

A few months ago, my older sister and I sat down with our mother and discussed the topic of “success”. We tried to help her understand that “success” and “happiness” do not necessarily follow with wealth. Life isn’t about having all the money in the world. I believe that as long as we do something that makes us happy, we are already successful.

Oanh Nguyen, Parcel 24 Youth


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