Sandra Moy-Lai

3rd grade Classroom Teacher, Budlong Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools

First-Generation Influencer

“I would like to dedicate this to my mom.”

- Sandra Moy-Lai

School teacher Sandra Moy-Lai, a first-generation Chinese American, grew up in Chicago with a backyard garden that sustained the family dinner table while instilling a sense of cultural pride.

Today, she enjoys sharing organic vegetables like bok choy, cucumber, cabbage, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli, and green onions with those closest to her. She says her mother, who passed away in August 2020, would be proud to see Sandra and her grandchildren cooking one of her favorite vegetables, bok choy, each week.

Sandra's mother, Siu Ching Moy, with her granddaughters

“Personal health and well-being influences people close to you, which attracts positive behavior and with that you can find fulfillment in life,” Sandra shares. Budlong Elementary School is an example of Sandra’s philosophy in action, where she has worked alongside colleagues and families to earn a spot on Healthier Generation’s list of America’s Healthiest Schools twice, most recently in 2020.

Sandra sees collaboration as the key to creating an inclusive and equitable future. “We are moving in the right direction and everything is looking brighter across the horizon. I can see it at the end of the rainbow.”

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