Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Cindy Ryu’s “Reaching for the American Dream” video makes White House top 20

OLYMPIA—When the White House asked Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to tell their stories in a nationwide video challenge, state Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-Shoreline) wanted to share her experiences as a Korean-American who is pursuing the American dream and working  as a state lawmaker to help others achieve their dreams.


The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders recently announced that Ryu’s “Reaching for the American Dream” video has been selected as one of only 20 semi-finalists in the national “What’s your story?” challenge, which gathered hundreds of videos from across the United States.


“I am deeply honored to be a semi-finalist in the White House challenge,” said Ryu. “My experiences in Shoreline and the 32nd Legislative District show that America is still the land of opportunity. I think it is important for people, especially young people, to appreciate the blessings we enjoy as Americans, because we must all work together to preserve the American dream for future generations.”


The three-minute video notes that when Ryu was elected mayor of Shoreline she became the first Korean-American woman to be elected mayor of a city in the United States. She is also the first Korean-American woman to serve in the Washington State Legislature.


Ryu arrived in the United States on Christmas Eve, 1969.


“Coming to America was the best Christmas present my dad and my mom ever gave us,” Ryu says in a speech to the House of Representatives which is quoted in the video.


A group of judges will review the top 20 videos and select 10 that will appear on the White House web site. The public will then be invited to vote for their favorite videos, and the top winners of that voting will be invited to share their stories in person at the White House.

Rep. Cindy Ryu’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yH7YJyNDEg

“What’s your story?” challenge page: https://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/whatsyourstory