Press Releases

September 20, 2007

APIASF Hosts Second Gala Awards Dinner

For Immediate Release

Contact: Genny Hom-Franzen, APIASF
Tel: (202) 986-6892

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WASHINGTON, DC — The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) will host its second annual awards dinner, the "Today's Minds, Tomorrow's Future®" Gala, on Thursday, September 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. APIASF will honor Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the IBM Corporation, with the APIASF Excellence in Education Award. APIASF will recognize the Disney-ABC Television Group with the APIASF Inspiring Dreams Award.

The APIASF Excellence in Education award is given to an individual or organization who has been a champion in the field of education. In 1995, IBM initiated the Asian Executive Task Force to maximize the participation of Asian talent within the company. IBM also invests in LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics) to promote the professional development of high potential employees. IBM's "Reinventing Education" is a program that helps improve schools throughout the world. Additionally, IBM annually hosts a week-long science and technology program for young women ages 11 to 13, and volunteers in the IBM Mentor Place program provide students with online academic assistance and career counseling. IBM also offers the IBM's KidsSmart program, a child proof computer system with learning software translated into 28 languages.

The APIASF Inspiring Dreams award is given to an individual who has been a significant role model or inspiration for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans throughout the country or an organization which embodies this value. This year's Inspiring Dreams award recipient is the Disney-ABC Television Group. The company provides fellowships in the feature film and television areas designed to identify and employ a diverse pool of creative writing talent. It also offers a mentorship program designed to increase opportunities and professional relationships for directors. Lastly, the ABC Talent Development Casting Project is an ongoing effort to discover and develop talent from a culturally diverse pool of actors, including those with disabilities, from across the country.

Wai-Ling Eng, Chair, Board of Directors, said, "APIASF is very proud to continue the tradition of honoring corporations and individuals who are leaders in their unwavering support of education, diversity and inclusion. These companies are strengthening our communities and setting a wonderful example for others to follow. We look forward to honoring Mr. Palmisano, the IBM Corporation, and the Disney-ABC Television Group."

The evening's presenting sponsor is AT&T and is expected to bring in more than $500,000. Several APIASF scholarship recipients will be featured in the evening's program, and Dan Nainan, comedian, will perform. A silent auction and reception are also part of the evening's festivities.

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is based in Washington, DC, and is the country's largest non-profit organization devoted solely to providing scholarships to Asian and Pacific Islander American students. APIASF manages two scholarships: APIASF's general scholarship program and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans (GMS/APIA). Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by UNCF, the GMS/APIA program provides outstanding Pell Grant eligible APIA students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose and a graduate degree in specific fields. Supporters of APIASF include members of the general public and a wide spectrum of community and professional leaders, organizations and corporations. Corporate supporters include, but are not limited to: AT&T, Abercrombie & Fitch, the Coca-Cola Foundation, IBM Corporation, Macy's Inc., McDonald's USA, Met-Life Foundation, Nationwide Financial Networks, the Sodexo Foundation, Southern California Edison, Target, USA Funds, the Wachovia Foundation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wells Fargo.