Running for Miss Taiwanese American 2011 is Sarah Ho, a UCLA alum and full time actress. As Miss Taiwanese American, she will serve as a role model to younger girls through community service and educational activities. Sarah is dedicated to representing the Taiwanese community in TV and film and furthering awareness of Taiwanese issues in the media. She hopes to give voice to the voiceless and act as an ambassador for the Taiwanese people.
Although she was born in America, Sarah deeply loves her home country. She first visited Taiwan when she was ten years old, and immediately fell in love with the people, the culture and the food there. In the summers of 2006 and 2007 she visited Taiwan again to volunteer and teach English at orphanages and low-income schools around the island. While volunteering at Liu Kuei Orphanage (located near Kaohsiung), she experienced Taiwan hospitality, love and selflessness unparalleled. She went to Taiwan intending to serve and give love, but instead received much more than she gave. The people there were so warm and welcoming that she found herself wanting to quit college just to move there!
It was also in 2006 that Sarah got to know her extended family. As the only immigrant family in America, Sarah had no concept of aunts, uncles and cousins prior to visiting Taiwan. To discover that she had a huge network of relatives in Taiwan all waiting to love on her was an amazing revelation! Her relatives took her around the island, from Taipei to Hua Lien to Kaohsiung.
In 2008, she flew back to Taiwan and spent six months interning at Radio Taiwan International (through Taiwan Tech Trek) and studying at National Taiwan University. At Radio Taiwan International, she produced numerous award-winning programs in both English and Chinese. She won 2nd place in RTI’s radio program competition for a English radio program promoting Taiwanese eats and cultures. The program includes an original rap, song and talk show portion and is available upon request.
While studying at NTU, she joined the NTU Choir and became good friends with many natives. Through singing Chinese and Taiwanese songs, eating out and studying with natives, Sarah learned a great deal about Taiwanese culture and language. While studying at NTU, Sarah also tutored English to adults and children and had great cultural exchanges with them. At the end of her stay, she organized NTU’s first international concert to showcase the diversity of culture in NTU’s student body. While studying abroad at NTU, she went with her classmates to Green Island, Taroko Gorge, TaiZhong, and many other amazing places. She also made a trip around the island with her mother during Christmas break, and was able to see where her parents grew up.
By competing in the pageant, she hopes to become more connected to the Taiwanese community in Los Angeles and learn more about Taiwanese culture. Specifically, she hopes to learn to speak Taiwanese better, learn to understand Taiwan’s history and bring to light the unspoken troubles and injustices that have been forced upon the Taiwanese people. Regardless of whether or not she wins the pageant, she plans to give back to the Taiwanese community through community service, education, and mentorship.