In addition to serving as one of the two representatives for the Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education on the Associated Students board of directors, Rebekah Wong aspires to impact future students and the education system.
Wong, a first generation college student and fourth-year history major at CSUF, said she knew she wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten.
“The part where it's like ‘When I grow up, I want to be blank’ and I put a teacher, so I literally have always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. And it just stuck with me ever since and I just never gave up on that dream,” Wong said.
Wong draws inspiration from her parents, who have always supported her path to a career in education, she said. Additionally, Wong said her aunt Cynthia Moran, a Chino Hills council member and CSUF alumni is a big role model for her.
“She's like very, very successful, and accomplished everything on her own and with her own hard work. And that's just the type of person that I want to be. I want to be able to make my own path, and kind of just work for what I want on my own,” Wong said.
Wong said she participated in student government in high school, served in her school senate, was vice president for the 2017 class and was president of her leadership class. She hopes to continue helping people with ASI, she said.
“I found the love of just helping other people and wanting to make a difference in the school and it's just nice because that kind of ties along with me wanting to be a teacher just wanting to help our future generation grow,” Wong said.
Wong said that in high school she worked on blood drives, hosted proms and Olympics for students with disabilities, worked with senior citizens and put on canned food drives.
Now as an ASI voting member at CSUF, Wong said she reviews and votes on proposals that get through governance. Wong also sits on the governance, the environmental sustainability committee and the Education InterClub Council.
For Wong, what fulfills her the most is passing proposals that make a difference.
“I didn't realize how much of a difference I can make in this position,” Wong said. “I'm able to really be that voice and like go out there and make a difference.”
Her colleague Maria Linares, chair of the board, said she sees many qualities in Wong. Linares said that Wong is hard working, kind and determined.
“She has a big heart and cares about students,” Linares said in an email to the Daily Titan.
With graduation in May, Wong said she is ready to continue her journey of impacting lives. She said she plans to attend Arizona State University in pursuit of her master’s of education and teaching certificate. Even though she will miss getting food from the farmers market in between classes with friends, Wong said she is eager to take the next step in her life.
Wong eventually plans on earning her doctorate in education in hopes of becoming a principal or superintendent, she said.
When Wong is not busy with school and planning her future, she said she enjoys being out in nature with friends.
Samantha Palafox, a third-year communications major, considers Wong her best friend who instantly connected over their love for soccer.
A perfect day for Wong and Palafox consists of eating Chipotle at the park, where they catch up on each other's lives, they said. Palafox said her fondest memories of Wong are them having heart-to-heart conversations.
Palafox said Wong has many great qualities, but one she admires the most is how sensible Wong is.
“She brings me down back to reality and is like ‘OK, well like let's think about it, let's try this, let's think about it realistically,’ and I just, I'm grateful for that because without her, I would not be as grounded as I am,” Palafox said.
Palafox said she sees Wong becoming a teacher that will aim to make her students feel welcomed and accepted.
“I just see her being an amazing teacher to her students because she will care for them like her own. And I know she's gonna give them the best quality teaching and care that a teacher could ever give. She can do anything that she puts her mind to. I know she’s going to do amazing things,'' Palafox said.