By Louisa Leung 梁林苑萍 (59FA) President 2013-15, QESAAUSA
In 2014, the year of Queen Elizabeth School’s diamond jubilee, the United States chapter of the QES Alumni Association also commemorates its 15th anniversary.
The mission of QESAAUSA is to provide a platform for networking and alliance. We share the same core objectives as QES Old Students' Association in Hong Kong and with other international alumni chapters – to connect and to give back. Our board of directors serves a 2-year term and is elected through member ballots. It coordinates with QES and other alumni chapters on events such as anniversaries, reunions, and scholarship fundraising.
The formation of QESAAUSA was inspired by Dr. Arthur Hinton (QES Principal, 1959–1967) during a well-attended dinner gathering when he visited the San Francisco Bay Area in January, 1999. Nelson Tsang Kim Fai (FA60) was our founding president. From the early days of circulating hard copies of the membership address and phone directory, our mode of communication has evolved alongside the digital revolution, to include email, newsgroup, website and social media. Our 125 life time members are geographically spread over various parts of North America, as well as Asia (Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong) and Europe (France), as the result of relocation. Indeed, our collective story is about mobility in pursuit of opportunities.
There are many reasons behind every individual’s decision to come to the United States after graduating from QES. Waves of emigration from Hong Kong around the time of several major events were coincidental with civic unrest and riots (1960s), imminent handover of Hong Kong sovereignty (1990s), and global financial crisis (2000s). Concerns over quality of life and political freedom pave ways for population migration. The United States have always been a choice destination for those seeking higher education. Scholars from many parts of the world are attracted to the well-reputed universities and diverse academic disciplines.
Opportunities for obtaining scholarships, work-study programs and internships present further incentives for overseas students to establish residency after college graduation. As the young expatriates’ careers begin to take off and as they start families, they are well on their way to achieving the American Dream. The U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantee freedom of expression and of religion, protection of one’s privacy, and lay down the principles of equality. Over time, situations continuously arise to challenge conventional interpretation of individual rights, and resolutions are attempted at federal, state or municipal levels. Privilege of citizenship comes with the responsibilities of loyalty, participation, and law abidance. Americans value home ownership, clean air and water, affordable healthcare, quality education and good recreation facilities. Though individuals may embrace a wide spectrum of political ideologies, everyone treasures efficiency in government. In this country of immigrants, we seize opportunities available to us, and persevere in our efforts to reach our respective goals. While seeking to improve our own livelihood, we also lend helping hands to friends and neighbors.
Our society faces continuous cross currents of ideas, from the coming-of-age of the younger generation, and from new waves of immigrants representing different cultures. The key to equilibrium is empathy and respect for one another’s point of view.
In spite of our years of separation, QESAAUSA members monitor the latest developments of our beloved school back home with keen interest, through our
subscription to news reports and social gathering among members. We celebrate the past and present achievements of our fellow students and the vibrant city that is our childhood
home. At the same time, we acknowledge expressions of dissatisfaction towards establishment as a first step of bringing about positive change.
QESAAUSA members genuinely appreciate the value of the education we received which led us to enormous opportunities and equipped us with skills to make the most of them. We look forward to working closely with our Alma Mater and other alumni associations to serve the greater QES community to the best of our abilities.