Everybody Has a Story: Tracy Dang

Senior%2C+Tracy+Dang.+enjoys+a+day+off+in+Big+Bear+Lake%2C+Calif.+as+a+small+getaway+from+the+stress+of+distance+learning.+

Photo courtesy of Tracy Dang

Senior, Tracy Dang. enjoys a day off in Big Bear Lake, Calif. as a small getaway from the stress of distance learning.

Angelica Hernandez Contreras, Reporter

As the ASB (Associated Student Body) president at Godinez Fundamental High School (GFHS), Division Council Meeting Task Coordinator, Key Club Spirit/Kiwanis Coordinator, and a former tennis athlete, senior Tracy Dang shows her time and effort in everything she does. She maintains a 4.55 GPA and juggles multiple AP classes while managing a huge workload in order to graduate and get into a good college.

Growing up in a large family, consisting of two siblings and 11 cousins, led Dang to experience a lively childhood. 

Dang said it was, “very eventful. I was always with my family and would visit my cousins every Saturday.” She developed strong bonds with her relatives, especially her cousins, which in return gave her lots of support. 

With the city of Santa Ana having an 11.7% population of Asians, one of Dang’s biggest challenges growing up Vietnamese was being a minority among the majority in her school. This led to a self identity crisis. 

“I was forced to go to Vietnamese school and my temple to learn my culture and was almost forced to take Chinese. However, I was able to persuade my mom out of it,” said Dang.

Dang eventually outgrew being in denial of her heritage but, unfortunately, her withdrawal led to a loss of connection with her family and heritage. With efforts to regain it, she began to catch up on learning Vietnamese and Cantonese again. 

This experience, for Dang, “influenced me to become more outspoken about being Asian.” 

Dang’s personal growth of accepting her culture, also led her to no longer being fazed by the stereotypical idea of Asian Americans being a “model minority” as well as the “whiz kids” at school. If she does fit into that stereotype to other people, regardless, she is focusing on powering through her senior year and college applications.

Seeing the accomplishments of her older cousins as well as students outside of GFHS, is what drove Dang to excel in school. 

Dang sees it from this perspective of, “what makes them different from me that I can’t accomplish the same?” 

Throughout Dang’s high school career, she has worked her way up and is now ASB President. 

During her freshman year, she was voted class president for the class of 2021 and again her sophomore year. In her junior year, she stepped down to become the Student Relations Commissioner but bounced back her senior year winning the vote as ASB President. 

For Key Club, Dang joined her sophomore year and got involved with a spirit committee where she has stayed permanently.Her junior and senior year, Dang gained the role of being Spirit/Kiwanis Coordinator while also working at a division level by being the Division Council Meeting Task Coordinator. 

To Dang, however, it’s not the position she holds that matters “because they’re just a title” but instead, to her it is “the impact that [she is] able to make on the school community through [her] positions.” 

Dang has implemented new events at GFHS which include: Kindness Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, and Suicide Prevention Week. These events are making students aware on topics that should be discussed. 

Due to the pandemic and high COVID-19 cases in Orange County and Santa Ana, Dang has also implemented a new system in ASB for the 2020-2021 school year -establishing committees rather than having individual coordinators- in order to continue working efficiently through the pandemic.

Though challenged, Dang continues to keep her head high throughout distance learning for her senior year and remains diligent by coordinating events, attending club meetings, and remaining focused during school, in order to prosper and make the most out of her current situation.

She would like to advise other students to keep their head high as well, and to understand that it is important to keep an open mind: especially during times like these.  

If you piece your heart and mind together, perhaps what you consider “impossible” or “too good to be true,” said Dang, “could truly become plausible.”