Danielle Wong speaks: Passion, brilliance and what we talk about when we talk about young people of color

Every year, ThreeSixty Journalism, a nonprofit program at University of St. Thomas for young, journalists, designates an exceptional participant as that year’s ThreeSixty Scholar. That person receives a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to study journalism and communication at St. Thomas. This year, that honor goes to Danielle Wong, a 17-year-old high school graduate from Lakeville.

People do occasionally ask her – and her parents – how she does it.

“Definitely not by myself,” she said.

Wong insists that she’s met countless people who have taken their time to help her. But the motivation, the drive, the passion – that’s all her.

“My parents have never been the ones to push me to do something I don’t want to do – except learn Chinese,” she said.

Most people who know or have worked with Wong will talk about how young she is. She recently turned 17, but she’s already planning for her freshman year at St. Thomas, excelling at a summer internship with ThreeSixty and writing for Tommiemedia, St. Thomas’ campus news source. Most students studying journalism at St. Thomas will have to wait for their junior or senior year for the same honor. She also blogs and occasionally acts for Mu Performing Arts, a theater company that produces performances from the Asian American experience. Continue Reading

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Taking a class with Cow Tipping Press was the first time Rob Bergerson had ever tried his hand at poetry–let alone read it aloud—which he did, at one of Cow Tipping Press’s public reading events. The reason he’d never done these things before was not, he said, because he didn’t think he could do them. He could. It was simply because until then, he hadn’t had an outlet. Continue Reading