“Mission: Possible” focuses on our volunteers, without whom our mission of creating a hunger-free community would be impossible!
This month, we chatted with Stephanie Wong, Miss Asian North America 2018. Stephanie works in tech, speaks at conferences, and volunteers with many nonprofit organizations including Second Harvest. We wanted to learn more about her!
Stephanie, tell us about yourself.
Hi! I’m Stephanie Wong! I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I went to school at UCLA and now I work in tech. My hobbies include different types of dance. I have been doing ballet for over 10 years! I also practice other styles such as competitive hip hop, aerial dance and Brazilian Samba. I am Miss Asian North America 2018 and am excited to partner with many organizations in our community through this role.
Tell us about your Miss Asian North America pageant experience. How did you feel after winning?
The Miss Asian North America pageant’s mission is to provide a platform to promote leadership, cultural awareness, healthy living, and education among young Asian American women throughout North America. This scholarship-based pageant hopes to elevate Asian American culture by showcasing the delegates’ personal and humanitarian goals as well as their overall essence of intellect, talent, and beauty.
The event takes place in Las Vegas and is made possible thanks to awesome volunteers, sponsors, and local businesses. I have known the founder of the pageant for a few years now. We both have been crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. I held the role in 2016, and Miss Asian North America’s founder, Annie, won the title a few years earlier. I was excited that Annie had started her own organization, and it was a huge honor for me to win!
I had a great time meeting so many talented women with different life stories. I also loved performing Brazilian Samba on stage.
My platform is women in tech, and this is a cause I am really passionate about. I want to encourage equal opportunities for women in tech, especially in upper-management. I have attended many women in tech events and seen so much talent, but this skill is not being rewarded in the industry.
What inspired you to volunteer with Second Harvest?
I used to work at Oracle and one of our offsite team-building events took place at Second Harvest’s San Carlos center. We organized canned food and in just a couple hours, we went through more than 3,000 cans. The Second Harvest staff was very friendly, the instructions were very clear and I loved that they took the time to explain the impact our volunteering would make.
I had such a great time that I decided to come back on my own. When I came to the Cypress location in August in San Jose, we sorted corn and made boxes!
Volunteering at Second Harvest is easy-going and has a lasting impact, so I encourage everyone to do it!
Why do you believe it’s important to fight hunger?
Hunger is a silent pandemic affecting so many people in our community, even here in Silicon Valley. It goes hand in hand with my platform of women in tech: not having nutritious food will affect children’s educations, preventing them from reaching their full potential.
I believe it’s important to give back if you’re able to do it. Volunteering teaches you compassion and it’s a great feeling to help someone else. Come to Second Harvest – they’ll welcome you with open arms!