Kara Chu, ‘25

Kara Chu is a freshman majoring in Applied Linguistics with a planned minor in Digital Humanities. She hopes to find ways to apply linguistics in areas such as speech language pathology, occupational therapy, ESL, natural language processing, and computational linguistics.

Kara dedicates her time to preserving Asian American history and speaking up for social justice in solidarity with all underrepresented communities. Her poem about her multicultural identity was selected as the winner of a National Park Service poetry contest and shown on virtual programming with 100,000 viewers worldwide. She enjoys writing articles for the Rafu Shimpo, the largest Japanese American newspaper in the US. She is currently doing research about Japanese American farming history by collecting and displaying personal stories, photographs, and memorabilia from across the country. She also was a guest speaker in a UC Riverside course, where she realized her love for discovering and sharing connections between history and today’s world. Her advocacy for the #stopasianhate movement was featured in the Associated Press, ABC, CBS, NBC, Buzzfeed, and international news outlets.

It is super important to Kara to give back to her school and the broader community. As her high school’s Associated Student Body President, she addressed heightened feelings of loneliness during the pandemic by organizing brand-new virtual events and creating a new school Youtube channel. She recorded a podcast about high school stress which was streamed nationally on Spotify, Apple Music, and KIIS FM by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange County. She also received the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award for volunteering 464 hours this past year. 

At UCLA, she is looking forward to doing research in the linguistics labs, gaining professional experience, studying abroad, and making lots of new friends! She is extremely grateful to Mr. Ehrlich, the Norma J. Ehrlich Scholarship, and the Alumni Association, and she’s so excited to join this group of so many inspirational and impactful women!