For the first time, this year APARRI welcomed a high school student, Steven Zhang, to our annual conference! Steven presented a paper titled “Second Generation Asian American Christians: Snowballing Towards Ethnic and Racial Heterogeneity.” Steven has created a Youtube vlog about his experiences with researching, writing, and presenting at the conference whose insights are illuminating to young students and established scholars alike. In it, he discusses how his curiosity about why his parents converted to Christianity led him to research and write about the church experiences of second-generation Asian Americans.
About the APARRI conference itself, he says, “I got to meet so many new people, with so many unique perspectives, and some of the people whom I talked with were people that I talked about in my research paper, which was very fascinating and very fun.” While he was initially nervous about presenting his paper as the only high schooler at the conference, he quickly felt reassured by the welcoming and nurturing culture of APARRI: “I feel like everyone was very encouraging but I also believe that everyone was very interested in my work.” We were so happy to have Steven at the conference, and we encourage you to check out his video below! Steven describes his experience at APARRI starting at 26:31.
Steven Zhang, a rising senior at St. Mark’s High School, enjoys conducting hands-on research in the field of ethnic and racial studies. He has worked at Boston University to transcribe a forgotten language and has dived into immigration policy in the realm of Latinx studies at Amherst College. When he’s not interviewing for episodes of his podcast on Asian American experiences, he can be found reading Japanese novels on his favorite rocking chair.