Ava Gong


2022 Contestant #3

Hello :) My name is Ava Gong. My family immigrated from China in the late 80s and although I was born and raised in the south side of Chicago, I am grateful to have learned and retained conversational Cantonese and Taishanese.

I studied theater at Occidental College and minor courses in education. In my junior year, I taught a theater class to 5th graders in a lower income neighborhood of Los Angeles. When the students all focused and worked together, they created such a genuine and beautiful scene. I hope to create a program specialized for young people to work together to tell their stories. The goal of this program is for kids to develop healthy coping mechanisms, focusing on kids from immigrant families and low income areas.

As the eldest of three and the first to graduate college in my immediate family, I understand that communication is not always the easiest, especially when parents have to work to support their household, language barriers, and cultural differences between immigrant parents and Americanized children. Regardless of their support at home, I want to provide a space for these youth to turn their frustrations into art.

Theater promotes public speaking skills, writing skills, collaboration, and physical health. Acting gave me the tools to become a confident individual and I want to share these tools with the younger generation. Especially with the growing demand for Asian representation, we need to encourage future Asian American writers, actors, producers, and more. Thank you for supporting this pageant which truly empowers Asian American Women!