LEAP Alumnae Profile Sue Yee Chen ’12

Interview by Georgia Robles ‘15

Campus Activities:

Community Diversity Assistant

A Student Resource Person for the Tri-College Multicultural programs

Member of the Asian Students Association.

Field placement off campus at a charter school in Chinatown as part of Education Minor

Praxis III course as a research intern at Research for Action.


What are your long term goals:

My long term goals involve working for education reform – i.e. making progress in giving all youth regardless of race, class, and immigration backgrounds access to quality public education.

What made you decide to do LEAP?

It seemed like a great opportunity to orient myself to the resources available on campus. I was also excited to learn new and refine existing skills I had so that I would have the confidence to lead a group or club.

What are some key lessons you learned during LEAP? (about yourself, leadership, team dynamics, etc)

A lot of the skills I learned in LEAP were applicable outside of ‘leadership’ roles. I used a lot of the lessons I learned from group dynamic and conflict management workshops in my social life. I learned my strengths and my areas for improvement as a leader. Most importantly, I learned the importance of stepping outside my comfort zone and pushing myself to pursue things I would not have felt comfortable doing without the guidance of LEAP.


 Who were you at the beginning of LEAP, and who are you now? (personal development, as well as “LEAP categories” like artist/warrior/ etc).

I was very much an artist, a quiet leader prior to LEAP. Even in high school, I was very shy and preferred to work behind the scenes. I am proud to say that I am much more confident with speaking and taking on a more present role now. In fact, I think that I have learned how to be aware of team dynamics and adapt my own leadership style to different situations (e.g. being the realistic judge when I am working with a team of explorers or being the warrior when no one on a team is taking decisive action).


What is a challenge you faced, and how did you grow from it?

Overcoming my fear of speaking aloud and with people I do not know. It was a gradual process and like I mentioned before, I really pushed myself to step outside my comfort zone to accomplish it.

 How did you figure out what you wanted to get involved in? (campus and career) And what you wanted to major in? Was there a pivotal moment?

After having done the tri-co program as a freshman, I knew I wanted continue social activism. Sociology was a good fit for giving me a foundation to understand the history, complexities, and tacit social systems that exist in the US as well as an academic perspective on how social change can be accomplished. I honed my interests down to education when I took my Intro Ed class (Critical Issues in Education) and was able to see how social inequality operates in tandem with our education system. I realized that there was a lot of work to be done in that field, and those challenges intrigue and excite me. Plus, I enjoy working with youth.

What advice would you give to an underclassman?

Enjoy everything that Bryn Mawr has to offer you socially, academically, and in terms of funding and internship opportunities! This is a very unique experience and you won’t have the convenience of all these things so accessible to you in your aftergrad life.