Press Releases

October 28, 2016


Leilani Matasaua Pimentel
Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

Inaugural Asian American & Pacific Islander (APIA) Community Sponsorship of College Students Benefit Hosted by Twin Cities Leaders and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)

Twin Cities Community Raises Funds to Support Local APIA College Students

WASHINGTON, DC (October 28, 2016) - The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), in partnership with Twin Cities leaders, will host the inaugural Community Sponsorship of College Students benefit at 6:30 p.m., Nov 1st at the Minneapolis Club. The benefit will raise funds to help make college a reality for local Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students. The event will convene local leaders and feature performances by a nonprofit organization, Asian Media Access, and keynote remarks from a Minneapolis APIASF scholarship recipient.

"With generous support of key leaders in the Twin Cities APIA community, APIASF is excited to convene the inaugural Community Sponsorship of College Students next Tuesday in downtown Minneapolis," said APIASF president and executive director, Neil Horikoshi. "The APIA community is the nation's fastest growing ethnic group according to the U.S. Census and Minneapolis/St. Paul is a great example of our community's growth. Between 2000 and 2012, the Asian and Pacific Islander American populations in Twin Cities grew by 138% and 52%, respectively. Despite our growth, many are still unaware that APIA students are in need of scholarship support. Part of our goal as an organization is to challenge the 'model minority' myth, shed light on high poverty rates within our community, and increase access to higher education."

Host Committee Co-Chair Kiyoshi Nakasaka, member of APIASF's Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Washington CORE said, "My American journey started here in Minnesota and I am thankful for all the support that the people of this great state have provided me over the years. Now it's my turn to help my APIA friends and I believe that Minnesota's business, government and academic leaders will extend their 'Minnesota nice' tradition to them as well."

"We are extremely grateful for the local support from our Host Committee who has been instrumental in making this event a success," added Mr. Horikoshi. Other host committee members include Minneapolis community leaders William Cheng, Laura Chin, Deb Cimino, Jeffery Eng, Paul Gam, Ange Hwang, Mee Moua, John Tsuchiya, and Margaret Wong.

APIASF and the Host Committee welcome members of the community to join the public event at 6:30pm on Tuesday November 1st. Community members who would like to support local APIA students but are unable to attend are encouraged to visit to make a donation.

For more information about APIASF, visit Also, follow APIASF on Instagram (, Facebook ( and Twitter (

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 more vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed over $100 million in scholarships to 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.