Press Releases

September 23, 2016


Leilani Pimentel
Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

APIASF Celebrates Scholar Achievement at 11th Annual WWAAC Awards

Radha Dahal, United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars scholarship recipient, among this year's honorees

Washington, D.C. (September 23, 2016) - The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs), will celebrate APIA honorees at the 11th Annual Who's Who in Asian American Communities (WWAAC) Awards at the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, Saturday, September 24.

The WWAAC Awards are dedicated to honoring successful Asian Americans who serve as leaders and role models in their communities by recognizing their accomplishments, publicizing their achievements, and promoting the Asian American community into mainstream America.

Among this year's honorees is APIASF Scholar Radha Dahal, who is supported by the United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Initiative. Since 2007, United Health Foundation has provided more than $13 million in funding to support nearly 1,850 scholarships for students nationwide. By supporting the next generation of health care professionals — particularly in underserved communities — more students like Radha are able to meet future health needs in their communities.

Radha, who will be honored for her academic achievement and commitment to service, joins a group of distinguished honorees including Rosie Abriam, President & CEO for the Center for Asian Pacific American Women; Lt. Col. Michael J. Yaguchi, U.S. Air Force (Retired) and Director, Veteran Affairs & Project Manager at CSRA Incorporated; and Comcast NBC Universal (WWAAC Corporate Champion).

Born in Surey village in Southern Bhutan, Radha and her family fled when she was an infant during the discriminating social and political rule by the Bhutanese government. After arriving in a refugee camp in Nepal, her family eventually resettled in the U.S. in 2008.

By the time she graduated high school in 2010, Radha had volunteered hundreds of hours offering health education at the refugee camp in Nepal and teaching English to senior Bhutanese community members in Atlanta. One of her proudest moments was when her parents and several seniors passed their U.S. citizenship test after more than three years of her coaching. Radha recently completed her prerequisite courses at Georgia Perimeter College and transferred to Georgia State University where she is pursuing her goal of becoming a respiratory therapist. When Radha graduates as a registered nurse in 2017, she will be among the very first group of nurses in Georgia's Bhutanese-American community.

"On behalf of APIASF, I offer my congratulations to Radha Dahal for receiving the WWAAC Leaders & Legends Award. More importantly, I thank Radha for her commitment to lifting up her community," said Neil Horikoshi, APIASF President and Executive Director.

"APIASF's mission is centered on providing APIA students access to higher education, which serves as the foundation for their future success and contributions to a more vibrant America. Radha's life journey, achievements and service truly embody this mission, and we look forward to celebrating her and her family in Atlanta."

"We also congratulate Rosie Abram, Lt. Col. Michael J. Yaguchi, and Comcast NBC Universal as well as past APIASF Scholar honorees, Lindsay Dacuan and Catherine Cruz Bioc, all of whom have made an impact in their communities and contribute to a more vibrant America," Horikoshi said.

"We also thank the WWAAC Alliance Foundation for their leadership in raising awareness about the APIA community's diversity and contributions and our APIASF partner, United Health Foundation, whose Diverse Scholars Initiative has made possible the scholarships and opportunities for Radha and hundreds of Scholars across the nation."

For details about APIASF's events and to learn more about our scholarship programs and our work to strengthen communities, visit us at

Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $100 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students. APIASF manages three scholarship programs: the APIASF General Scholarship, the APIASF Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander - Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Scholarship, and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.