Our first SHOW&TELL features Exchange Program founder Terry Cho as he pays homage to his single mother, who moved to the US from South Korea in the late 90s in search of better opportunities for her two children. Terry showcases an image of his mother at her first gig in the states, working alongside her sisters in South Central Los Angeles at Slauson Super Mall swap meets where she sold sports jerseys, blank tees and originating streetwear brands. Terry spent much of his youth helping out at her shop, and for him, this is where it all started.
With all the recent adversity surfacing within Asian American communities, this tee hopes to bring awareness to them in support of AAPI Heritage Month; but even more so, serve as a tribute to his mother for all she has done for her family. Terry wanted to share a positive story, rather than focusing on all the negativity surrounding this topic in the media. All proceeds will be donated to support AAPI communities.
"I don’t even really know where to start because there is so much this woman has done for me. Its almost unbelievable the love she had for me despite all the trouble I put her through. Without my mother, her resilience and tenacity, I would’ve never been able to do what I do and live how I live. All of this is thanks to her… She gave up everything to come here as a single mother and to create a better opportunity for me and that’s why I can’t stand to have all of her efforts diminished so that’s the reason I continue to push and work hard."
"When I was younger and started school in the US, I was picked on and constantly dismissed from social activities because I couldn’t speak English. I never took it to heart really, I just pushed back and pushing back became my way of dealing with obstacles move forward. But as I got older without much guidance from my moms as she was constantly working 2 jobs to keep the food going and no pops around I lost sight of why I even pushed back in the first and became someone who was constantly causing trouble (not to blame anyone but myself). But my Mother, she never lost faith in me, never ever lost love for me. Her patience and time gave me the opportunity to better myself, fix my mistakes and take ownership to become a better person. She always gave me a chance to prove to her but more importantly to prove to myself that I was made for more than what I thought I deserved at the time… I owe at the very least this tribute to her."
- Terry Cho
Founder of Exchange Program