Her strict upbringing has made Lina a strong and independent woman. She grew up playing the video game Street Fighter with her three older brothers and it wasn’t long before she was beating all of them. The school counselor has aspirations of becoming a child psychologist and also enjoys helping to run her family’s restaurant.
What is your earliest memory of the fantasy genre? What made you become a fan?
My earliest memory of the fantasy genre was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I remember being in 4th or 5th grade and always rushing home to beat my brother to the Super Nintendo. I remember constantly day dreaming about the Kingdom of Hyrule and wondering if I might have missed anything when I played the night before.
I became a fan of the fantasy genre because I loved that there was another world I could escape to where magic, castles, fairies, and secret weapons were reality. I could spend hours playing Zelda and other video games, forgetting to eat or drink because I was so invested in these fantasy worlds and characters where dreams were reality. If I was angry I could take it out by having Ryu and Ken fight in Street Fighter, if I was happy I could have Mickey easily defeat Emperor Pete to find Pluto in The Magical Quest, and if I was excited I could listen to the music of Rainbow Road while playing Mario Kart.
What’s the craziest thing you've done in the name of fandom?
When I discovered Street Fighter at an early age, Chun-Li was always my fighter of choice. Whenever I played the game, my opponents knew they had to choose someone else. It became an ongoing joke between my friends and my brothers to start calling me Chun-Lina. Instead of being offended, I took it to heart and told everyone at school that my new name was Chun-Lina. I practiced my kicks daily, blue became my favorite color, and I convinced my mom to cut my bangs so I could look more like my hero.
How do you define a "hero"?
A hero never calls him or herself a hero. A hero acts out of goodwill and integrity, not influenced by others but instead influenced by the gratitude of others received unexpectedly in result of words or action made to standup or protect a person, place, or thing.
Who is your real-life hero and why?
My real-life hero is my mother. She is the most selfless person I know. Her unbreakable strength and unconditional love has allowed me to become the woman I am today. She came to America in her early 20s without an understanding of the English language or American culture but adapted in a way that would best suit her future family. She is the reason I believe anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and never ever give up.
Describe yourself in three words.
Empathetic, Committed, and Unpredictable.