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Presence Voices: AAPI Heritage Month

Recently we spoke with Kevin Hui, a technical support analyst with PresenceLearning and a member of the company’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group. He shared his insight on what the current heritage month means to him, and how his heritage shapes how he does his job. Read on for more.

What does Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month mean to you?

I think, as a society, people with AAPI heritage understand that talking about AAPI doesn’t make a change. Action makes that change. We do see an increase of AAPI representation in media with Asian American and Pacific Islander directors and actors—and entertainment media that shows what the culture looks like. There are a lot of animated movies but that’s where we’ve started. We want to start with young kids, with informal education so when they grow up they’ll think, “Oh, yeah—this is the norm.” I think that’s an important part of what AAPI Heritage Month means to me—just talking about it doesn’t make the difference. Action, the slow integration of AAPI heritage, makes that progress. And with that part, I think we are doing a good job as the AAPI community. We know that yes, we can start working on it but we have to start from the young and go out from there. You just have to start to make the necessary change.

How does your Asian Pacific heritage shape how you work on the PresenceLearning team?

At PresenceLearning, our entire mission as a company is to provide special education care for all children. So by default that is helping. Now, if we say, okay, how can we better integrate with AAPI culture? It’s really up to how we actually tailor our service to those groups. One of the first things that we did a few years ago was to tailor some of our instruction in Chinese.

In my culture, we typically assess how well you act, and how well you perform as a person by using your organization as a reference point. How does this shape you? It just shapes you to pay attention as a communal contributor versus as an individual worker. So as a communal contributor, I come in and basically say, because I’m part of the sales tech support team, I do what I can to help providers and customers on a day-to-day basis. I’m more concerned about helping them on their way—including better communication, especially relationship building with the providers and the students—than I am about winning with my personal metrics. I think that mindset helps me to navigate a lot.

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Our series, “PresenceLearning Voices,” capture employee stories that give voice to causes that are important to our employees, to our company, and to moving our country forward. If you’re interested in learning more about the work of PresenceLearning, please schedule a free consultation today. Discover how thousands of school districts are diversifying their delivery of services as part of an innovative approach to special education and mental health services.

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