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TSN Talks with Vivian Wu

Vivian Wu is a rising senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, CA. She has always been interested in using her abilities to help out the greater global community, therefore she joined MUN, CCA’s Conservatory for the Humanities, and Speech and Debate (policy debater) to hone her critical thinking skills and increase her awareness of global issues. As a student, she believes that the most powerful way we can create change is to spread our curiosity and knowledge to others, especially those who are not given the same educational opportunities as us. And as an Asian-American whose parents have immigrated to the U.S., she is an advocate for cultural acceptance and diversity. Since she is also passionate about STEM, she joined service organizations such as Casa de Amistad and Project Aquascope to serve her community. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she has continually strived to make change, from creating a website that helped hundreds of elementary schoolers and parents find resources and activities to founding a STEM summer program that raised $5600 for front-line hospitals. This goes to show how any youth, as long as they’re passionate and motivated, can make a difference! Visit Project Aquascope at https://www.projectaquascope.org/ Q1. When and how did you get to know about the SDGs? Ans. So it has been a long story. It actually began in middle school. I remember in one of our classes, we watched a documentary about poverty and then in there, they were talking about the UN and how they have been developing these organisations like SDGs and having these different sustainable goals. So that got me very excited and that was actually my first introduction to MUNs and then, later on, I went on this trip to China. I got to visit one of the UN offices and I thought that it was so cool and over there we talked about the UN in China. I actually find it very cool how different parts of the world are connected and how it’s so international! That is where I realised how the SDGs really connected people. So that’s why I continued Model UN in high school and got involved with speaking and debate. So it’s been a long journey! [laughs] Q2. Which is your most favourite SDG? Ans. So my personal favourite would be Quality Education because I think it’s the root to the other SDGs. Let’s say, for example, No Poverty is a really huge problem. And it’s caused mainly because of lack of opportunities. So when the parents are not educated, their children are often not made familiar with the need for education and the cycle just goes on!! Q3. Do you think that the current global leaders are not doing enough to combat Climate Change and situations of environmental crisis? Ans. Okay, so current leaders! So the one I am most familiar with is our President- Donald Trump. I do not think that he is doing a great job. For him, climate change is a hoax and he is all about business cause he was a businessman so he has biases. So he just want s to adhere to his own beliefs like the Paris Agreement issue, etc. are all vindictive of how he really places us-the citizens. He doesn’t really care about the environment and such issues and the fact that he is the President of the US which is a very important global leader is a very negative image and a very bad role model. I think that a lot of the real change is occurring through non-governmental organisations and youth movements much more than these people. Q5. Has Climate Change harmed your lifestyle particularly? Ans. Yes, that is a very interesting question because that is how I got into environmentalism. Like I often go back to China because I have a lot of relatives there. So in elementary school when we went there, we didn’t have to wear these masks, the air pollution wasn’t that bad. But the second time I went was in middle school, we had to wear masks sometimes. And then I went again in 10th grade and we had to wear it like every single day. So even in just my lifespan, that change is like WOAH! And when I came back to California, I was like wow! This is so fresh and like we’ve been taking these things for granted. So it’s like only in these short trips, probably in less than a decade of my life, the environment is changing it super rapidly. And it is very different for people who are experiencing it very much and those who are not. Another thing was around the forest fires. So there was this one time, I did not even know that there was a big forest fire near. I was at school so I didn’t get to read the news, while coming back, I felt like my skin was just cracking. Like I didn’t know what! I was just like, this is so weird. It literally hurt and everything burnt on my skin and then my breathing was really shallow and my throat got so dry! And later when I found out that it was the forest fire, which wasn’t even that close, LA and San Diego are still pretty apart so I couldn’t imagine the state of the people who were actually in LA. So like with these things, when you really experience it, you realise how important climate is! Q6. Do you think that there is some progress towards ‘Sustainable Fashion’ or are we still in the phase where many people believe in ‘One-Time Wears’? Ans. That is a very interesting question, so the fashion industry- like the models especially, they wear clothes just once and they never look at it again and nobody knows where these clothes go! And it’s so similar for performers because often their costumes don’t get used again! And the most important part of conserving our resources is that we should reuse things that we can reuse. Not just create them because they look good or feel good. And like for now, I think that there is a lot that has to be done! Q7. Whom do you look up to, to living a better sustainable life? Ans. So this is going to be cliche but, my Mom! She is my role model in so many spheres of life. So Project Aquascope is about Environmental Sustainability, Greater Accessibility to STEM Education, and Youth Leadership Empowerment and she fits in all three pillars! She’s a woman, obviously, and she went in the field of STEM where she faced a lot of discrimination and hardships. And she came from China, got all her allowances and expenses herself and I am literally so blessed because of her! She may not be a super big activist but she does what every individual ought to do and if we do it, we can make a change! So she is the one individual who inspires me every day! SDG This or That

  1. Life on Land or Economic Growth – Life on Land

  2. Zero Hunger or Responsible Consumption Responsible Consumption

  3. Quality Education or Clean Water – Quality Education

  4. Good Health or Peace Peace

Favourites

  1. Pianist Lang Lang

  2. Part of the job as a team member of Aquascope Outreach and Interacting with people like you!

  3. Genre Classical Music

  4. Cuisine Szechuan cuisine

  5. Place you want to Visit Japan!