Diana Ding, Rotary Club of Cupertino, California, USA. Photo by Jesse Goff
Growing up in China’s remote Qinghai province, Diana Ding remembers when her neighbors first got a television set. She told her father that she wanted to be the person who talked in that box. While working as an English teacher, she won the chance do that through a speech contest sponsored by a local station, and hosted a weekly talk show for a year and a half.
After moving to California with her Chinese American husband, Wesley Zhang, Ding found her niche producing and hosting Chinese-language programs in Silicon Valley, and in 2009, she founded Ding Ding TV, a Chinese-language Internet TV station.
“Western media do not always understand Chinese culture,” Ding explains. “I hope that we can introduce Chinese culture to America and American culture to China.”
Ding encountered Rotary when her station covered a fall festival sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cupertino. Despite a hectic schedule, she began attending meetings and found that Rotary was the perfect antidote to her busy life.
“You find peace for the soul, because you see people who always want to give,” she says. “It’s a big family.”