Ashley Chang '10 is one of 170 student ambassadors at the U.S.A. Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in China. The world’s fair attracts as many as 500,000 visitors a day, 35,000 of whom visit the U.S.A. Pavilion. Over 6 million guests have entered the pavilion this year. For many of them, their trip to the pavilion is the first time they will interact with Americans, and Chang says she is frequently asked about her ethnicity: "I am Chinese, Filipino and American. The Chinese just aren't familiar with that concept. It's great to be able to educate people about what life is like at home and the diversity of America."
Chang beat out over 700 applicants for her opportunity to represent the United Sates. Her job includes welcoming visitors and working in the entertainment office. She has recently greeted former President Jimmy Carter and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Still, she insists she likes talking with regular visitors: "A Chinese teenager came up to me and asked me to sign a copy of his favorite book, 'The Audacity of Hope,' by [President] Obama," she said. "It was very touching and made me proud to be a student ambassador at the U.S.A. Pavilion."
The six-month expo runs through Oct. 31. This year the theme is "Better City—Better Life." More than 150 countries are represented.
At Hamilton, Chang participated in Untitled @ Large, Habitat for Humanity, VITA Tax Preparers Programs, and Social Justice Initiative and was captain of the Finesse Step Team. She worked as a lifeguard, an administrative assistant at the Athletics office, and a lab consultant at the library.
By Briana Wagner '13