Mayor Pro Tem, City of Eastvale
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PUBLIC SERVICE?
From an early age, public service has been part of Jocelyn Yow’s life and a source of growth and inspiration. Growing up, her family has always emphasized the importance of giving back through community service. Her parents would encourage her to join different service organizations such as the Lions Club and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. She later became involved in advocacy while attending Norco College. She continued that work by representing her peers at large as student body president. During her tenure as the student body president, she realized she was able to continue serving the public and advancing public interests through advocacy work, which later inspired her to run for city council in 2018.
WHAT ARE THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES FACING AAPI WOMEN IN PUBLIC SERVICE?
AAPI women have to face both the bamboo ceiling and the glass ceiling in public service. The model minority myth overshadows the obstacles AAPI women, especially Southeast Asian women, face in their career and in public service. Here in California, we see AAPI women elected at local levels; however, we currently have only one AAPI woman serving in the state legislature. We need to continue building a pipeline for AAPI women in order to break both the glass and bamboo ceilings and to ensure representation.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR AAPI GIRLS AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE?
“This space was not designed for people like us. This field is white male-dominated, and has been controlled by those who are wealthy for the longest time. But if we do not fight for a seat at the table, we will continue to be on the menu. Once you get to where you are, always remember to uplift others like us. We need to make sure that our voices are being heard and that we are visible.”
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
My parents are my inspiration. My mother and her family escaped Vietnam during the war, left her hometown and traveled to a refugee camp in Malaysia. After spending approximately a year at the refugee camp, some of them were resettled in Philadelphia while others were resettled in Europe. My mom had to rebuild their entire lives here in the United States. My dad grew up in a small village in Malaysia and was the first in his town to come to the United States to pursue a better education and a better future. Their work ethic, persistence, and resilience continue to inspire me everyday.