Xiangan He is a first-generation Chinese immigrant, who came to the United States and started to learn English at the age of 7. Since his arrival, he has lived in the neighborhood of East Boston in a family of 4.
Despite his inability to speak English, Xiangan became eagerly involved with service at the young age of 11 at his local community with helping younger kids with all types of homework and managing children’s behavior. He leveraged his knowledge of Mandarin to benefit his family by removing language barriers as a translator: facilitating conversations and answering inquiries from medical or real-estate personnel. These humble beginnings helped Xiangan develop a passion for serving his community.
When Xiangan entered Latin School, the combination of his enthusiasm for classical studies and for serving the student body encouraged him to pursue more significant involvement. He reached out to organizations to leverage the huge amount of people in his club for community service, as well as building connections between inter-state communities with his heavy involvement in the academic competition “Certamen”. Xiangan’s curiosity and dedication to cultural and linguistic studies then led him to become the President of the German Club, where he organized numerous, sometimes school-wide cultural showcase events to promote representation of the German community at his school. Xiangan was also tasked with the role of a student leader in Latin School starting in the 10th grade, 2 years before the role was conventionally offered to students. He still continues to serve in the role of student leader today!
In 11th grade, after having received the Christian A. Herter Scholarship for his strong academic promise, Xiangan wanted to give back to the state of Massachusetts, starting with the neighborhood where he spent his childhood. He leveraged his introduction to State Rep. Madaro to secure an internship working under him to serve East Boston. Xiangan was primarily tasked with writing letters to constituents and organizations in East Boston to establish public relations. Through the internship, Xiangan became even more encouraged to serve his community, which led him to attend and help to set up as many events as possible, including the annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Xiangan also became introduced to the Ward Fellowship: an opportunity set to inspire participants toward a role in public service while deepening their insight on the Massachusetts government. Xiangan applied immediately.
This summer, Xiangan will be working under MSBA Director Jack McCarthy. He wishes to gain more knowledge about all facets of government and public service to gain pathways to get more involved in public service in the future.