May Is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Janice Dy is busy. Since graduating from Ashford University, she has fully dedicated herself to helping others live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Janice is a competitive bodybuilder, a web developer, a Marketing Manager for Flex Southeast Asia, and Chief Editor of Asian Bodi, a health and fitness magazine she created with a friend, dedicated to the wellbeing of Asian Americans. Despite being so busy, Janice still found time to share her story with us for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Janice is an Orlando, FL resident, who graduated from Ashford at the age of 30. Her experience in promoting health and wellness in Asian communities, both in the United States and abroad, has provided her valuable insight into the way culture impacts both personal and business interactions. “One of our athletes is Jamaican . . . and he does a lot of promotions for bodybuilding in Asia as well.” Janice shares this information in order to emphasize her point, “You really have to think outside the box . . . how you think isn’t always how others are going to think.” Although much of Janice’s work life revolves around promoting wellness in Asian cultures, her experience with multiculturalism is wide.

Which is not to say that Janice hasn’t experienced her share of difficulties in trying to promote her favorite way to live a healthy, active life. “I find that since bodybuilding is still a new concept, it’s really kind of frowned upon, especially if you’re female.” Despite the challenge of overcoming negative stereotypes, Janice’s unceasing efforts have made her familiar with the joys of breaking down barriers. “Once they accept the idea itself, it becomes explosive. It’s almost like you’re part of a tightknit community that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Janice’s desire to learn has stayed with her after graduating, and her business travels have allowed her to expand her horizons, both personally and professionally. Being open to learning about other cultures has allowed Janice to see a new level of collaboration. “People are much more open to working with you . . . if you take the time to study their culture prior to talking about anything.”

“Being able to connect with another human being means you have to understand where they are coming from.” In her life, Janice has certainly gained plenty of experience when it comes to connecting with others. When asked about the importance of learning about other cultures, Janice’s words are universal. “You really just gain a better understanding of how humans interact with each other.”

To learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Janice recommends researching opportunities to connect with others in your local community.

For more about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, check out the Timeline and Facts & Figures accessible through Diversity Inc.

Written by: Samuel Harvey
Sam is the Content Specialist for the Office of Student Access and Wellness at Ashford University.

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