Meilan Xu - Gold Award
School: Westview High School
Category: Teens (11-15)
Meilan is currently 15 years old, and a sophomore at Westview High School, where she has taken on numerous leadership positions. She is a lab leader of Parliamentary Debate for Westview Speech and Debate, one of the largest clubs at Westview with hundreds of members as well as one of the biggest teams in Oregon. Meilan has great passion, qualifying for the OSAA State Championships in her freshman year. Every week, Meilan trains around forty new and returning teammates in her debate event, leading to successful results at tournaments. Additionally, she is secretary of OHSU Science Ambassadors at Westview, a STEM mentorship program focused on teaching science to elementary school kids in an engaging and hands-on way. As a board member, Meilan helps lead meetings and communicates with parents, mentors, kids, and teachers.
Meilan has always been interested in her Chinese culture, and in sharing its beauty with the local community and beyond. Combined with her background in music, dance, arts, and storytelling, she founded the Phoenix Hanfu Team with the Oregon Chinese Coalition earlier this year. In less than a year, they have attended many performance events at the local, regional, and global levels. The hanfu team shares traditional Chinese culture with thousands of audience members from multicultural events at local schools to large scale festivals such as the Salem World Beat Festival and the 2023 Chinese Festival. In addition to her activities with the Phoenix Hanfu Team, she was also an emcee for the event, giving the opening speech to the ceremony and taking TV interviews from KGW News and KOIN6. In 2023, she also had done interviews as part of the Youth Lens Oral History Project, interviewing prominent Chinese Americans in the Portland area.
Meilan has served as a board officer for the Carousel Sherwood Figure Skating Club Junior Board for two consecutive years. She has helped organize national qualifying competitions, local community activities, food drives, and fundraisers.
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 Meilan Xu.