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Katherine Chong

The ASCEND Framework

Katherine Chong is currently a Grade 10 student at Choate School, and she is passionate about gender equality, artistic freedom and socio-economics. She is the Founder of ASCEND Framework, and through her current engagements in psychology, economics and cultural studies, she aims to lead systems change aligned with her life goals. 

Her family instilled in her is the desire to help and contribute to the lives of others. When she was young, she fantasized about her future careers or occupations, her parents always nudged her to think first and foremost about how she can bring value to other people’s lives. Therefore, she learned to be motivated by intrinsic rather than extrinsic significance behind pursuits.

Katherine is fascinated by how and why we do the things we do. She enjoys learning about the patterns of behavior in humans and the rest of society. She views the social sciences as an intersection of subjects she is interested in – such as psychology, economics, and cultural studies. As Katheirne creates art that aims to reach and inspire individuals, she likes to employ her knowledge on these topics to leave a lasting impact on her audience. For example, through learning about history, Katherine saw how the identities of nations and individuals are constructed upon our memories of the past. What interests her is how records, artifacts, and narratives are changed or manipulated as they are passed on. Through reflecting on history, she thinks we can identify the source of our beliefs today and correct what was wronged. Katherine also believes writing is an invaluable means of communication, it helps Katherine find clarity in her thoughts in ways that are different from other mediums. Every minute decision made on the message or style of the language is a reflection of the writer. She treats writing as a sort of ruminating exercise that helps her center and focus her goals. 

From a personal perspective, she believes that youth usually possesses a rare kind of optimism and energy, and to harness this, she created the ASCEND framework to guide her actions as well as those in her generation. The framework kicks off with Activism: Taking action to bring change. Second is Sincerity: Pursuing paths that are true to oneself. Third is Creativity: Approaching ideas with artistry and vision. Next is Empathy: Cultivating bridges between people who are different. Fifth is Nuance: Recognizing that reality is not a false binary. Last but not least, the final is Diversity: Engaging with a wide variety of perspectives.

Looking ahead, Katherine has a few activities planned to enrich her personal development and heal the world. She aims to further engage with Telluride Association - TASS-AOS to collaborate with other youths in seeking change and equality, RISD Pre-College to dedicate time for exploration and creation, as well as Stanford Humanities Institute to pursue intersectional academic freedom.

Katherine Chong: TeamMember
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