Esther Hwang has accomplished a lot in life. And yet, her lot in life is just beginning.
Discovered at the age of fifteen in Los Angeles after having immigrated with her parents from South Korea at the age of one, Hwang spent much of her early adult years modeling for some of the largest names in the fashion industry. She’s walked runways around the globe for prestigious brands, earned the title of Miss Asian America, built and managed her own modeling website with millions of visitors, served as a sideline reporter for an NFL team’s “behind the scenes” program, and—perhaps, most notably—served as a special assistant for San Francisco’s beloved and flamboyant former Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. In fact, the formerly San Francisco-based beauty queen, internet sensation, and entrepreneur says her geography played a major role in her becoming “viral” before that term became so familiar in our vocabulary. Living and working in the late 1990’s just outside the bustling Silicon Valley put Hwang right in the hotbed of growth, power brokers, and an internet scene that has proved pivotal for her career. In her role in Mayor Brown’s office, Hwang gained national attention, spring-boarding her website http://www.esther.com and helping her build a loyal following and fan base that continues today.
Relying as much on her mind as her body to passionately pursue her goals, Esther is an honors graduate from University of California at Berkeley and holds a Juris Doctorate from San Francisco Law School.
And before there was Myspace, Facebook, or Instagram, Hwang really had an accomplished social scene of her own. She was a regular at big budget fundraisers, parties, parades, groundbreakings, and conferences. She was a frequent speaker and emcee at high profile events in and around the Bay area, produced and distributed her own swimsuit calendar for seven consecutive years, and was a fixture at both for-profit and non-profit San Francisco charities and networking events. Esther was essentially “social media” before there was social media.
Among her accomplishments, she especially made a mark with non-profits, spearheading Christmas toy drives for Ronald McDonald House, working closely with the Wu Yee Children’s Center for needy children in the Tenderloin District, and finally creating Pandora’s Hope Foundation. Pandora’s Hope Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit founded by Hwang, and she continues to serve as President for the group. The organization is dedicated to helping underprivileged children, the homeless, and needy or abandoned animals.