Just some ordinary people trying our best for a cause we care about.
Grace is a Chinese-American investment banker, and a recent Cornell grad. Although born in Rockville, MD, she grew up in China under her grandmother’s wing—spending her childhood learning how to make dumplings and binge watching Return of the Pearl Princess—away from her parents who had just immigrated to America. Following her return to the US, Grace remembers going to lively family friend gatherings where everyone would get together at a local Asian restaurant for those quintessential round-table dinners. Just as the round tables on which they were served, these dinner gatherings created a space without divides and connected people as one family. As time passed, family friend parties turned into hotpot and KBBQ feasts with her friends. Her upbringing and background have helped to cultivate the strong attachment she feels to the Asian restaurant community.
Although Grace is normally based in NYC, she has returned to Maryland following the COVID-19 outbreak to be closer to her family during work from home. Through the Woks for Washington initiative, she hopes to reunite with and give back to the Asian restaurant community, which has helped shape her childhood, while supporting front-line workers and the folks in her community who need the most support.
Cathleen Shi is a Chinese-American middle schooler who was born and raised in Rockville, MD. Growing up, her parents put a strong emphasis on learning about and understanding her identity as a Chinese-American. Ever since she remembers, she has attended a local Saturday Chinese school, where she not only learned the Chinese language, but was also introduced to the country’s rich culture. She spent her childhood listening to her grandpa’s narrations of Journey to the West while eating homemade bao. Each birthday was marked by that essential bowl of longevity noodles. Each Thanksgiving has left a warm memory of family friends gathered around an array of Western and Asian dishes, ranging from turkey and mashed potatoes to roast Peking duck.
Learning about her roots while growing up in the US has helped her to find her place within the Asian American community. Through Woks for Washington, Cathleen hopes to preserve the wide range of Asian cuisine available in our community, so that many more people will be able to experience and enjoy this facet of Asian culture.
Kimberly is a business analyst in the DC metro area who has also lived in Seattle and Los Angeles prior to going to college. Growing up, her family always placed an emphasis on keeping in touch with your roots and often went to the Chinatown in the area to grab some dim sum or roast duck. Through Woks for Washington, she hopes to give back to the Asian restaurant community and the healthcare community, both of whom have supported her in more ways than one.
Catherine is a marketing and advertising young professional from Boston, MA. Her childhood was characterized by celebrating Asian culture through food. At Chinese school, she took cooking as her afternoon activity, and she often played pretend restaurant with her mom’s homemade cooking. During high school and college, she continued to honor Asian culture within the community by organizing multiple Lunar New Year events. Through Woks for Washington, she hopes to continue giving back to the Asian community and use her passion for marketing to bring this grassroots initiative to life.
Fundraising & Volunteer Engagement
Winnie is a program coordinator with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, supporting clinical education outreach across the country, and a recent Cornell graduate. Her passion lies in engaging folks in giving back to the community through creative and impactful means in issues pertaining to health and food security. The daughter and granddaughter of Chinese immigrants, one of whom worked for years in Asian restaurants, Winnie has more recently begun to deeply explore her connection to her roots and family through food and cooking. Especially as she navigates her identity and place in the wider Asian American community, she has always seen food as a rich reflection of culture and history, and as an ultimate reflection of care and compassion. She is excited to bring her coordination and logistics skills to Woks for Washington in an effort to do her part in preserving the Asian restaurant community and essential workers that have kept the nation going through tough times.
Donor & Media Outreach
Aditya is an internal auditor and a recent Cornell grad, who is currently based in New York City. He grew up in Mumbai during his childhood years. In his time spent in both cities, Aditya has frequented Asian restaurants, which have always provided him with enjoyable and fulfilling dining experiences, which have allowed him to strengthen ties with both family and friends. In addition, he has close ties to the healthcare community, due his parents both being doctors. In this time of the COVID-19 outbreak, Aditya hopes he can provide support and give back to the Asian restaurant community and the healthcare community, which have both served as welcoming spaces for him.