Southeast Asian family with five kids and two women stands in front of beach. Most smile into the camera, others aren't ready.

As a child of refugee parents, my parents barely spoke English. We weren’t rich. My family of Asians weren’t the model minorities.

What does that mean? My parents didn’t have the capacity to be a part of my education.

What does that mean? I was barely able to read when I was in 3rd grade. I had a speech impediment growing up, which made speaking uncomfortable. People around me thought I was slow, stupid and didn’t think I would go far in life.

At one point, I was assessed for a delayed learning disability, but I didn’t have the financial means to get further testing and get the proper resources needed.

What does that mean? I almost fell behind. I had to bust my ass off harder than everyone in the room my whole life. Today, I have a Master’s Degree. Soon, I’ll be a Nurse Practitioner.

Anyone who wants to see my resume, and all my personal accomplishments, I’d be happy to show you in private, in hopes to inspired you with my awesome journey.

With that being said, My point in this is, I’ve done most of this without support because there were a lack of resources (financial or educational) available. Asian American & Pacific Islander families are also marginalized.

But imagine, with support, how someone else who grew up in a marginalized family, could get the proper support (mentorship, financial or educational) they need. Imagine all how far that person could go? If someone as simple as me was able to come this far from behind?

What’s the first step? Data and Awareness. Just a little bit more to go. TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO READ AND SIGN PLEASE.

Want to share your story about why data disaggregation is important to you? Tweet @18MilionRising.org with #AllCaliforniansCount.