Student of the Week: Alvina Hsiao


Reilly Smith

Senior Alvina Hsiao has participated in ten La Salle theater productions since her freshman year.

Mia Kritzer, Assistant Editor

Senior Alvina Hsiao has certainly made the most of her time at La Salle, balancing AP Calculus, AP  English 4, AP Government, and AP Biology all this year.  

For Hsiao, acting has been an outlet for her to explore her artistic side, and to gain more confidence in herself. She has participated in six plays and four musicals since her freshman year. “[Theater] is a really good place to be and it did help a lot with [my] mental health and realizing my own self worth,” she said. 

Her sophomore year, Hsiao landed her breakout role as “Kate” in La Salle’s take on Legally Blonde. She described the experience as fun, yet frustrating at times due to the role’s demand for fast paced dance and choreography. “I didn’t have a background in dance in general, so that was difficult for me to catch on,” she said. 

In addition to major school theater productions, Hsiao has been a member of La Salle’s advanced acting program since her junior year. She was cast in advanced acting productions such as “Noises Off'” and this year’s “Deathtrap,” which recently closed its shows. 

In December, Hsiao was cast as part of the ensemble for the upcoming La Salle adaptation of “Les Misérables.” When she didn’t get the role she desired, Hsiao was initially disappointed. However, she overcame this emotional obstacle by realizing that her acting abilities were not dependent on the part that she didn’t get. “I mean you kind of get over it, because you’re [just] going to hurt yourself more,” she said. “You continue to be sad and it’s okay to do that, but [I know] at some point [that] I have to move on.”

Currently, Hsiao is focusing her attention on auditioning for Clackamas Community College’s production of  “Spring Awakening,an adapted play that is set in Germany during the 1890s.

As well as her immense involvement with theater, Hsiao has also dedicated a great deal of her time to outdoor school. She has attended three sessions as a counselor. “It’s very different when you’re a [camper] because you’re surrounded by love and you always feel validated,” she said. 

After her first session as a counselor concluded, Hsiao recalled the fulfillment she felt after forging a connection with a young Vietnamese student, who she had served as a role model for. “I just thought, well, I want to continue to be a role model for other Asian students as [I am] an Asian person myself,” Hsiao said. 

Earlier this school year, Hsiao had the opportunity to attend the Montana Blackfeet reservation immersion trip, which she described as eye opening. “I knew the injustices and discrimination that Native American people face,” she said. “It was really sad to see the things that the kids had to go through, especially since they’re kids.” 

According to Hsiao, areas for growth at La Salle include cultivating diversity and better handling racism within the school. “I know it’s kind of been changing, but it’s still disheartening to see other students [having to] experience that,” she said. 

Hsiao also remarked on how she feels La Salle could work on providing more mental health resources for students. “It’s a commonality for so many students to feel wrapped up in their grades,” she said. “We put [in] so much suffering. What do you think that says [about] what needs to change?”

She emphasized how coping with her mental health struggles has been a challenge that she has had to overcome since the beginning of high school. “I think I’ve become more happy and content with my life,” she said. “I mean sure it’s not perfect, but also [I’m] able to address my own issues, [and] my own trauma.”

As for life beyond La Salle, Hsiao has her hopes set on New York University. She is contemplating pursuing a double major in economics and finance, or drama.