The North Bay fires had just broken out and within an hour, I was in the epicenter of the destruction. The adrenaline kicked in. From neighborhoods of multi-million dollar homes to mobile home parks, the flames showed no mercy. Fire victims were stumbling through the street, dazed and covered in thick black ash. The air so thick with smoke, it burned your lungs and tears would stream down your face.
Despite the chaos and gut-wrenching sadness, being able to tell their stories was an honor and a privilege and it reminded me of why I got into this crazy TV news business in the first place.
The path to ABC7 News started when I was a small child, and my parents, two immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan wanted me to learn how to speak "proper" English and would sit me in front of the TV to watch ABC's 20/20. Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters were my heroes. It struck me as I got older, maybe I could give others a voice like they did.
Former mentors, starting from my high school TV teacher, Mr. Lewis, to another Mr. Lewis who was, at the time, news director at a station in Hartford, Connecticut helped give me my start as a student reporter.
From there, the business brought me to Springfield, Massachusetts as a bureau reporter, then Kansas City as a weekend and then weekday morning anchor, primary evening anchor/reporter in Charlotte and most recently, main anchor/reporter in Tampa Bay. The journey has taken me from ground zero after hurricanes and tornadoes to broadcasting in a booth next to Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention, and to Hollywood for red carpet TV show premieres. You really never know what your day is going to be like in this business.
While I don't have any personal Emmy awards, I am proud to have been voted "Best Morning Anchor" and "Best TV Personality" by different publications in Kansas City and Charlotte, and then named one of the nation's top 18 leaders under 34 in TV by Broadcast & Cable Magazine. To me, those kinds of acknowledgments mean more than a golden statue.
Having those roles allowed me to pursue community involvement projects, such as developing programs for women's professional groups and students revolving around the theme of laughter, empowerment and being authentic. This is my passion. Using those platforms, sharing my own personal struggles in navigating a very competitive business as a minority woman, I've contributed to the Huffington Post and written a series for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website and signed on last year as an author for Full Circle Literary.
When I'm not on TV, you'll find me with friends exploring all the amazing food available in the Bay Area, traveling around the world and volunteering and acting as an ambassador for the non-profit Best Buddies. My husband, a professional poker player and I are the parents of a Miniature Dachshund named Daphne and a Yorkie named Georgie. Fun Fact: I have a sushi roll named after me at The Cowfish restaurant in Charlotte, Atlanta and inside Universal Studios City Walk...and yes. My parents were big Dionne Warwick fans!
Man punched in the face in brazen attack at San Francisco bus stop
"After he was punched and fell down, the guy said, want to fight, Asian?"
EXCLUSIVE: SF woman narrowly misses attack after senior, teen punched in the head along same street
A 72-year-old and teen girl were attacked in the same way, on the same street earlier this month. Despite just having her eyes dilated at the doctor, the latest almost-victim says she was able to spot the man and dodge his punch.
EXCLUSIVE: Senior citizen, 14-year-old girl punched in head in unprovoked attacks in San Francisco
"I was lucky this time, but maybe next time, maybe I won't be so lucky." A 72-year-old senior was brazenly punched in the head from behind in broad daylight in West Portal neighborhood, days after a 14-year-old girl was also punched and knocked to the ground in the same neighborhood.
SF woman's 15-year-old maltipoo mauled to death by another dog during walk, owner runs off
"There were puncture wounds in his head. I did the best I could." A San Francisco vet is warning dog owners to be aware of both you and your pet's surroundings after her 15-year-old maltipoo was killed after a vicious unprovoked attack by another dog while taking a walk around the city.
Hurtful chant directed at 7-year-old Little Leaguer leads to teachable moment
"This really isn't about blaming children, but ratifying and reconciling why this is offensive to the community."
SF neighborhood jumps in to help senior citizen chasing escaped dog barefoot through streets
"Dogs bring people together": It wasn't just the 70-year-old owner chasing after the dog... Some on foot, some driving, and a hero on a motorcycle all raced to help out their neighbor.
20 Years Later: Family remembers 9/11 hero and Bay Area native, Betty Ong
"It's always so stressful to relive that day and talk about that day. It's hard."
Building bridges: Bay Area teen creates club to tutor refugees from Afghanistan and beyond
"I know it's really hard to come to a place where you don't know the language. You have no friends. No family. If someone just helped them they would have had a better experience and that's what I want to give these kids."
Bay Area Asian Americans organize theater buy-outs to amplify messaging of Disney's 'Shang-Chi'
For Asian Americans, these events are not only a celebration of heritage. They also ensure representation in Hollywood continues.
EXCLUSIVE: Oakland business owner reflects on hate crimes, racially-motivated attacks in Chinatown
"Robberies every week, car break-ins every day. A lot of things (are) changing here," a longtime Oakland business owner told ABC7 News. He says he's never seen anything like this in the last 20 years.
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