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"Inspirational APIDA individuals in a variety of careers" by Anthony Sharifian


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (1972 -)

Professional WWE Star, glorified actor, producer, and modern-day activist Dwayne “The Rock” has done it all. Growing up half-Samoan, he faced many racial prejudices in his career. Not to mention, struggling with poverty in his childhood made it difficult to succeed. Nonetheless, he was able to persevere through his challenges to become a successful role model and activist.

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Kalpana Chawla, PhD (1962-2003)

Dr. Chawla was the first Indian-American woman to enter space. Specializing in aerospace engineering, she was a mission specialist on the Columbia shuttle STS-107. Unfortunately, when her shuttle disintegrated on re-entry, she along with six others lost their lives in this tragic accident. Dr. Chawla was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and has received many other recognition such as several streets, universities, and institutions being named in her honor.

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Margaret Chung, MD (1889-1959)

Dr. Margaret “Mom” Chung was the first Chinese-American woman to become a physician in the United States. Studying to become a medical missionary, she graduated from the University of Southern California Medical School in 1916. After being denied access to her career path due to racial and sexual discrimination, she founded one of the first Western medical clinics in San Francisco, CA. When the Japanese invaded China during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) she volunteered on the frontlines as a surgeon. Treating over 1,000 soldiers, she gained the reputation as “Mom” and her “adopted sons” consisted of American servicemen who fought in WW2.

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