By: Amy Xiang
ACLP Fundraising Manager Andie Pinga has lived all over the world, but one thing each place has in common is a sense of community. Whether it’s Vietnam, where she spent the majority of her childhood, the Massachusetts boarding school she attended with the motto “not for self,” or her current home in small-town Vermont, where neighbors depend on each other, Andie strives to be part of a purpose greater than herself.
“I'm really grateful to have gotten that kind of exposure growing up. It really opened my worldview and made me curious and open-minded about different cultures around the world,” Andie said.
When it came time for college, Andie knew she wanted a place where she would be free to explore her interests and passions, and, just as importantly, she wanted a diverse community with people from all over the world. Coming to Penn, however, was unexpected.
“I've always wanted to experience living in a city, but I never really considered Penn because I thought it was too pre-professional,” Andie said. “But, once I learned more about the school, I realized that Penn provides so many opportunities to pursue whatever career option that you choose.”
Andie is undecided but considering a major in economics and a minor in either anthropology or sociology. After college, she hopes to work with international development, addressing issues such as food security, education, or gender empowerment in communities abroad.
To pass time in quarantine, Andie has picked up both new and old hobbies. She has been playing the guitar more frequently and has also discovered a love for gardening, adding that her favorite vegetables to grow are cherry tomatoes and eggplants.
Outside of academics, Andie is the co-director of internal affairs for Penn Phillippine Association and a senior deputy for Penn Dems, through which she is involved with a Penn Action Team advocating for education equity funds for Philly public schools. She also designs advertisements for The Daily Pennsylvanian and is a member of the club water polo team.
“In my work with the Penn Action Team, I got to learn more about the public school situation in Philly and the lack of resources provided to students, so I think working with ACLP is a great way to directly support students in their education,” Andie said.
As the fundraising manager, Andie is excited to find ways for the outside community to get involved with ACLP and raise money for the program. What she is looking forward to the most, however, is getting to know the students and creating a welcoming environment for them.
“Something I wish I realized earlier in my life is that spaces to learn about and celebrate your culture are extremely important and you should definitely take advantage of them,” Andie said, adding that she hopes students will see ACLP not only as a college preparatory program, but also as a safe space to discuss their African immigrant experiences.