Winner; Metamorphosis by KyeongJun Yang
Julie Chen was 12 years old when she immigrated to the US from China. Her parents were gymnasts, who divorced when she was four. After they separated, Julie’s mother moved to America to coach gymnastics, while Julie remained with her father. At that time her name was Shiqi Chen. In the years that followed Julie’s mother remarried and started a new family in the US. In 2007 her father decided to send her to the States, telling her, “there will be a better environment for you in America.” This was the last moment she shared with him.
From that point onwards, Shiqi was known as Julie Chen.
In America, there have been hardships to endure, and there have been times when Julie has felt homesick. Unlike some of her Asian friends who were born and raised in the States, the US does not feel like home to her. But missing home is a privilege she cannot afford, as there is no longer a home for her in China. ‘I am too Chinese to be American, and too American to be Chinese,’ she suggests.