Model Breakers

Breaking Through Stereotypes
And Embracing Your Authenticity

LivingOS Workshop Host

“Charlene’s personal narrative workshop is an amazing journey from the “why’s” that form the basis of our perceptions and values to how to show up as the best authentic version of ourselves.  32 aspiring undergrads – women and men of color, experienced it at the 2021 Leadership Academy in Tech. Got amazing comments ranging from – “it helped me brainstorm my values and find out why it is important or useful to myself and the people around me,” to “she looked like someone who I can talk to about my life, so I think I participated more than usual.” Many doors were opened in the minds of our students – all the more remarkable, given that it all happened in just a 1-hour workshop!”

— Rati Thanawala, Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

Read the book and want more?

Charlene has taught the authentic storytelling technique to 4,000+ Googlers over interactive workshops & fireside (NPS of 96). In 60 minutes, you will learn:

・How to identify your core values
・How to understand how others perceive you

・How to redefine and break the stereotypes
・How to share your story with people that matter

We'd love to help your team tell authentic stories for work & life.

“Wang weaves a forceful case for asserting identity, with her deep empathy and understanding of where we are and where we can go.”

—— Chi Hua Yang, chairman of Din Tai Fung
“Model Breakers confronts the tough questions of identity and stereotypes with insightful research, deliberate exercises, and compelling personal experiences. The future belongs to model breakers, and Wang has written an important playbook to help us embrace our full potential in life.”

— Laura Huang, professor at Harvard Business School and international best selling author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage
“Model Breakers is an important guide for overcoming debilitating stereotypes on your journey to living out your truest self. Rich and full, it teaches with stories from Charlene Wang's own experience. It delivers on the most important message one can hear: We are not alone.”

— Jerry Colonna, author of Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up
“A brave book about the Asian American experience and Charlene’s personal journey to understand, and to break out of the straightjacket of the Model Minority myth. There are many insights here about family, careers and how it feels when your success is defined by others, and demanded by all. These insights are painfully earned and rarely shared. A timely, liberating story full of uncomfortable truths.”

— Khanh Nguyen, vice president at Google
"A beautiful and profound read on what it means to be Asian in America. Model Breakers uses compelling real-world examples to show the how and why we need to embrace who we are and speak up for our communities."

— Tiffany Yu, founder & CEO, Diversability
"Blending together insights from the scholarly literature with Charlene's and personal experiences, this book is a must read for everyone interested in understanding the Asian American experience at this critical moment of our history."

— Richard M. Locke, provost of Brown University

What makes Model Breakers so powerful?

“I started making more connections between where I’ve come from and where I’m going. I’ve had trouble before finding common throughlines in my experiences, but the questions she asked helped me to know myself better.” — Z, Student at UMass Amherst

“Thank you for sharing with TOPPA, absolutely love it! I’m especially inspired by your perspectives of stereotypes, your experiences of speaking up and I love your tip about reframing weakness to strength.” — Ivy Liang, Software Engineer at Google

“Ever since I met Charlene, I’ve been impressed by her intelligence and enthusiasm to help people reach their true potential. Being an immigrant myself, I relate so much to the stories in Model Breakers, I admire how Charlene has taken the initiative to enable individuals to be fully themselves and embrace their unique gifts.”

— Reza Saeedi, Growth Lead at On Deck
“There is a line from Evita that goes “she had all the disadvantages she needed to succeed” So When Charlene Wang talks about model minorities, I conclude that they lacked some opportunities but that they had enormous advantages - an unbelievable work ethic, an amazing family culture and a competitive environment that would not be denied. America was built by minorities and its future is minorities.“

— Howard Anderson, co-founder and general partner of Battery Ventures, founder of The Yankee Group
“This book resonates with me, as someone who is deeply immersed within the Asian community, this book speaks volume to me and addresses the need for all of us to have a voice and share the diversity within the Asian diaspora.”

— Bryan Pham, founder of Asian Hustle Network
“Model Breakers represents the hard-won advice of an author as irreverent, practical, and empathetic as the work she has written. Charlene Wang lives the lessons she shares with readers—she moved to America as a teenager (“Take Risks”), and had confidence enough in the value of her journey to publish her experience (“Tell Your Own Story”), for example—and we are all more fortunate for it.”

— Kevin Zhang, venture capitalist
LivingOS - Model Breakers - Debbie
“Even though I am not Asian, my daughters are. This book has helped me to better understand how they are perceived, the challenges they face and how to better support them. This is a necessary book for our culture and time.”

— Debbie Ferguson, head of foundation engineering at Gusto
LivingOS - Model Breakers - Racha
“Model Breakers takes inspiration from the struggles of Asian immigrants in the US to build a practical guide for growth and success. Wang's focus on the deep struggles of the marginalized communities has not only developed a guide for immigrants but for many that feel out of place in their environments.”

Racha Ghamlouch, Editor-in-Chief at Digital Digest

A new season, food and drink for your soul

I wanted to create a podcast that nourishes your soul. It’s unlike anything you’ve heard before—No intro, script, or ads. Just two amazing humans opening up their minds and hearts to the world wide web.

“It’s rare to see a book that talks so elegantly about America’s deep-seated cultural prejudices but also serves as a hands-on guide to start changing them. Model Breakers could well herald the beginning of a new genre that seeks to not just reveal social problems but also to help people start to dismantle them. That’s something we’ve been sorely missing.

Wang artfully blends moving portraits of real people, unflinchingly honest introspection, probing cultural analyses, and ultra-practical “homework” to create a masterful handbook for hyphenated-Americans like myself, seeking to understand and navigate the cultural maelstrom we find ourselves a part of.

As a fellow hyphenated-American, this book was at once a gut punch, a soul-searching journey, and a call to action. It’s raw, it’s authentic, it’s poignant, it’s bold, it’s forgiving, and it spoke to an ache I could never put my finger on before.

An essential read for anyone, Asian-American or not, who seeks to understand the deep roots of the model minority myth and what we, as individuals and as a society, can do to break it.”

— Neel Mehta, product manager at Google and best selling author of Swipe to Unlock and Bubble or Revolution

About The Author

livingos charlene

Charlene is the founder of LivingOS, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people embrace their authenticity in life. Charlene pioneered the value coaching practice to help entrepreneurs, creators, and leaders find, in twenty minutes, their true values and motivations in life. 

By day she works as a product manager at Google. Charlene received her B.Sc. in applied mathematics, computer science, and economics from Brown University. She resides in the Bay Area and admits to being a bit obsessed with her Alishan golden oolong tea.