Erik Liang - Gold Award
School: Tigard High School
Category: Young Adults (16-25)
Erik Liang, a senior at Tigard High School, like all children of Chinese parents, fights the good fight to make his parents proud. From being a level-10 gymnast competing on a national level, to hitting the piano keys in a Lang Lang kind of way, Erik fulfills the stereotypical role that we Asian families all know so well. But more importantly, Erik has slowly come to terms with why his parents push him like so, and why he now pushes himself. It’s these Chinese standards that will help prepare him for the real world, a world that is not nearly as understanding or forgiving, a world where personal hard work and grit are the two tools you only need.
While Erik would like to believe that his personality, his kindness, and his incredible League of Legend skills would be enough, he is also encouraged to highlight a few other accomplishments to help readers get to know him, just a little better.
Firstly, Erik is involved in the Chinese community’s cultural events, mainly the community drum team, where Erik was supposedly a young, Asian, Neil Peart while performing at the first Chinese Festival in the Summer of 2019, and the Spring Festival in January 2020.
During shelter-in-place, Erik, the founder of the Finance Club of Tigard High, was involved in promoting financial literacy in his community. He also assembled a team, competed in the National Economics Challenge, won the Oregon State Championship, and finished top 20 nationally, all while doing so in his bedroom.
Did he mention he also interns at FinMango, a non-profit dedicated to teaching high school students about the importance of compounding interest? At FinMango, he gets to work directly with the CEO to digitize and globalize a financial literacy curriculum. In May 2020, Erik and his FinMango teammates across the world (North America, Asia, and Africa) organized a FinMango EXTRAVAGANZA, a global financial inclusion conference. This straight 24-hour Zoom party (a WORLD RECORD on ZOOM) consisted of keynotes, workshops, and panels from speakers around the world. Erik was the graphic designer for the event and led marketing efforts on social media as well. Over 750 people attended and over 300,000 people were reached through social media.
Oregon Chinese Coalition is proud to join the President of the United States in recognizing the volunteers who consistently take the time to make a difference in the lives of others. Therefore, it is a great honor to present the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) to Erik Liang.