“For 200 years America has taught the world how to build things and build them cheaper. We can wait for the standard of living and incomes in these countries to rise so that it’s less expensive to do it here again, or we can evolve to the next stage by building a platform that combines the diligence and tenacity of Asia and the freedom and creativity of America.”
With these words, Rosalynn Carmen, president of the Asian Heritage Society, launched the first of its kind international conference highlighting the San Diego region as an innovative hub and a chance to help turn the economy around.
The conference is called Make It In America, and it will be hosted by U.S. Congressman Scott Peters and San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, from Nov. 19-22, at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.
The initiative behind this major event is the same that culminated in the creation of the Asian Heritage Society’s BOOSTEM program to get middle school girls of Asian and Hispanic descent a head start on meeting the global and technological challenges of the future by combining the spirit of entrepreneurism with an appreciation of science and technology. Ms. Carmen began the program to counter the lack of enrollment – only 2 percent – of girls in college STEM and business programs.
“The irony,”she said, “is by the time they are ready to graduate, they have the highest completion rate of any group. The key is getting them prepared.”
In much the same fashion, that is what Make It In America is all about – preparing for major changes in how we do business by bringing together leaders in government, business, high tech industries and overseas visitors interested in finding out about opportunities in America.
This is only the latest of several innovations Ms. Carmen employed in bringing together various communities – from Asian American to Caucasian, Hispanic and even Native-American.
“I believe strongly in this country, and because of that belief, I want everyone with ability to succeed. If we can help foster that, so be it,” she said.
Ms. Carmen took the cumulative experience of simultaneously producing four radio shows and channeled it into co-founding the first English language pan-Asian publication in Southern California – ASIA, The Journal of Culture & Commerce more than 12 years ago. Under her leadership, the publication received more honors than any other ethnic-centric publication in San Diego, including awards in photography and design, while the Asian Heritage Awards, which she co-founded in 2004, has been recognized by the White House, U.S. Congress, the California Legislature, San Diego County and the City of San Diego/s human Relations Commission as an important force in bringing together the diverse ethnicities that make up the Asian and Asian American communities of San Diego. Her vision for The Asian Heritage Society, which she co-founded with Leonard Novarro, has been a tool for a collaborative gathering of Asian-American talent to benefit all society. In 2011, she created the BOOST-STEM mentorship program as a vehicle to inspire middle school girls to careers in science and technology and how they may combine that with entrepreneurial skills as they prepare for the future in a fast-changing global landscape.
A master practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Design Human Engineering (DHE), Ms. Carmen studied under Dr. Richard Bandler (The International Institute of Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Dr. Tad James to become a certified neuro-linguistic trainer, applying her training in therapeutic knowledge to assist inmates at the California Institution for Men adjust to life after prison.
Helping others create fresh approaches to tackling major issues of the day is what Ms. Carmen believes she does best. One of these issues – and a most challenging one – is the plight of teenage girls stricken with AIDS, which is becoming a major global problem. In 2015, the Asian Heritage Society, under her direction, will launch Renoo’s Ranch, a halfway house on three acres of land, where these young women can go to reclaim their lives and their futures.