2008 APIASF Scholarship Recipient Profiles

2008 APIASF Scholarship Awardee Profiles
The following are profiles received from 2008 scholarship recipients.

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I saw what drugs did to my family and I promised myself that I would overcome this challenge and make a better life for myself. I didn't break that promise to myself. I became a leader in my school and got accepted to college.

I will be attending San Diego State University in the fall and majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management. I hope to accomplish more than I did in high school. I want to continue be a leader in college and an effective contributor to the community. My future career plans are to work in the hotel/travel industry and get into gaming management. Maybe one day I will be able to run my own hotel/casino.

When I found out I was selected as a recipient for the APIASF scholarship, I was in shock. I couldn't believe this organization selected me to receive this scholarship. I just applied because all of my teachers told me to do it and I did. I didn't have the confidence that I could win anything because I didn't feel I was good enough for the APIASF scholarship. When I told my family they were really proud of me and told me that they knew I would get it. I went to school and told my teachers. They told me that they believed that I would get it. Winning this scholarship makes me feel that all of my hard work has finally paid off.

I would love to thank all of the donors who made this scholarship possible. Mahalo to the APIASF scholarship committee for taking the time to look at my application and selecting me as a recipient.

Once again, Thank You Very Much!!!

Aloha!!!

Natashalynn K Ah Nee
Aiea, HI

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I would like to personally thank the APIASF committee for selecting me as one of the recipients. It is indeed an honor to be chosen among many who have tried their very best to get this scholarship. I will always remember and be indebted to the APIASF committee.

At the very last quarter of the 2007 - 2008 school year, I decided to further my education at a school that will allow me to pursue my interest in medicine. But I wondered where I would get the money to pay for school. So, I decided to apply to the nearest colleges or universities in my region and major in the field of business. I was accepted into Kapiolani Community College and University of Hilo, which are both in the state of Hawai’i. After comparing the fees and tuition, I decided to attend Kapiolani Community College. One week before my graduation ceremony I was informed by the Office of the Upward Bound Program that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship. My parents and I were definitely shocked. My parents were so happy that I could see tears in their eyes. The news spread out in a few days and since my island is very small as well as the population, almost half of the island knew about it.

Now my plan is to attend Kapiolani Community College with a focus on the Medical Assisting Program and transfer to University of Hawai’i to finish my education and fulfill my place and purpose in life.

Thank you very much every one of the APIASF committee members and all the generous sponsors. I want to give a very special thanks to the Upward Bound staff for guidance and all the unforgettable advice you have provided me. I will soothe this poor heart of mine in thinking of you always. In Kosraean, fwinsrak God fulatlana lasr in wi kut ke fwinsrak nukewa lasr. Kulo na ma lulap.

Kayleen J Albert
Kosrae, FSM, Kosare

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My identity as an Asian Pacific Islander American has influenced me in my life and my decision to attend college. Being raised on a taro farm in a small town on Maui has allowed me to develop respect and appreciation for my Native Hawai’ian culture. I not only admire my culture, but I'm also fascinated by many other cultures as well. Traveling has given me the opportunity to witness different cultures outside of Maui. I am now at a point in life where I can use my experiences to develop future goals for myself.

In the past few years I was able to explore the previously unknown lands beyond the vast waters. Traveling to the foreign lands of Spain, the Philippines, Argentina, England, France and even Massachusetts, has greatly broadened my awareness of the significantly large world I live in and given me a chance to view the world from a different perspective. I have come to realize that I enjoy traveling and have interest in the business field; therefore, I plan on majoring in international business at San Diego State University and anticipate studying abroad in Europe. Having the opportunity to travel to places far from my childhood taro farm has helped me attain the desire to develop future goals for myself that will expand my roots beyond my largest dreams and develop aspirations to take my foundation into the future.

Through my years in high school, I have been able to explore various programs, activities and volunteer projects that attempt to improve the community. Besides using my formal education in international business, I want to make a difference by helping other people, the environment and my community.

I would like to thank APIASF as well as the donors, corporations, and foundations that fund APIASF. I am grateful for this opportunity to be a scholarship recipient because with their help I am able to pursue my aspirations to attend college and my future goals.

Ashley K Aquino
Kahului, HI

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Today education seems ridiculously impossible to afford and sometimes success looks unachievable. Throughout high school, I've always been stressed about how my college career would turn out. Thinking about grades, ACT scores, and what college is right for me has been overwhelming. The thought of not being successful because the lack of money and not going to college has tremendously scared me throughout my senior year of high school. Being the first to go to college has also set the bar of what kind of role model I have to be for my family and community. I have come to learned that with leadership and a positive attitude, anything is possible. The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) has showed me that pursuing education and becoming successful is indeed achievable. It provides low income families the help and encouragement we need to succeed in life. APIASF is truly a remarkable organization for Asians and Pacific Islanders.

After finding out that I had been selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was overwhelmed with happiness, excitement, and relief. I have never been so happy in my life. Being one of the very few Pacific Islanders in my community, I would never have thought that I would have a chance of receiving it. My family and community were both very proud to hear that I received it. I can't express enough of what a great honor it is to be a recipient of the scholarship. I truly am grateful for APIASF for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

With the help of this scholarship, I hope to accomplish a great career in teaching as well as successfully graduating college with honors. Going into my first year of college, this scholarship is a great way to start my college career as well as making it go as smooth as possible. This will definitely help me avoid loans as well as lessening the worry of my family's financial means. It will also contribute to my books, supplies, and any other fees. Overall, this scholarship will be a tremendous assistance to my college career.

There are no words to express how appreciative I am to APIASF and its donors. I can't say thank you enough for creating and beginning the path to my success. You are greatly honored in every way. All your support and confidence in us exemplifies how much you care for our youth. I am thankful for everything you do and most of all for believing in me. My deepest gratitude goes out to each and every one of you. Thank you so much.

"Your education is a product of your own self motivation." APIASF has motivated me in every aspect of education. It also shows its support and willingness to reach out to the Asian and Pacific Islander community. APIASF has already broken the barriers of our capabilities to what we can accomplish; now it is up to us to create the key to success.

Erlinda J Babauta
Sioux City, IA

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Hi, I am Priscilla Brunell, a hard worker. Those are the words I've always used to describe who I am. Though, that is not who I am as a whole. I am a friend, a daughter, a wife, an employee. 18 and I'm ready for college. There I hope to find more of myself and discover infinite amounts of words to describe my identity.

The University of Miami was my very first choice in selecting a university and I was accepted. I was also accepted into the School of Nursing and Health Studies where I will become a pediatric nurse and go on to medical school in the future. I hope to join clubs in college and maintain a job to assist in paying for school. I hope to impact other children's lives, to be more than a nurse, to be a well-rounded friend. My dream is to travel to the Philippines as a Pediatrician and aid those children who are sick and homeless. I traveled to Manila for the first time this summer. There I witnessed diseases and illnesses caused by unsanitary conditions and malnutrition. Since my experiences there I've had the desire to make a change, to impact their lives, in some way, any way possible.

My first reaction to receiving this scholarship was pure excitement. I jumped up and down and thanked God. I couldn't believe it! My family was so happy to hear the good news. My guidance counselors at school were excited about my acceptance. At our senior awards night my acceptance of the APIASF scholarship was announced and I was the only one in my school to receive it.

I now want to thank every contributor possible for this opportunity. Without additional funding this would surely be impossible. I want to thank this organization for considering my acceptance. I am so extremely grateful for this opportunity, more than you can imagine. I was so frightened about my lack of money for school, especially enough to pay for UM. Though, when I received this scholarship I knew it was possible. You gave me hope and I want to thank every person involved in helping us all to receive this wonderful scholarship. Thank you.

Priscilla Brunell
Hollywood, FL

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Going to college is a big step to take. Entering a college means entering a whole new experience, a whole new opportunity, a whole new world. I have always known that I would enter this new world, but the challenges of taking this step have been even more difficult than I imagined. Only with the help of my family, friends, and supporters like Sodexo and APIASF have I gotten the courage to take up this challenge.

Ever since I was in middle school, I had already set goals to become a doctor. Not a specialist, but a regular family practitioner. It was just something that seemed to fit me. I look forward to carrying on my momentum to college. I plan to study biochemistry at Seattle University. A biochemistry degree will allow me to expand my knowledge and prepare me for medical school. Seattle University will provide me with the opportunity to continue serving my community, working on bigger projects, and making a difference in this world. I will embrace the next four years, for it will be my opportunity to step up.

Hopefully, ten years from now, I will have succeeded in becoming a doctor like I intend to. I believe that is when I will be able to make the biggest impact. I can't promise that I will find the cure to cancer, or eradicate AIDS, but I can promise that I will do all that I can to relieve anybody of their pain or sufferings. Though my college plans are now set, it was a twisty path with many forks. If it weren't for the chances that colleges and different scholarship organizations like the APIASF have given me, I probably wouldn't be able to live my dreams at Seattle University. That's why my friends, family and I were all very excited when we learned that APIASF had chosen me as one of the recipients for the scholarship. We were excited because Sodexo and APIASF didn't just give me money, they gave me a stepping stone, from which I can continue my journey to make tomorrow's world better than today's.

Tin T Bui
Beaverton, OR

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Two years ago, while I was still in the ESL program in my high school, I learned the necessity to improve my English skills in order to continue my education in college. I moved to the United States at the age of fourteen. I was never in an AP class, not even a regular class, until my Junior year. I dreamed of being an engineer and a teacher, however, this dream seemed unrealistic and unapproachable. Whenever I mentioned to others that I would like to get into the best public school to receive the best education in the best engineering programs, I was always discouraged. They told me, "Do you really think you can get into UC Berkeley?" Despite this, I was determined to work hard and achieve my goal. During these past two years, I have never given up on my dream of receiving the best education at my dream college, and guess what, it came true.

The cost of tuition became my first worry right after I received my admission letter from Berkeley. Being from a single-parent family, which consists of my loving mother, my brother, and me, my mother is my only means of financial support. With the economic obstacles, things have been quite tough for my mother already, and of course, it will never be possible for her to afford my continuing education. Therefore, I had to find a way out on my own. With the financial aid package offered by Cal, I will not have to pay the whole cost of the original student budget. However, it was still not enough. By applying to various scholarship opportunities, I hoped to lessen the financial burden on my family and myself. Thus, after discovering the result of the APIASF scholarship competition, I was so excited and jubilant that I was totally speechless. I shared this good news with my mom immediately after she returned home at nine o'clock at night that day. She smiled all the way through as I recalled the whole story, and then she said nothing but "I am very proud of you."

I cannot possibly find better words in my limited vocabulary that are more appropriate than "thank you" to show my genuine feelings towards everyone. I must thank APIASF once again for giving me this wonderful chance to pursue my future, and I must thank my family for their consistent support and help. Also, I must especially thank the Southern California Edison for its generous donation in helping us with our education and making this scholarship possible. I would not have been here without your support. Thank you all! I really appreciate it!

Ko-Chieh Chang
Monterey Park, CA

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Hi! My name is Albert Shang-Yeu Chen, known as Albert S Chen. I'm currently a senior at Oxford Academy in Cypress, CA. Academically, I am one of the top five in my class of 2008. I have the opportunity to serve as Oxford's ASB President as well as California's Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Southern Section Vice President. As ASB Publicity Commissioner my junior year, I trained a Broadcasting Crew and raised $3,500 to launch Oxford's TV Station. As Sophomore Class President, I helped raise over $6,000 for my class account. In December, I planned a classical music benefits concert, raising well over $7,000 for underprivileged children in third world countries through World Vision, a United Nations chartered organization. As 1st place winner of the MTAC VOCE State Music Competition, 1st place winner of the John Child Walker Competition, and 2nd place winner of the International TBAC Piano Competition, I concert-toured Taiwan over winter break with the International Composer's Society (ICS) on invitation from the Republic of China Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC). The concert tour was aimed to strengthen the relationship between Asia and America through youth activism. I am also very interested in public speaking, earning 1st place in Public Speaking I and II at the FBLA Southern Section Conference, 4th at FBLA State Leadership Conference, and qualifying for the National Leadership Conference. I also won 2nd place in the Cypress College Speech Competition and 3rd in the International Rotary Speech Contest. In the spring, I was offered admission to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, MIT, and Columbia. In the fall, I will be attending Princeton University in New Jersey.

My future plans are not all completely clear yet, but I have hopes to major in Public Administration & International Affairs at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. One day, I hope to run for senator. Right now, I am looking for a holistic and fulfilling experience from college that will lead me to a happy career and a joyful life. As the first to attend college in my family, I assert that my high school journey in preparation for post-secondary education was not easy. All would not be possible without the love and guidance from God and my parents Ronald Nai-Chung Chen and Judy Yu-Ching Chen. Thanks to all of Oxford's faculty, including Ms. Kortney Tambara, Ms. Tina Matic, Mr. James Patten, Mr. Scott Eastridge, and Mr. Robert Meloche for all their patience and help. Thanks also to my church True Jesus Church (www.tjc.org) for spiritual support and my close friends Chris, Emmeline, and Andrea for believing in me. Special shoutout to my beloved cousins Shawn, Phoebe, Timmy, Esther, Yolanda, Jacob, Isaac, Priscilla, Ollie, Andrew, Pamela, Erica, Kevin, Crystal, Jessica, Karen, and Josh. Love also to all my aunts and uncles and my grandparents, AiRu Chen, XueMei(AhMa) Chen, ChengFa Wei, and MeiLi Wei. Thanks all of you guys! Also, thanks to APIASF and its generous sponsors, I am one step closer to accomplishing my dreams. Thank you APIASF!

Albert S Chen
Buena Park, CA

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The day my APIASF letter came in the mail, I felt as if I was reliving the week that college acceptance letters were being sent out. As cheesy as it sounds, my heart literally stopped for a quarter of a second when I found the small white envelope stamped with the large, purple letters "APIASF" in my hands. I knew it wasn't a college decision letter, yet I couldn't help but think that the same rule applied: small, letter-sized envelopes never meant good news. It wasn't for another thirty minutes before I could muster enough courage to open the envelope.

Prepared for rejection, I was absolutely shocked and overly thrilled to see those first few bolded letters that spelled out "congratulations!" I immediately phoned my dad at work. Of course winning this scholarship money gave me the greatest personal feeling of accomplishment but what really gave me the greatest satisfaction was knowing how happy it would make my dad. For the 18 years that I have lived, I have yet to meet a harder working man. Since my dad's family didn't have enough money to send him to college, he began working straight after high school. As soon as he married my mom and moved to the United States, my dad started a restaurant about thirty minutes from our house. Every morning at 9 o'clock, he drives the thirty-minute drive to work, opens the restaurant for business and doesn't take any breaks until 9 o'clock that night, when he locks up and drives the thirty minutes back home. He does this six days a week, every week for the course of an entire year. While other people spend their earnings on exotic excursions to European countries and hot, summer cruises to the Caribbean, my dad selflessly continues to work in order to make sure life for my mother, my sister, and myself is as comfortable as can be.

When people ask what my goal in life is, for some reason they are always shocked at my answer. Being able to give back to my parents, all and more than what they have given me, is the goal that I've set for myself. I'm attending UNC-Chapel Hill with more ambition than ever to major in biology, in hopes of making my parents proud by reaching my ultimate career goal of becoming a physician's assistant. Then I hope to use my earnings to enhance my father's retirement with those exotic expeditions he never had time or money to spend on. But until then, getting through college (financially and academically) is my preoccupation. I want to thank Wal-Mart and APIASF with all my heart for helping me so generously with the financial aspect of it. It may just be a small step further towards my goal, but it is an amplitude of motivation and encouragement that I appreciate more than words can say.

Cristine Y Chen
Charlotte, NC

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My major will be electrical engineering and computer science. I want to be a professional engineer in the future. I would like to work at NASA and discover more about the mysterious universe. I know that my goals will definitely require me to do a lot of work and put in a tremendous amount of effort, but I am determined.

I also want to travel back to my home country, China. I want to help the children there learn science and I hope my little donation will change their lives. When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was excited and thankful. My family and friends were proud of me. I want to thank Wal-Mart and APIASF for their generosity and for giving me a chance to pursue my education.

Jian P Chen
Oakland, CA

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First of all, I would like to give my extreme gratitude to the APIASF scholarship committee for selecting me as one of the recipients and to the Coca-Cola Foundation. To begin, I am still undecided about my major, however I have no doubt that my future career will involve the study of biological sciences in order to help people. In spring of 2009, I am going to attend the University of Florida, but before that I have decided to go to Florida Community College of Jacksonville just to get a head start on my plan. In college, there will still be numerous challenges ahead of me, but I believe that with my ability to accept challenges, my motivation, and my independence, I will attain my goals. With these qualities, I believe I will gain more knowledge that will benefit me later on my career path.

I was thrilled when I found out I received the scholarship. I immediately notified my family and my English teacher from my sophomore year. They were all overjoyed and they warmly congratulated me with all their hearts. I am so thankful that I have such diligent parents who have always pushed me onto the education path even though they did not graduate from high school. They speak very little English and they are financially challenged. With this opportunity, I would also like to thank my English teacher, Anne Barber, who recommended me for this scholarship. I cannot express in words how grateful I am and how much help she has given me this year with college applications, financial aid and scholarship information.

Thank you again to the Coca-Cola Foundation for me. I believe $2,500 will make a difference in my educational expenses and will help ease some of my family's financial burden.

Li Li Chen
Green Cove Springs, FL

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I am so pleased that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship. I am a new immigrant, who came to the USA with my family two years ago. Like other immigrants, language is my biggest problem. At the beginning, I was trying to talk a little bit in my favorite class, which is computer programming. Later on, I chose to experience college life in the summer scholar program for mathematics and science at Macaulay Honors College . There I made a lot of friends. And during my senior year, I chose to do an internship, the Teen Docent Program at the American Folk Art Museum. I learned a lot there and I am becoming more and more confident.

This year, I am going to be a freshman at Stony Brook University. I am going to major in chemistry because I want to be pharmacist in the future. My parents came to the USA for a better life. However, because of the limitation of their knowledge, they only can get low-paying jobs with a lot of work. And this year, I am going to college; both of them are concerned about my college expenses. So when they knew that I got the scholarship from APIASF, they were so happy. I know it will relieve us of some financial burden. They told me that I have to take advantage of this money and study harder in college. We all appreciate the support of Sodexo USA.

Ying Chen
New York, NY

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I was born in Panama in 1988. My mother died when I was one and my father moved to the United States. My dad was planning to take us with him, but unfortunately my three siblings and I were left to live with relatives in China. At age 7, we moved back to live with my grandmother in Panama.

Because of government red tape, it took many years to bring us to the United States. We arrived in Minneapolis on a dark night, on August 31, 2004. I thought everything would be perfect when we got here. But it hasn't been. Soon after, my dad lost his job and he decided to move to California. He has not been able to support us financially. My twin sister and I are now living with an American pastor's family so we can complete high school and improve our English. High school has been hard, but I am doing very well with my grades.

I'll be attending Bethel University next fall. I would like to major in Communication Studies to become someone who will change a corner of the world by being a screenwriter and movie producer. I believe I have a unique ability to communicate essential truths to North American, Central American and Chinese audiences. This is due to my ethnicity (Chinese), my native land (Panama) and my new home (America). I can speak to all of these cultures.

I hope to have my own studio and produce movies focusing on what a person can achieve in life when she is positive in every way. I want to show the world that even if you came from a poor family or are raised without parents, you still can accomplish great things. I want those who feel desperate and hopeless about their lives to believe that they can not only dream about a better future, but also work towards it. In my movies, I want to give people hope and encourage people to pursue their dreams.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was really grateful. I jumped up and down because of the emotion. I was really happy. My host family and school's staffs shared the same emotion with me. I personally want to thank APIASF and Wells Fargo for the great opportunity! The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund has made a difference to reduce my financial need for college. Thank you so much again for the great opportunity.

Alicia Chong
Corcoran, MN

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When I moved to the United States three years ago, I barely knew any English. I was scared about everything that was happening in my life. I was scared to dream about my future. Today, my dream is to become "somebody" in this world. I want to show the world that no matter where or who you are, you can dare to dream and make that dream come true.

My plan is to go to college and continue my education but paying for college seemed impossible. When I found that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, my first thought was "Thank you so much for this great opportunity." My host family and people from my community (including school staff and church friends) were also very excited to hear this news. Thank you APIASF!! I look forward to seeing my dreams come true.

This fall, I will attend Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. While in college, I hope to improve my leadership skills and build relationships with fellow classmates and people around me. After I graduate, I plan on going into the medical field as a doctor, physician assistant, nurse or some type of medical profession.

I hope to make an impact in many people's lives through a career in the medicine field. I plan on doing missions trips to Africa, South America, and Asia, where people of all ages need to be taken care of. For instance, my church sends a group to Ukraine every summer. I hope someday to go along and help take care of the medical needs of the children in the villages of Ukraine. I am also interested in helping people who cannot afford to pay for medical care. My siblings and I grew up without much medical care at all because my mother passed away and my father was living in the United States. I know what it is like to go without medical care, and I want to help kids who are in the same situation as I grew up in.

Thanks again for accepting my application. I'll do my best with this opportunity.

Lisa Chong
Corcoran, MN

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My parents and I immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh because my parents believed that this was the land that would bring a bright future through hard work. My parents struggled to give my younger sisters and I opportunities and they knew that education was the key to the future. When I arrived from Bangladesh, they helped me with the amount of English they knew. I remember as a child, my father and I would have alphabet writing contests to help me learn English. This increased my excitement for learning and is still a great part of me today.

There was no doubt in my mind that I would go to college. I plan to attend Barnard College where I will major in Biology and pursue a career in medicine. I have participated in on-going research projects such as wetland research at Columbia University where I would collect data in swamps and rivers. During the summer, it was an amazing experience to canoe in the peaceful Hudson River and deploy traps to collect samples of fish to later analyze in the lab. These experiences created my interest for biology.

In high school, I realized that a college education was extremely expensive, especially for our low-income family. So when I learned that I was selected to receive the scholarship, I was overjoyed. I was not home when the letter arrived because I was in Florida helping with a restoration project for the endangered species, Okaloosa Darter. While I was there, my mom in New York called me with great excitement and said in Bengali, "You got the APIASF - Sodexo scholarship!" I was excited. A smile constantly appeared on my lips while I worked at the restoration site and I was too excited to notice the hot sun or feel tired of testing the water chemistry. I went home and read the letter with awe.

I am very grateful to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and to Sodexo for taking away some of the financial burden of a college education. My family and I will no longer have to be so preoccupied to try and find extra money for books and fees. I know that education is key as my dad always stated and this scholarship will help me get the education that I can use for the future. I am thankful that my parents' struggle and the alphabet contests will be fruitful. After I received the letter I feel even more confidant to attend college and participate in the numerous opportunities it will have for me whether it may be creating a research project of my own, helping people learn English or doing something completely different. The opportunities are endless and I am honored to be an APIASF - Sodexo scholarship recipient. I appreciate your kindness and I can not thank you enough.

Mashkura Chowdhury
New York, NY

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Coming from a strong Asian family has supported my outer and inner growth. My parents emigrated from Thailand to seek a brighter future for them and me. Their constant struggle in this country has taught me the necessity for persistence and dedication to achieve success. Thus this persistence and dedication did not come from the encouragements I failed to receive as a young child, but from learning how my life intersects with history. I understood my position in society and assisted in self-affirmation, self-determination, and empowerment. Ever since I was a little girl, living for the majority of my life in the city of NakonSawan, a city located in the northeast of Bangkok, I have isolated myself in my schoolwork.

I plan to major in International Hotel & Tourism Management. My goals are to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism, enjoy a life of broad interests, and maintain a close relationship with my family. I like to travel and interact with people of diverse cultures.

When my family and I found out that I had won the APIASF scholarship, we were overjoyed. My mother was so proud because it meant fewer expenses. Throughout the school year, she and I looked for opportunities for scholarships or financial aid to help pay for college. Since I will be the first in my family to go to college, we did not expect to receive this great contribution from the APIASF. We are very thankful for APIASF, its supports, and its generous sponsors.

Supattra Chuensuwanarat
Largo, FL

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I received fantastic news when the letter came in the mail. I was literally shocked to see that they had given me a generous scholarship. I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for choosing me as one of their scholarship recipients. College is very difficult to pay for and I know that my life will only be easier with this generous scholarship.

This fall semester I will be attending Wheaton College. I plan on studying Business/Economics to pursue a career in Finance or International Business. My goals in college are to study diligently and be involved with the community. Through my major, I hope to learn the areas of business. I also hope that my involvement will help the community I serve as well. I would love to be involved with the business of sports too. I know that through Wheaton, I can learn every aspect of the business world taught to me.

I would like to thank again the APIASF for their contribution to my education. My family, community and friends thank you as well.

Noah A Chung
Saint Peters, MO

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Knowing that the date of announcing award receivers for the APIASF Scholarship was nearby, I checked the website and the mailbox everyday hoping to see a letter from them. Almost a week passed by, and I was sure that I did not stand a chance. As I walked into my door after school, I saw a white envelope with the big text "APIASF" printed on the top left corner. I quickly opened the letter and nearly lost my breath from the excitement I was in as I received the award. I was really happy and proud of myself. I wanted to immediately tell everyone who helped me apply for this scholarship, especially my dad. He was surprised and couldn't believe it.

How I was going to pay for college was a really big worry for me, so this award really made me feel relieved. It means so much, not just money wise but it also encourages me that, money should deter me from my education. I will be entering the Computer Science and Engineering program at UC Davis. It's only a few months away and I'm really looking forward to it. I will be working hard to achieve a great education and take part in helping make my community an even nicer place than it already is.

Lastly, I would like to thank my friends and teachers who had helped me, and of course the APIASF and its donors and foundations that had made this opportunity available to me and other students. Thank you so much.

Thanh K Chung
San Francisco, CA

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I would first like to thank APIASF for all their help. I accept this award with much gratitude. With this scholarship I plan to pay off tuition fees for my first quarter. I will be attending UC Santa Cruz in the fall with the intended major of Feminist Studies. With my degree I hope to either get involved in social work with a focus on women and children or perhaps seek a medical degree and specialize in women's health. At some point in college, I would love to study at least one quarter in Samoa. I have not yet visited and as a first generation college student, raised primarily by my white side of the family, I would immediately jump on the opportunity.

Upon opening my letter saying I had won the scholarship, I read as far as "Congratulations," and was at ounce filled with joy. Following my notification, my mother was proud to announce to all of our family and friends of my financial award. Once again, I would like to thank the donors for their support and generosity.

Helaina G Cleek
Arroyo Grande, CA

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On the day that I was born, I would never have had the slightest idea that pursuing an education would be easy. I was born in Vietnam, a country that only guarantees education for those with money. Because of this many give up on the chance for an education. After immigrating to the United States in 1995, this barrier was gone and I had the opportunity to continue my educational path.

Even with the great education opportunities that the United States offers, college is still a financial barrier. Receiving this scholarship has made me realize that there are always opportunities for people, despite their background and financial state. I am truly blessed to have been given another opportunity.

In school, I served as National Honor Society President and have realized through community service that helping people is a priceless reward. For this reason, I knew that no other career will fit my character other than a career in the health field.

As an APIASF recipient, I will use this scholarship to its full value. After acquiring a degree in Business Administration, I plan to continue on to Pharmacy school to pursue my dream career of becoming a Pharmacist. I deeply believe that serving as an example will help others realize that barriers are nothing to a person who wants to succeed.

Dung T Dang
Fort Smith, AR

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I pursued an education thus far believing my primary goal for the rest of my life was to "help others." My thoughts logically followed thereafter that becoming a doctor would fulfill this call to service of which I convinced myself was providence. I would attend one of the top universities in the states, predictably major in a science, morph into one among what I viewed as saviors of mankind and simultaneously maintain an image of perfection for my hardworking parents. I still believe doctors are a necessary asset to modern society and respect those who are able to make life-altering sacrifices, but I no longer hold on to my premature plans.

This fall I will attend college undecided in my major. I look forward to the wide array of opportunities to absorb knowledge in various fields of study. I hope to expand upon a personal insight, to better understand what I want in life and to enhance my skills to better serve my community in the future. Medical school is still a possibility for me, but before the final decision I am obliged to explore all the opportunities available. My goal in college is to uncover a path more suiting to my talents and my passions.

APIASF is a definitive aspect in facilitating me towards the wide range of opportunities in college. Money should not hinder a student from achieving his or her best in education and essentially in life. I am grateful the donors of APIASF share a similar view. The best way I can thank the donors for their support is to provide a promise that I will continue pursuing higher education and follow their benevolent example in supporting others in need to the best of my ability in the future.

Gina Dang
Los Angeles, CA

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Starting Fall 2008, I will begin my first year at Hendrix College in Arkansas. I plan to major in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry. After receiving my bachelor's degree, I plan on entering medical school and ultimately become a general surgeon. As a doctor, I hope to travel to Vietnam and other poor areas of the world and help the people there who receive little or no healthcare. That is my ultimate dream and it may seem far off, but I'm going to make sure it comes true.

After I received the letter from APIASF stating that I was selected as a recipient of the scholarship, I couldn't believe it. Everyday after school, I would rush home to check the mail to see if a letter from APIASF had arrived. One afternoon, I saw an envelope with the APIASF logo on it and my hands started to shake. Tearing it open carefully, I grabbed the letter inside and read the first sentence. I literally jumped up and down and screamed ecstatically when I realized that I received the scholarship. My parents ran to me to see what was going on and after I told them the good news, they congratulated me and gave me huge bear hugs to show that they were happy for me. The college I plan to attend is an expensive school and tuition has risen exponentially. This scholarship has will help me a great deal and will get me another step closer to realizing my dream.

My family and I would like to thank APIASF and all its individuals and sponsors for this wonderful scholarship. It is an honor to have been selected as a recipient and we are very grateful for it. Thank you very much.

Lequan Dang
White Hall, AR

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When I first found out that I was a recipient of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, I was ecstatic! When I told my parents and siblings, they were so proud of me and congratulated me for being accepted. My dad was thrilled because previously I had been rejected by many scholarships that he believed I deserved and would get. So it was very uplifting to finally obtain a scholarship instead of receiving a letter of regret. The $2500 award that I will receive will help me greatly towards my college education. I have always wanted to be a Gator ever since I first visited the university at my cousin's graduation. That is why I will be attending the University of Florida in the fall of 2008. I love every part of it, especially the enormous school spirit!

I hope to major in pre-medicine and become an ophthalmologist. I have always been fascinated with the human eye because I have worn glasses and contacts ever since I was in the second grade. The innovation of Lasik surgery propelled me to study the field in order to help others live better lives without that hassle of wearing glasses and contacts. In college I know that I will do well because after going through the International Baccalaureate Program, I am ready for hard work and late nights of studying; I have been trained to be successful in college. However, I want to also have fun, especially being in Gator Nation (go gators!!!).

Even though the prospect of moving away from my home and parents to live by myself is daunting, I know that I will get accustomed to my new found independence.

I want to thank you again for giving me this opportunity to finance my education. Without donors, corporations, and organizations like yourself, many students would not get the chance to have financial stability during college. Thank you again! I cannot say it enough. Please continue to help other students like me, who are on their way to college and on their way to a better life.

Ky M Dau
Tarpon Springs, FL

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I can honestly say that I am honored to be one of the recipients of the APIASF scholarship. I will never forget this organization because it is the first to offer me financial assistance for my college education. I am grateful for this scholarship as it puts me one step closer to achieving my goals. I would like to thank my teachers, family members, and friends for helping me with my successes. It is because of them that I push myself hard in academic, service, and leadership roles.

I live on the island of Saipan that is part of the Northern Mariana Islands. Many people do not know where this place is and the ones who do know would note its negative attributes. In truth, my community is suffering from a poor economy where the price of gas dictates our lives.

I plan to major in astronomy at Central Michigan University. The universe is mysterious yet wondrous in many ways. I occasionally look up in the starry, night sky and ponder about my existence in this world, possible life on other planets, and the ultimate fate of the universe. There is so much we know about the universe, but there is much more that we have yet to uncover.

I am hoping that my studies in astronomy will benefit my community in some manner. Since the island of Saipan lies so close to the equator, I figured that solar power would be an alternative fuel source for the people. However, there are a lot of complications with this new energy source and I have not yet attained a grasp on the subject. Hopefully, my college education will give me the knowledge I need to make this dream into reality. The APIASF scholarship will greatly aid me in this task.

Bryan T Demapan
Saipan, NI, Northern Mariana Islands

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I received a letter from APIASF and I was completely dumbfounded by what it contained. Thanks to the funding of numerous supporters, Wal-Mart in particular, I was chosen to become a part of the APIASF family. When I shared my exciting news with my family, they were moved to tears.

In the fall, I am going to attend Texas A&M University and pursue a bachelor's degree in Business Accounting. While in attendance, I wish to maintain my strong Indian culture by joining the Hindu Student Council and the Association of Indian Students. I wish to continue giving back to my community by participating in numerous community service projects and activities.

After obtaining my bachelor's degree, I want to become a Certified Public Accountant and continue my education to receive a Master's degree. After acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary for my profession, I want to become a Forensic Accountant. As a Forensic Accountant, I want to use my skills to assist law enforcement agencies in discovering and charging criminals. I want to use my education to help my community.

I would like to personally thank the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and its numerous supporters for their financial assistance of not only my education, but also that of numerous other students. I have great dreams that I wish to achieve in my lifetime; however, funding has been a great obstacle that I could not conquer on my own. I would also like to thank APIASF for believing in me. In life when we question if we are headed in the right direction, it is always reassuring to know that we are supported in our various endeavors. I wish to make APIASF proud with everything I achieve.

Pritesh V Desai
Rusk, TX

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Hi. My name is Annie Dinh! I will be a proud Aggie this upcoming fall, roaming the campus of the University of California, Davis. You will see me hitting the books and attending tutoring sessions as I work my way to achieving my goal of a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences. Also, I will be in club meetings and will be involved in school events. I look forward to meeting new people and exploring the different cultures and lifestyles that UC Davis has to offer.

When I went to check my mail after coming home from school, I was a bit nervous. Holding the APIASF envelope in my hand, I was not ready to find out the good or bad news. After taking a couple of minutes to prepare myself, I opened the envelope. I was speechless and shocked as I thought 'WHAT? $2,500? No Way!!' My parents were not home at that time, so I called them to inform them of the good news. My family and I are thankful for this scholarship. Due to our financial instabilities, my family and I were overwhelmed with the high costs of tuition and fees. With two children currently attending college full time, we were not sure of how to afford to pay for another child. I was worried about having to take loans as a first year student and how I was going to pay for all of this in the end!

I have a long journey ahead of me, and I cannot wait to take the first step after graduation! After my B.S., I will be heading to Pharmacy school for graduate studies. After years of internship, I wish to open my own clinic and serve my community. Furthermore, third world countries are still in desperate need of medical facilities. After I get my career established and become financially stable, I wish to go back to my roots in Vietnam and provide medical assistance. I want to teach people and spread awareness about having clean water and sanitation to lower the risk of waterborne diseases and food contamination. Wachovia Foundation and APIASF, you have helped me to take a step further to achieve my dreams. Thank you.

Annie Dinh
Sacramento, CA

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I will be attending the University of Georgia to pursue my bachelors in Business Accounting. I hope to learn as much as I can from meeting new people and through my academics there so I can be able to do something I love in the future. My dream is to open up my own business. Through the APIASF scholarship, I am able to fund my college education. It takes a lot of the stress of finding money to pay for my education. I was so shocked that I was chosen for the scholarship. I just could not believe it at first. My family and friends were extremely excited for me, especially my parents who now don't have to pay as much. I would like to thank the individual donors, corporations, and foundations that have made it possible for me to have this scholarship. You have changed my life.

To-My T Dinh
Morrow, GA

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Upon receiving the mail, I prepped myself for rejection, telling myself that whatever the outcome, it will be okay. However, to my surprise, I was so overjoyed when I found out that I had been selected for the APIASF scholarship. I ran to my family in excitement to share the good news!

I am so thankful for the generosity and kindness that APIASF and its individual donors, corporations, and foundations have given me. My parents are unable to contribute any amount to my college tuition, so it is a blessing and an honor to have been selected as an APIASF scholarship recipient. With this scholarship, I hope to attain a good college education, provide a good life for my family, and help my community. Thank you so much.

I am currently undecided in my major but I am leaning towards the field of medicine. I want to really help people and make the world a better place to live in. This scholarship definitely gives me the confidence to continue to work hard towards my goals and aspirations and to earnestly give back to my community in the future. Thank you so much. This opportunity is a blessing and I am very grateful.

Sang X Do
Garden Grove, CA

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As a recipient of the APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship, I want to thank Wells Fargo for giving me a chance to continue my education. I also want to take this chance to thank my ESL teacher, Mrs. Sforza of Austin High School, who has helped me a lot in this success. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents and family who have always supported me.

It is hard to describe my emotions when I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the scholarship. I feel so happy about my achievement. Even though I know that this might not a big award for many people, I feel happy about my accomplishment. In fact, I feel so proud of myself and my family too. This scholarship is the first award I have received since I came to America 2 years ago. It has helped me realize that I also can achieve success.

Next year will be my first year in college and of course there will be challenges waiting for me. It is a big jump for me to graduate from high school and go to college. Standing in front of choices and challenges, I think that it will be hard because I am still learning English. However, with my hard work and ability, I believe that I will overcome all of those difficulties to achieve my goal of becoming a businessman or accountant in the future.

Finally, again I want to thank Wells Fargo and all those who have established this scholarship to help students like me have a chance to continue their education.

Tan T Do
Austin, MN

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I hope to accomplish many goals in college, such as becoming involved with various clubs and organizations, holding a position on CAC (Campus Activities Council) and graduating with a major in Journalism and Broadcasting, with a minor in Spanish, so that I may become trilingual. I want to discover cultures outside of my own as it is through the understanding of each others' backgrounds that enables us all to get along and work well together.

With a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting, I want to have a career as a news journalist or an editor of a girls' magazine. I desire to work in these fields because I want to be a role model for people who have trouble overcoming obstacles. I want to show others that Vietnamese-Americans can go far in the journalism industry as long as they are passionate and determined. I want to be an advocate for girls with strong ambitions to teach, to lead, and to change the world. I believe in equality and I want to stand up for women's' rights through the choices of articles in my magazine. I want to be a positive influence on girls and make them feel important and teach them to stand up for what is right and just. My talents of writing, communicating, and ability to speak a second language will help me achieve my goal.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was overjoyed! I immediately told my mom and showed her the letter and she was also very excited. I let my counselor know about the scholarship and he could not have been any prouder of me.

I would like to thank the many generous and kind individual donors, corporations, and donors supporting students like myself to fulfill their goals and go to college. It is because of unselfish people like you, combined with caring organizations such as APIASF that enable students like me to continue to pursue my dreams with the same determination and passion that you have shown me through your desire to reach out and help others.

Chinh T Doan
Oklahoma City, OK

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I am so thankful for this scholarship! My dream is to go to college and with this scholarship, I am one step closer. When I found that I was selected, I was overwhelmed with joy and disbelief. I couldn't believe that I had been awarded such a prestigious scholarship. My parents couldn't be happier for me. They were also very proud of me for getting such a distinguished award.

I am so grateful for all the foundations, corporations, and individual donors that contributed to APIASF because without you guys, I wouldn't be able to take the next step towards my future. There were probably thousands of applicants for this scholarship and you guys picked me so thank you, thank you for believing in me.

Right now, my future plan is to go to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a Bachelor's degree in Business-Marketing. I am also very interested in International Business, so I am most likely going to minor in it. I have always had an interest in business. Ever since I hit high school, I have taken every possible business class that was available to me. Whether it was Personal Finance, Record Keeping, Accounting, or Economics, if it had something to do with business, you'd find me in it.

Coming from a small town, I hope to meet a lot of different types of people while I'm in college. I'd like to make some new friends and get more involved in extracurricular activities. I hope to leave college with memories I'll never forget. After UNL, I'll probably move somewhere warmer and get my MBA. I plan to travel a lot in my future career path so I probably won't settle down right away. Once again I would like to thank APIASF and all their sponsors for awarding me such a prestigious scholarship. Mere words cannot express my gratitude but thank you.

Hai D Doan
Hastings, NE

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I would like to start off by thanking those who have helped make my dreams become a reality: my family, friends, teachers, counselors, and more directly, APIASF and its donors. I am very grateful for the support that all of you have given me - support which has helped me come one step closer to achieving my goals.

Although writing three essays was not my idea of having fun, as I read the questions, I realized that I had plenty to contribute. It was a perfect opportunity for me to express the concerns I had with my older brother's addiction to, and distribution of, drugs. The questions actually served as an informal counseling for me because I was finally sharing my struggle in words, with the knowledge that others would read this essay, and possibly learn from my obstacle. I then asked for a letter of recommendation from my World Literature teacher. She graciously wrote the letter for me, and I sent off my application, prepared to receive a rejection letter from APIASF.

However, a couple of months after I sent my completed application, I found myself shaking as I opened up a letter that stating that I had made it to the next level! I tried to contain my excitement because I knew that I had not made it all the way; nonetheless, I felt proud of myself - I mean, this is a national scholarship! Yet another couple of weeks passed before I opened a second letter from APIASF, which had bad news; I was not a recipient of the scholarship.

Little did I know, this was not the last letter that I would receive from APIASF - a couple of days later, I opened the third letter from the scholarship organization, a thick letter informing me that I was now a recipient because of the additional funding that the organization received. After I overcame my shock, I joyfully screamed; because of this, if it's possible, I became even more thankful to the APIASF donors.

In the fall, I will be attending the University of California, San Diego to study Biology and hope to pursue a career in dentistry. I am so grateful to APIASF and its many donors for their dedication to helping students, and ultimately strengthening the U.S. through student leadership.

Christie Duong
San Diego, CA

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When my grandfather passed away from cancer, I felt lost. He was the one who took care of me, brought me to school, and taught me what to do in life. When he died, education didn't seem important anymore. But I realized that everything he did for me was so I could have a better life.

I want to major in the business field and minor in communication. I hope to graduate in 4 years, be involved in many activities and make new friends who will be in my life to make a difference. I want to study abroad in the near future. My future career plans include opening my own successful business.

When I found out I selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship my reaction was shock and excitement. I didn't really expect to be selected and be able to receive the scholarship but I am really thankful to APIASF for giving me this scholarship. I'm also really thankful for my grandfather for always believing in me and motivating me to work towards my dreams.

Shullina M Eang
Seatac, WA

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"Coming to America was the best thing that happened to me," my dad constantly reminds me, "when I was growing up, I didn't have anything. No books, no pencils, and no money. Education was the last thing on my mind; I had to worry about finding food and taking care of my mom [my grandmother]. And now that we are in America and you are an American, multiple doors will open." My parents were refugees escaping Cambodia due to a civil war that broke out. During their escape, they lost many family members and friends. My name is Raksmey Raymond Eangbun. I am of Asian descent. My family is mixed with Khmer, Thai, Laos, Viet, and a little Chinese. I am proud of being who I am today. I am a strong person and I am carefree. I remember all of my dad's lectures growing up. He would sit me down and talk to me about how it is important to be successful in school. He wants his children to make it in the real world.

Receiving $2,500 is a lot, even though college costs more that $20,000 a year, and I am so happy to receive it. I plan to use the scholarship on books and room and board. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you, I appreciate this. Getting this scholarship made my day. My goal in life is to help others, and the only way I know how I can help others is though my passion, medicine. I want to become a doctor, any kind really. I want to educate people all over the world about the importance of modern medicine. I want to heal. I plan to go to Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey and achieve my goal. I have the determination and skill and won't let anything get in my way.

I come from a neighborhood that is recognized not by its scholars, but by its reputation. I live in Camden, New Jersey. The media always paints Camden to be a bad neighborhood to grow, to live, to learn and to thrive. I am here to say, they are wrong; Camden is a great place. Our communities are great. We all help each other and we all are there for one another. We have to help each other out, and that is one of my motivations to become a doctor. I want to be on that graduation stage in 2012, and say, that an Asian person who heard "No" repeatedly, made it. I want others to look up to me and I want them to know that if I can do it, so can they. Thank you.

Raksmey R Eangbun
Pennsauken, NJ

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I am honored and grateful to be a recipient of the APIASF scholarship. My family was so happy when we received the news. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who funds APIASF because this scholarship will go a long way. Without this scholarship, expenses for college would be much more difficult to meet. Thank you!

I currently plan on studying finance/pre-business at UT Austin. As the first person in my family to attend college, I hope to learn from the college experience. It is another step in life towards progress. I'll be more focused than ever because college is an opportunity for me to grow academically and as a person. Hopefully after four years at the undergraduate level, I'll be able to pursue higher education at the master's level. As a recipient of this scholarship, I will push myself to succeed because the scholarship opens more doors for me. And for that, I am grateful.

Si C Fang
Plano, TX

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I am honored to be selected as one of the APIASF recipients. Personally, I consider this a major accomplishment. I will be studying economics at the University of Hawai’i, Hilo this fall semester. I believe that getting an education will help me grow and will allow me to reach my full potential. I want to come back to my home island as a productive resident. My family and I would like to thank each and every one of you who is part of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to continue and further my education, your generosity is very much appreciated.

Jonathan W Gaan
Colonia, FSM, Federated States of Micronesia

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My major is going to be environmental engineering. I will continue to study hard in college. In the future, I will try my best to ameliorate our environment. I am very concerned about our world. Global warming is getting worse every day. I think it's very crucial for me to do something about it. Furthermore, I will inform and motivate people to protect our home, the Earth.

When I found out I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was very excited. I feel grateful to receive this award. I am honored and I want to thank the organization and its donors. This award means a lot to me. It will definitely help me continue my education.

The APIASF is a great organization. It gives aid and hope to people like me who are financially challenged. I want to thank all the donors, corporations, and foundations, because the investments that you put into this organization will definitely help our society in the future.

Aaron Y Gao
Santa Maria, CA

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When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the scholarship I was ecstatic because it was the first scholarship that I received. I have applied to numerous other scholarships, all of which have turned me down, so I was pretty depressed. I was extremely happy when I did not receive a rejection letter from the scholarship and I think my heart skipped a beat because I was that excited. I told my mother, my teachers and my friends that I received the scholarship and they were happy for me. My mother was especially happy with me because she was kind of disappointed with me from all the other rejection letters. My teachers were very supportive during my depression with not receiving any scholarship, and they were very happy with me receiving the scholarship.

I will do my best in college because of all the support I have received from my friends, family, and teachers. I will make the best use out of the scholarship to put it towards my education. I want to major in psychology when I am in college so this scholarship will be extremely useful to me. I would like to give my thanks to all the donors who are helping the next world leaders succeed in their goals by helping them with their education.

I hope to become a professional magician in the future because I love to entertain people. Making people laugh and smile is a good way to make a living and I plan to do so. I feel that with a college education I would be able to look more professional when I book shows with my clients. I have to do well in college in order for people to take me seriously in the business world. I will do my best in college and I will never give up!

Billy Guan
San Francisco, CA

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I have always received excellent grades and compliments from my teachers, counselors, and administrators throughout my educational career. Before I entered high school, everything seemed so easy to do, and because of this, I considered myself to be relatively smart and intelligent. When I started attending high school, however, my perspective about my education changed and the confidence I previously had in my abilities waned. I realized that there are many students out there who are just as smart—and even more intelligent—than I am. I started comparing myself to my fellow classmates constantly, and as I continued to compare, the more I started to feel that it was impossible for me to be as smart, as intelligent, as creative, and as well-rounded. To me, it seemed as if all the work I produced seemed incompetent compared to those of my classmates, especially the ones I regard with great respect. Although I still consistently earned straight A's, I had virtually no confidence in the essays and projects I submitted, let alone all the scholarships I applied to. The only thing I could think of when I applied for the APIASF Scholarship was the fact that there are so many better people out there and that my chances of winning scholarships were slim, especially if they are national scholarships. I am glad, however, that I applied, because if I had not, I would have missed out on the $2,500 award from APIASF and Coca-Cola.

As a first-generation, low-income student coming from a single-parent family, the APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship will allow me to take a step further in realizing my dream as the first child in my family to attend college. I am attending University of California, Berkeley this upcoming fall, but while the government and Cal offered grants, my family still would not have been able to pay the remaining costs without taking a substantial amount of loans. It is virtually impossible for my family to contribute to the cost of my education, as both my brother and I depend solely on our mother. Her income barely provides for our daily necessities, and because I am required to focus on my education and family responsibilities, I was not allowed to take up a part-time job, despite my wishes to help my mother with our financial issues as much as possible. The scholarship will not only help me pay for tuition, books, and room and board, it will also provide a relief for my entire family, as my financial burden will be considerably lightened. Words cannot express my gratitude to APIASF and the Coca-Cola Foundation. I hope to repay their support first by excelling at UC Berkeley as Pre-Med student while still pursuing my interests in language, culture, and journalism. When I gain financial stability in the future, I hope to support a student who needs the money as I do now as an individual donor. I know the path I am going to take is a difficult one with numerous obstacles both financially and mentally to overcome; but if there's one thing I learned in the last twelve years, it's that nothing is impossible.

Caroline K Ha
Oakland, CA

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I was so happy when I got the APIASF scholarship. I told my mom about it and she smiled and said "I'm so proud of you, you did a good job." All I can say is thank you so much for supporting me and helping me fund college. I will attend Portland State University and major in business. Once I obtain my bachelor degree, I would like to work for a large company in order to gain work experience and to give back to the Portland Community.

Ngan T Ha
Portland, OR

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I am a Hawai’ian. My heritage and my upbringing define who I am and form the dreams and aspirations that I will achieve. My life has been blessed with a series of gifts, each deeply rooted within my being. Early in my life, I was given the gift of a word: "Aloha." This single word can be described with a thousand others and can be represented by many feelings. Aloha is the feeling of love, of caring for others, of sympathy, and of mourning. Aloha is the way a baby rejoices to the sight of its mother, and the passionate outcry of a father who laments his son's death in a pointless war. This word, alone, has manifested itself into my most beloved dreams: I want to live for others and for myself, I want to be happy and content with my life, and I want to take care of and nurture the world as I experience it.

The APIASF/Wachovia Foundation scholarship is another gift that I can proudly say that I have been blessed with. Using this scholarship, I will be making these dreams come true. Coming from a low-income family, I have been incessantly worried about how I will be able to pay for my college education. Even with the financial aid offered to me by my university, there are still thousands of dollars remaining that my family and I are expected to pay. It is with the greatest thanks that I accept the APIASF scholarship, because with it, I am able to feel content in knowing that I am definitely able to afford my college education.

In the fall, I will be attending the University of California, Davis while pursuing a double major in Civil Engineering and Optical Science and Engineering. Intensely fascinated by the Japanese culture and language, I have developed a life-long goal: to become fluent in Japanese. Once again I would like to thank the Wachovia Foundation and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving me an opportunity not only to change my life, but also of those around me. It is my sincere hope that this organization continues to help the Asian and Pacific Islander American population climb those financial and emotional hurdles that must be overcome in pursuit of a college education.

Stephen C Hager
Modesto, CA

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I am both honored and proud to be one of the recipients of the APIASF/Target Scholarship. My immediate reaction was one of surprise and happiness. With the rising cost of college, I was scared that I might not be able to afford a college education. Target and APIASF have made a huge contribution to my higher education because the amount that they have given me will take away more than 60% of my loans. It is often hard on my parents to pay for all of my educational expenses. APIASF has made my family incredibly happy because they know that they will not have to struggle to put me through college.

I intend to major in physics and astronomy at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Ever since I was young, I have been interested in the way things work and particularly astronomy. In the 9th grade, I became a part of the outreach program at the University of Hawai’i's Institute for Astronomy (IfA). Through this mentorship program, I worked on research and experimental projects on masses of galaxies, dark matter, and compositions of comets. I also received the opportunity to visit Haleakala and Mauna Kea and use the observatories for my research. It is my dream to be able to become an astrophysicist one day and to help younger generations find their passion in science. I hope to be able to do astronomy research at Mount Holyoke.

I would like to thank APIASF for helping me obtain the opportunity to go to college and follow my dreams. I would also personally like to thank Target for being my generous supporter and contributor for my APIASF Scholarship.

Mimi N Hang
Honolulu, HI

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My father brings home newspaper cutouts every other day of subsidized housing that we might be eligible for. These newspaper cutouts pile up on the edge of my table. I am often too busy with schoolwork to even bother touching the pile of advertisements. However, those that do get selected to be applied for reply to us with letters of rejection, stating that our income does not fit the required income range for the apartments. My father is the sole source of income in our family of four. However, our income is often too high to be eligible for low-income housing, too low to be qualified for moderate-income housing, or our income falls in the range, but the price of the rent is too high for us to afford it. My mother always reminds me, "Annie, whether or not we can move out of this place depends on you. Now, we're just waiting for you to buy us a new house."

To be able to afford my family a new house, I will have to be wealthy. To be wealthy, I must start with a good college education. I wanted to attend Wellesley College, however, because of money issues, my parents were hesitant about letting me go. They would rather have me attend a public college and live at home, where tuition is free and there is no need to pay for any room and board. However, this year, on my 18th birthday, I received the greatest birthday present, a congratulatory letter from APIASF. With the additional money available, my parents were less hesitant about letting me go to Wellesley.

I would like to thank all the Wachovia Foundation. If it wasn't for your donation, I may not be able to attend the college I wish to attend, and my future may not have been as bright as it is today. Thank you.

Annie He
New York, NY

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A turning point in my life was in 2002, when I came from China to the United States. Adapting to a new culture was not easy: hearing a different language, knowing new people, getting used to a new school system. My parents never pursued a higher education, but accomplished a lot. My parents are working at low wage jobs in Chinatown. Thanks to their sacrifices I now have the opportunities they never had. Going to a four-year university at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will not only give me the proper education to succeed in life, but also help me set a new tradition in my family. As the first in my family to attend college it won't be easy, but definitely worth it.

I am planning to study either civil engineering or computer engineering because both majors can help my community. When I walk through Chinatown, I see old buildings full of people living in small apartments less than 50 square feet. There are always traffic jams in Chinatown because the roads are so narrow.

If I have this opportunity I would like to reorganize some of the buildings in Chinatown and improve the community. I come from a low-income family, and both of my parents have a hard time paying for my college tuition. When I found out I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was very surprised. Without this scholarship my family would have to borrow money from the government and relatives. Thank you to APIASF and Wells Fargo. I am honored by your support to achieve my future goals.

Qing He
San Francisco, CA

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After graduating in the spring of this year, I plan to attend the University of MN-Twin Cities in the fall of 2008. I will be majoring in Pre-Pharmacy. I am going to live on campus and am extremely excited to experience the college life. After obtaining my undergraduate degree, I plan to go onto graduate school and move forward to becoming a certified pharmacist.

I am extremely thankful for the APIASF scholarship, as I know my parents and family are. Coming from a family of ten, money has always been a huge concern. We were all very thrilled at the news of my selection. I would like to thank the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and all its donors for this scholarship. Not only does this scholarship help me, but it is also paves the way for a future of endless possibilities. I am filled with gratitude. Thank you again.

Pang Ter Her
White Bear Lake, MN

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I want to have a future involved in the medical field. I've been narrowing down my choices to becoming a dentist, but because of the Christian community I grew up in, I am influenced into becoming a missionary at the same time. I have plans to go to the other side of the world and help those who are in need and those who do not have a voice to speak their mind.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was amazed and excited for college. I want to give back to the community and this scholarship will help me do so. My family was also happy to hear that I had received a scholarship. Although it seems really odd, I felt that my dreams have come true. To me, this scholarship means that I will be able to meet the expectations that my parents have. It also is an encouragement and hope that will motivate me to complete my career in the near future.

I really appreciate the fact that there are donors, corporations, and foundations that are willing to support students like us. It really means a lot to us. Thank you all who contributed in putting the time and effort in helping us to be able to take the next step of our lives. What we will become and where we will be is because of what you all have done. Thank you again APIASF.

Sarah Her
St. Paul, MN

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This summer before I begin college, my mother and I will journey to my parents' home country, Vietnam. For my mother, this is a visit that has been on hold for ten years. For me, it is a trip to discover myself and a new part of the world. In Vietnam, my mother and I plan to visit and volunteer at an orphanage that is home for parentless children.

Volunteering is a passion of mine, and I never thought I would be able to go abroad and volunteer so soon; fortunately, I will. I developed my passion for volunteering due to my passion for journalism. To me, journalists are volunteers to the world. They may be paid, but the job of a journalist consumes a considerable amount of time and puts the journalist through possible dangers, all for the sake of information. My career plan is to work as a news reporter, travel the world and eventually becoming a well-known and respected journalist. Attending college will help me achieve my career goals. I will be majoring in Broadcast Journalism while pursuing other subjects such as economics, photography, and theater. My goals in college are maintaining a 4.0 GPA, volunteering in my community and on campus, and bringing awareness of the Asian culture to others.

Like any upcoming college student, I found the admission process financially draining. Towards the end of my junior year of high school, I learned of the massive supply of scholarships available. I applied to numerous scholarships, writing lengthy essays to distinguish myself from other potential candidates. Throughout my senior year of high school, letters came to my house to let me know that I was not a chosen applicant. I began to lose hope in receiving even one of the scholarships that I applied for. However, the day that I received an email from APIASF (Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund) that said I was selected to be a semi- finalist was the day that I regained hope. Months passed, and one afternoon, I went through a stack of the day's mail and saw a letter from APIASF. I began to tear open the thick envelope, thinking that it would be another rejection letter. When I took the letter out of the envelope, I scanned the letter for the usual "We are sorry we can not accept you at this time," but instead I saw, " Dear Jennifer, Congratulations!" I ran around my house screaming as I held the letter and showed it to all my siblings and parents. They were ecstatic and began yelling in joy.

I want to thank APIASF for the kindness and generosity you have given to Asian students through your scholarships. In addition, I want to thank all the donors and foundations that made it possible for APIASF to offer me a gracious $2,500 scholarship.

Jennifer T Ho
Ocoee, FL

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My major is going to be Biology/Pre-Med. In college, I hope to succeed in everything that I do and to get prepared for medical school. I also hope that I will make some life-long friends. For my future career plans, I do not have to be a physician to help people, but I still want to be in a health-care profession.

When I got the scholarship, I was ecstatic. My family was also overjoyed, and my community congratulated me on this great accomplishment. I want to thank all the corporations, foundations, and individual donors who help funded the APIASF. Of course, I would also like to thank all the members of APIASF. Without them, it would not have been possible for me to receive this scholarship.

Sai K Ho
Batesburg, SC

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As a college student I intend on taking a focus in engineering. I hope to become a better person in my years after high school at Portland State University. Academically, I hope that my 4.0 GPA continues on in my years of college. The careers I'm looking into are electrical, civil, or mechanical engineering. My education at Portland State will ultimately help me decide which profession I will pursue.

I have hopes of continuing to instill discipline, character, and a humble perceptive on life through athletics as I pursue my degree. Sports have been a huge foundation for which I attribute my take on life to. Through it, I've learned to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

When I first saw the bolded word"Congratulations!" on the letter from APIASF I was overwhelmed with relief and excitement. I thought to myself,"Finally I win one." My family thought the same. They were worried that I hadn't won any scholarships. My teachers at school felt that I was due to win an award.

I would like to thank my school, teachers, coaches, family, and friends for being a part of the environment that shaped who I am today. Also I would like to give my gratitude to all the donors, corporations, foundations, and especially Wal-Mart, Inc. for supporting the APIASF to help fund this scholarship, without their efforts I would not have this opportunity.

Thank You.

Huyen N Hoang
Portland, OR

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When I finally received a letter from the APIASF organization in early May, my heart dropped. The letter was standard-sized, which more often than not means rejection. However, as I opened the letter, my eyes widened as I saw the bolded capital letters stating"Congratulations!" A rush of excitement flooded my body as I began to realize that my goal of attending Tufts University became closer than before. My family and I remain ecstatic to this day, as it reminds me that hard work and dedication will bring me to where I want to be.

This scholarship will allow me to attend Tufts University, where I will possibly major in Economics and Chinese with a pre-med track. In addition, I hope to explore other areas of study that interest me, including community service opportunities. In the future, I hope to open my own practice, and continue to participate in service events. This will allow me to combine my interests in business, medicine and linguistics in order to travel globally and assist those in need of medical care. It is my goal to positively impact the lives of others as I serve through various clubs and organizations.

I am honored to be a recipient of this prestigious scholarship. I am thankful towards each and every donor, sponsor, and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for contributing towards my education and allowing me to pursue my dreams. This scholarship goes a long way to help pay for tuition and other expenses; I am grateful that I will be given the opportunity to continue my education and pay it forward through my service. Thank you to all who have made this possible.

Phuong K Hoang
Saint Louis, MO

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The architects of our society often overlook my community. It is seen as hopeless, gang and drug-filled, and poverty-stricken by the uninformed. In some respects, they are right: City Heights has a minority-majority and several ethnic immigrants are represented. But the core of City Heights lies in this diversity and although it may be its Achilles Heel when attempting to meet federal school testing standards, it is its greatest strength. The outreach dedicated to my community has infected me and forged a path of community involvement in my name.

I will be traveling to the other side of the country to pursue a higher education, to be the proud ambassador of my family, my mentors, and City Heights. When attending Brown University, I will focus my energies on underprivileged youth surrounding the university. Although I have an undeclared major, I am debating on possible concentrations. At the moment, my eyes are focused on theatre arts, international relations, and sociology. After I receive my bachelor's degree, I plan go back to California and return the favor of my mentors by paying it forward.

When I ripped open my letter and found that I had won the APIASF Scholarship, I was ecstatic. My mind was at ease knowing that $2,500 dollars could help me with the high costs of a college education. My mother, upon receiving the joyous news, congratulated me. Receiving this scholarship is proof of my mother's success of her children after years of overcoming one hardship after another. It is support that will get me through college and my future years in life. Now I can proudly add APIASF to my list of supporters. I cannot fully express my gratitude to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for rewarding me with a scholarship. Thank you.

Betty Hua
San Diego, CA

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Hello, my name is Chanh Huynh, and I came from Vietnam four years ago. I am going to major in engineering in college. I would like to have a career in engineering math because I love doing math and I can also help the community. Engineering mathematicians use theories and techniques to formulate and solve practical engineering problems. Being an Engineering mathematician, I can build models of how communities will grow, over the next several generations. These models will help make decisions about housing, education, medical and infrastructure needs, as well as to determine financial priorities.

The day I got the letter from APIASF was almost the happiest day of my high school experience. It ranks second in the list, right below my graduation day. My family and I were not the only people who were thrilled and overjoyed to find out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship but also my teachers and counselors. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude toward Wal-Mart and APIASF. The scholarship will be of great help for me and my family. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Chanh C Huynh
Youngtown, AZ

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Being a first-generation American and the first in the family to attend college, I am truly part of a privileged generation. The attitude I have towards life and its opportunities would not be what it is today if it were not for my mother. In 1982, my mother immigrated to America, the land of opportunities, at the age of 17. She, however, never had the privilege of receiving a formal education like my brother and me. Along with her 11 younger siblings she made her home in California. Without the warm and loving care of a mother or guidance of a father, it was difficult to settle down, but being the most mature, she exemplified responsibility. She shared her love and care by sacrificing a formal education to raise all 11 of her siblings. Despite having to overcome struggles both physically (handicapped by polio disease) and financially, my mother still managed to raise two families: her siblings and my brother and me.

While my academic goal is to strive and succeed, my personal goal is to undertake the many endeavors that will testify my purpose in college: learning and accepting. I will be attending Rollins' Honor College and enrolling in their Accelerated Management Program. There I intend to attain a bachelor's degree with a major in International Relations and minor in Psychology, an MBA in Entrepreneurship, and ultimately attend law school with a potential future in politics. With approximately a full year of college study completed through dual-enrollment, I plan on taking additional courses over my summers in college to graduate with my degrees two years earlier than a traditional track.

This June, I will attain my Real Estate and Mortgage Broker's licenses and serve as an associate in a firm the following fall. In July, I plan on visiting Vietnam to donate my time and funding I've raised over the year to local schools in the Quang Ninh Province. Community service and goodwill volunteerism are essential counterparts to the morality of society, though without responsible leadership both would cease to exist. My education will be the lantern that will guide me to fulfilling my aspirations. One of my goals in progress is to positively affect the lives of individuals around me so that they may, one day, adopt the goodwill I share. Aside from my academics, community service is second to my main concerns. Over the past five years I've contribute over 500 hours of goodwill volunteerism from helping low-income and at risk youths as a mentor to serving as a Special Olympics Leader. Along with my college studies I plan on establishing an outreach program and eventually a nonprofit organization with an emphasis on education. I would like to end with a note of gratitude to all APIASF personnel and Sodexo. Thank you for your generosity; I am honored to be a recipient. My debt to you can only be exceeded by my appreciation for your purpose.

David T Huynh
Orlando, FL

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As I walk into a new life after high school, it will be difficult for me to confront with the separation of friends and families. Musing about what has happened in the past, I remember all the hard times that we have been through, standing by each other, providing each other with support, holding each other up when we are about to fall. Tears drop from my eyes as those memories flash through my mind. From an Asian perspective, this is the meaning of family. We all are one family regardless of what others think.

College is the next step in my life as I ponder about my future. Who am I going to become? What is my purpose in life as I grow up? All these things travel through my mind. My goal for the future is to become a medical doctor. Realizing that this will be an arduous task for me to accomplish, I applied to many scholarships to assist me in reaching my goal. Upon receiving this scholarship, I was extremely astonished and it just made my day. Nothing else makes me more jubilant than this scholarship. I shared these feelings with my family and friends and they congratulated me for my effort. This scholarship has a major impact on my life because I am no longer limited by financial needs as I enter into college.

My final words are words of appreciation and thanks to the APIASF and its sponsors for their effort in providing the minority of Asians to have an opportunity to strive in the American world. With this support, it will not only be the minds of today but it will also be the great future for the young generation of tomorrow.

Nam C Huynh
Lawrenceville, GA

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I believe education is the key to success, and without education we wouldn't be able to find ourselves in a better place. Unfortunately, the cost of education is rising like growing trees every year. If the economic situation continues growing like plants and trees, then middle class families like mine won't be able to send their children to college. With this kind of concern, I thought it would be impossible for me to move to the next step of my education after graduating from high school. My mind changed when I received the scholarship from APIASF. I can not express my feelings in words of how happy I am. I am so grateful to the Coca-Cola Foundation and to APIASF whose unique and generous support is giving students like me the opportunity to achieve their dreams of attending college. I have always dreamed of studying in the field of computer science and becoming a computer engineer because I feel my strengths are in mathematics, science, and computers. My ultimate target is to earn a master's degree and later a doctoral degree in Computer Science or Information Technology.

After I applied for the APIASF scholarship, I anxiously waited to hear something from them. Every single day, I went to the mail box and was hoping for good news. For a long time, I did not hear anything from anyone. I was gradually becoming a hopeless person, but eventually, I got my sense of humor, strength, and courage back. You may be wondering how I did that, and it is because I received a letter saying, "Congratulations Mohammed!" It was like the sound of thunder when I received the astonishing news. Thank you so much to the Coca-Cola Foundation and APIASF for contributing the money to the needy and outstanding students who keep education in the center of their lives. I would also like to thank my wonderful family. They are the ones who first supported and encouraged me to go to school and get an education. Without them I wouldn't be here. They were so pleased after hearing this great news and are very excited that I will be able to continue learning. I appreciate my community for the opportunity I received and am receiving from them; it is fabulous. Because of the support I have received, I would like to return to my community to assist whoever is in need after completing my education. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Coca-Cola Foundation whose involvement is extremely significant because they are making education beyond high school possible. Specifically, I find that the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the kind of organization whose contributions create and improve the lives of tomorrow's future. Thank you so very much again to APIASF and the Coca-Cola Foundation for the opportunity to go to college.

Mohammed S Islam
Alexandria, VA

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For as long as I can remember, machines have been a favorite subject of mine. The way gears spin and the amazing engineered package a vehicle has always fascinated me. That's why I have decided to become an engineer. I plan to attend California State University, Long Beach and achieve a bachelors of science in engineering. I aspire to work either at Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, or Amgen someday. Presently I am an intern at Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. While interning at Northrop Grumman it is amazing to see the work that was put into the F/A 18's. I helped inspect the final aircraft before it was sent to St. Louis, Missouri and I also helped organize the engineering history of the plane. I was also involved in working with CATIA for the new F-35. I might be a young student, but my love for the marvels of engineering exceeds many. I hope to someday help create the machines in the sky, or help make prosthetic limbs.

When I found out that I was selected as a scholarship recipient from APIASF it was a rewarding moment. My parents were very thankful because I can now attend college with less debt, and they were very grateful to see that there are such pleasant organizations out there. I would personally like to thank the APIASF staff, as they enable the future Asians and Pacific Islanders of this nation to attend college, and make the ideas of tomorrow possible. I would also like to thank the Wachovia, as their dedication to APIASF made is possible for myself and other students like me to be selected as a recipient for a scholarship.

Jay R Jayasiri
Torrance, CA

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When my father handed me a letter from APIASF, my heart raced and I felt the usual feeling of anxiety for rejection. I opened it as quickly as I could and nervously read the first line aloud "CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship award …" My parents were ecstatic and told me how proud they were of me because now, with all the scholarships I've received including APIASF's, I will be able to pay for my college tuition in its entirety.

I would like to express my gratitude to Wal-Mart and APIASF for your generous support. Because of these organizations, I will be able to finally accomplish my dream of achieving higher education with no financial worries. I also would like to thank my family for always believing in me and for always pushing me to do more than my personal best. I would like to thank my choir director, Winnie Yee, for writing my letter of recommendation as well as always supporting me throughout all these years.

This fall, I will be attending UC Berkeley, majoring in Engineering. I hope to utilize my learning experience to its capacity and also grow stronger personally as an adult. After college, the future is still a bit unclear, but I'm always looking for inspiration.

Mandy E Jin
Stockton, CA

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As my high school career began to wind down, I was faced with the challenges of being accepted to college and receiving scholarships in order to further my education. Although these past few months have been hectic, I have learned and grown from my experiences. Now that I have graduated from high school, I plan to practice the skills I have gained in order to prepare myself for college and the "real world". In the fall I will be attending Brigham Young University - Hawai’i where I will be pursuing a degree in Elementary Education and Hawai’ian Studies. Once I complete my education, I plan on returning to Maui to give back to my community by educating the younger generations. I feel strongly about the importance of Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education because without a good foundation, there is nothing to build on. Children are the future. I want to give children a firm foundation so their futures are bright. One of my main goals is to teach in the Hawai’ian Emersion program. I feel this will be a wonderful opportunity for me to perpetuate my Hawai’ian culture while uplifting the Hawai’ian people.

Over the years, my family has instilled in me the importance of education. They have taught me that knowledge is power. It is a power that will enable me to accomplish anything. This advice has taken me far and has instilled in me the desire to learn as much as I can. Through becoming an educator, I will be able to pass on the power of knowledge. I would not be able to achieve my goals without the help of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I was ecstatic when I found out I was a recipient of this scholarship. My family and community shared my excitement and they were all very proud. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get this far in my life. I would especially like to thank the individual donors, corporations, and foundations who help fund the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. With this scholarship, I will be able accomplish my dream of uplifting and educating our future.

Taylissa K Joaquin
Wailuku, HI

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I will be majoring in Engineering Exploration. I hope to gain a high caliber education in college. Graduating with a bachelor's degree and also gaining a master's degree in the future. Upon completion of my education at a prestigious Engineering college, I want to contribute to the restoration of the environment by becoming an environmental engineer. In Yonkers, the city in which I live in, there is a high percentage of people with asthma influenced by the polluted air. Some poverty stricken families are unable to buy automobiles that are environmentally safe. My goal is to build affordable green vehicles.

When I received the APIASF/Wal-Mart Scholarship, there were only two thoughts that raced through my mind: relief and excitement. I am relieved and excited that the APIASF/Wal-Mart scholarship will contribute to my future endeavors. My family was proud that I was finally being recognized in the community for all the hard work I had done.

I would like to thank everyone who helped in the pursuit of my dreams. As the first generation, in my family, to graduate high school and attend college I hope to inspire other Asian students and others in the community to pursue similar endeavors. Without the support and strength within our community, I would not be where I am today. For this, I am grateful and appreciative.

Diane Y Kang
Yonkers, NY

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Growing up, there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to college. However, one area that I was uncertain of, was the cost of tuition. For this reason, I was counting on scholarships and outside aid to help make my dream into reality, and The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) has done just that.

I will be going to The Ohio State University to study Biology and then hopefully to Medical School to become a Pediatrician. When I received the letter informing me that I had gotten the scholarship, I was ecstatic. Since I was home alone, there was no one I could jump up and down with, scream with, and do cartwheels with. However, I did call my parents at work right away, and they were as thrilled as I was. My parents were extremely proud of me and grateful to APIASF for giving me such a great opportunity to further my education.

My family and I would like to thank everyone who makes APIASF possible. Receiving the scholarship has been very uplifting and inspirational to me, and I cannot express how thankful I am to APIASF for it. APIASF has given me hope, and I wish to bring that same hope to others someday. Currently, I have neither the skills nor the resources to benefit my community on a large scale, but with the educational opportunities that have been made possible to me because of APIASF and other organizations, I hope to one day give back to my community as it has so generously given to me

Jasleen Kaur
North Olmsted, OH

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- Senior year, prom, graduation . . . I can't believe I made it this far!

- I can't believe it's all over.

Senior year flew by like a blink of an eye and now that school is officially over, life for me is completely boring. I never realized how much I loved going to school. My whole summer now is basically focused on daydreaming about college life. My plan after high school is to continue my education in the field of engineering (Chemical engineering with a concentration in biotech) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I understand that choosing engineering as a career will be difficult, especially considering the fact that I am a female and a minority, but I truly believe I can take on this challenge. I am determined to get my degree in engineering and succeed in this male dominated industry. I chose engineering because I love science and technology (I also have a liking to math). The element that I find most exciting about being an engineer is: engineers take what people think and imagine and make it a reality. Everything in the world from a pencil erase, to a bike, to an airplane is created by engineers!

- Thank you APIASF Committee for your support

I want to thank the APIASF for awarding me with this scholarship. I feel very fortunate to be selected as an APIASF recipient, especially considering the number of applicants who applied. I promise that I will not let this scholarship go to waste. I will work really hard and earn my degree in engineering. I am the type of person who wants to succeed. I have a goal to fulfill; to support my family mentally, emotionally, and financially, and I will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. I want to again thank APIASF for trusting and believing in me. I will succeed!

Sokleang Keo
Lynn, MA

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My name is Lychhay Kim. I am currently 18 years old and a senior at Edward W. Bok Tech High School. This fall I will be attending Penn State University Park majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in International Business. There are several reasons why I am going into these two fields. Currently I'm taking pre-calculus and process control tech that requires me to take three sub majors (Introduction to process tech, Safety, Health and Environment, and Plant Equipment). These three majors will give me 10 dual enrollment credits from Philadelphia Community College and Delaware Community College. The fields that I am studying right now are related to my interests and major in college. When fall comes, I hope to have all A's and B's at Penn State University Park. My career plan is to become a Chemical Engineer at a big facility such as Sunoco Inc, or another refinery or company. I want to be a good Chemical Engineer because I want to create new objects and change the world in which people live in.

After I found out that I had been selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, it really shocked me for several reasons. I know Penn State University Park costs a lot to go, but that doesn't discourage me from my goal to be an engineer. My parents work so hard for me, they sacrifice everything for me. They moved to America for me and my brother so that we could have a higher education and a brighter future. Therefore, I would like to thank APIASF so much for helping me with this scholarship and supporting my pursuit to attend college. Thank you for your generous support. May God Bless You All.

Lychhay Kim
Philadelphia, PA

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My name is Samuel Kim and I would like to thank the APIASF for this scholarship. When I first found out that I won, my family and I were thrilled and grateful that I was chosen for this scholarship. I will be attending Iowa State University and majoring in Aerospace Engineering. I have been interested in physics for a long time and I hope to one day work at NASA and hopefully help further our research in space and military.

As an independent student, I have been worried about paying for college. Applying for scholarships almost seemed like a waste of time and almost impossible to win. This scholarship is helping me get closer to my dream and I would like to once again thank the sponsors of APIASF.

Samuel Kim
Junction City, KS

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I opened the envelope and the first thing I saw was CONGRATULATIONS in big bold letters. A huge feeling of excitement came over me, but I was shocked at the same time. I could not believe that I won this scholarship because it was the first one that I had received. I felt really satisfied. My parents had the same reaction and they told me I did a good job. This scholarship will help me fund my college education. It will help me receive a better education and an opportunity to give back to my community. In my future I hope to travel around the world and build facilities that will benefit the developing countries. In addition, I plan to become a doctor or a microbiologist. I want to thank all the individual donors, corporations, foundations and creators of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving students a great opportunity and helping fund student's education. Thank You.

Ashleen Kishore
Sacramento, CA

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Francis Bacon once stated that knowledge is power. Power is the ability to exercise control and to effectively perform to the best of our abilities. However, power is not just a physical description; it is also a mental one. Power of knowledge is my door to the future, the power to excel, the power to live, and the power to dream.

First and foremost, if it was not for the bravery and determination of my parents, I would not have excelled as high as I have today. My parents are both natives of Thailand. They moved to the United States at the age of 21. They were thousands of miles away from home, but nonetheless, they moved past their fears of being away from home and decided to start a family.

Going through my younger years of school I always had to try harder than the other students to prove myself because of my ethnicity and the fact that the majority of the school and town had a very high population of Caucasians. All of the other students saw me as the smart Asian girl who always knew the answer. Because of what they believed, I in turn, worked to truly be that girl. I excelled my way through school because of the assumptions of other students. I took their unintentional motivation and made it a personal goal.

Just like there is no limit to knowledge, there is not a limit to dreams; the sky is the limit. I have never held myself back from anything. I do not just dream of a successful future; I work towards one. With enough belief and determination, no dream is impossible. I strive daily to educate myself in working towards one day becoming an anesthesiologist. I plan to attend the University of Arkansas this upcoming fall to major in Biological Engineering as a Pre-Medical program. I also plan to minor in philosophy. The path to becoming a doctor is certainly not an easy one and is full of competition, but I plan to accomplish much along the way. Volunteering any chance I can for a good cause and giving back to my college and community are a few of my personal goals that I plan to carry throughout my college career.

APIASF is a truly wonderful organization and I am entirely grateful to Target for helping to fund the dreams of Asian and Pacific Islanders of America. It's wonderful to know that there are a great number of people with indiscriminate hearts who are willing to help those in financial need regardless of where they came from.

The power of knowledge has mentally paved its tracks in my mind. It has given me everything I need to succeed except the affordability of college. Target and APIASF have fulfilled a portion of making my dreams a reality for the future and for that I cannot express enough appreciation for this organization and all of those who support the power of giving.

Amanda Kojsonk
Columbus, KS

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There is a saying that, "People have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery". I would love to overcome the odds of winning the lottery, but realistically my chances are very slim. This is why I am very grateful for the APIASF scholarship. Financing a college education is harder than ever and especially difficult for me because I come from a single parent household with a mother who works a twelve hour shift. Volunteering in my community, helping out at home, and participating in extra curricular activities at school does not leave me much time for a job. This scholarship will help my family financially by lowering the cost of my education and will help me achieve a bright future.

Education has always been an important aspect in my life. I plan to earn a bachelor's degree in international economics and eventually earn a doctorate degree in education. By mentoring students with disabilities at my school, I have learned that every student has a different method of studying as well as their own technique for learning. This encourages me to become a secondary school teacher or professor at a university. I intend to educate students about the economic relations among countries and share the insights that I have attained throughout my years.

Winning the lottery may be far out of my reach, but being able to help my community by encouraging students to pursue their own dreams is not. Completing a college education will prove that even though I am not as fortunate as one that wins the lottery, I can still be successful and make a difference in my community. The APIASF scholarship will help this make this possible.

Sandy Kuoch
San Diego, CA

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I am very grateful to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) for their financial support. This opportunity has lightened my family's financial burden and will help me to attend Mills College this fall.

My goals for the future are to complete my undergraduate degree at Mills College and to attend law school. I plan to become a civil rights attorney. I believe that higher education is very important because it will give me the skills that are necessary to help my family and my Tongan community here in the United States. After I complete my education, I plan to work with Tongan communities as a counselor on civil rights issues and I also intend to mentor Tongan youths and assist their pursuit of higher education.

I want to humbly thank APIASF for giving me this scholarship so that I can pursue my dreams. Thanks APIASF!

Kalisi U Kupu
San Francisco, CA

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First, I would like to thank the APIASF for awarding me this scholarship. I know that it is challenging for the organization to choose among so many students for the best candidates. Therefore, I truly appreciate being considered for this scholarship. Secondly, I would like to recognize members of the public and wide spectrum of community and professional leaders, organizations, and companies for their generous contributions to this scholarship.

Last but not least, a special thanks to the Upward Bound staff especially the counselor for always helping me and my fellow classmates with our school papers and these scholarships. Without their help, I might not be a recipient of this scholarship. I remember that the counselor told me to fill out the application form, but I didn't bother until the very last minute because I was thinking that I wouldn't be accepted.

Being awarded this scholarship means a lot to me and I don't know how I should express thanks to everyone who has helped me. Hence the quote "Actions speak louder than words" comes to mind. In order for me to show everyone that I'm really thankful of this opportunity, I will put this scholarship to good use. I'll start a new quest to further my education by going to college and study finance/banking and acquire my bachelor's degree. Once again, a special thanks to you all on behalf of my family and I.

Mavis N Laab
Colonia, FSM, Federated States of Micronesia

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I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to APIASF and their sponsors. Thank you for this generous award and honor. My parents and I were absolutely thrilled when we received the award letter. This scholarship not only greatly aids me financially, but more importantly, it shows that APIASF believes in my ability to succeed and contribute to society positively.

I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2008 in pursuit of becoming a biochemist major. I have always had a great passion for utilizing my abilities and intelligence in greatly impacting the well-being of society. I hope to make breakthrough discoveries in the medical field through my future research, which will improve the health of mankind.

After graduating from college, I seek to use my resources to create a non-profit organization that supports the acculturation of immigrants into the American mainstream. My mission is to assemble Chinese immigrants with Americans in my city of Philadelphia and allow them to interact closely with each other in order to truly learn about the differences between each other and come to appreciate each other's beliefs, values, and traditions. Therefore, this organization serves as the bridge that connects the two different cultures to diminish the cultural chasms while simultaneously maintaining the Asian culture. My aspiration is for this to become successful and expand to include all immigrants who have difficulty assimilating to the United States as well as to demolish the cultural barriers that obstruct the true unification of this diverse country. Being the first to graduate from high school and attend college in my family is honorable, but being the first to make an influential difference in the world is legendary. In the words of Henry Ford, "To do for the world more than the world does for you -- that is success."

Ana Lam
Philadelphia, PA

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First of all, I would like to say thanks to everyone at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for choosing me to be one of the recipients of this scholarship. It's an honor to receive this scholarship.

Next fall, I will be attending CSUS. I plan to major in mechanical engineering, for it is a great interest of mine. In college I hope to advance my knowledge greatly so one day I can give back to the community that has helped me.

When I first found out that I was selected to receive this scholarship, it brought great relief to me and my family. This scholarship will greatly help with paying my college tuition. My family and I now will have less stress and not worry as much about finding money to pay for college. This is a great relief because I now can pursue my future goals.

Again, I would like to say thank you very much to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

Gary M Lao
Sacramento, CA

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My name is Brittnee Kam Lin Lau. In the fall of 2008, I will be part of Loyola Marymount's class of 2012! There, I will major in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. I hope to go on to earn a M.B.A in Finance, and then a M.S in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

After college, I hope to return to Hawai’i and open a private practice of holistic healing. I would like to make alternative medicine available to the people of Hawai’i for reasonable prices.

When I got word that I received this scholarship, I was ecstatic! I had a comforting feeling that my prayers were slowly being answered. My family was happy as well. My goal after college is to have financial freedom and to avoid debt. This scholarship plays a major part in my goal.

Mahalo nui loa to every private donor, corporation, and foundation. Together you make the dreams of hundreds of young adults come true each year!

Brittnee Kam Lin L Lau
Wailuku, HI

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My family emigrated from Vietnam seven years ago to follow the American dream. I was raised in a big family. I have seven brothers and two sisters. Like many others, I have a dream to become a pharmacist in the future. Although, I am an Asian female, born and raised in Vietnam, my skin color and where I was born does not matter. What does matter is who I am and my character. Education has changed my life because it makes me believe that the impossible can be possible if I fight for what I believe. Other people say it would be impossible for me to attend college because it is too expensive.

I was exposed to the sciences through the Wichita State University Upward Bound Math and Science Program. This experience captivated my attention to the field of science and biology. After graduation, I plan to attend the University of Missouri, Kansas City to obtain my bachelor's degree. I want to major in biochemistry and pursue my career in pharmacy. In addition, I would like to do research work in a lab. One of my goals is researching medicine that can cure cancers and other sicknesses that we have not discovered. Therefore people don't have to suffer over their sickness and they can live more happily. I will use my skills to provide better services in the community hospital. I would like to fulfill the need of multilinguals to improve service through speaking Cantonese, Vietnamese, English and Spanish to the patients.

Each day, I waited for the letter from APIASF to arrive. Finally on May 6th, I received a letter from APIASF. I could not wait to read it. When I opened the letter, the first word I saw was "Congratulations!" I screamed and ran down to the kitchen telling my Mom that I won the scholarship. We were so happy at that moment. Being a scholarship recipient has made me feel stronger and confident that I can and will succeed in the future. The APIASF award means so much for me because it will assist me in paying for tuition and room and board. Sodexo and APIASF have provided me a pathway to continue my postsecondary education. This award made my family and me proud because I am going to be the first person in my family to attend a four-year college. Thank you for all your help, APIASF. I especially appreciate the generous support of the Sodexo. Your assistance has been invaluable to me during this process. Again, thank you so much. I greatly appreciate your generosity.

Mui t Lau
Kansas City, KS

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I would like to start off by saying, thank you. Thank you to all the donors, corporations, and foundations for giving myself and all other APIASF scholarship recipients such an amazing opportunity.

Next fall I will be attended Grand Valley State University. I plan on receiving a Bachelors degree in Bio-medical sciences and then going into a physician assistant program to get a master's there. Throughout my life, I've toyed with what I wanted to do in the future. Back in the day, I was a video game fanatic and wanted do to do nothing else in this world but to create and design video games! I then wanted to become an architect, computer animator, disk jockey, and even have a career of making music in a band! It wasn't until four years ago that I wanted to be something in the medical field. For about two years, I passionately wanted to become a nurse. I then switched to wanting to become a physician assistant mainly because they have more of the qualities in a job that I am looking for.

This scholarship is a blessing for my family and me. In middle school, my mom was diagnosed with renal failure, forcing my mom to discontinue working, and also cutting our finances in half. Despite having my father to work extra hard for the household income, my sisters and I had to take on much more responsibility, including finding jobs, and helping out my dad at his business. After my mother's kidney transplant, I had a much stronger motive to pursue my career in becoming a physician assistant. Since I planned on going to college next fall, money was a big issue. I found myself in a position where there was a chance that I may just go to a community college and couldn't afford to go to the college I've been hoping to attend for many years. But with the help of this scholarship, it has improved those chances, and made my drive to attend Grand Valley State University even stronger.

When I received the letter in May, I immediately came down with sweaty palms and my heart began racing. I grabbed the letter from the dining table and started looking at how thick the envelope was. I said to myself, "Alright, if it was a letter telling me I didn't get it…it would just be one paper, right?" So this made my heart race even more. When I opened it, the first thing I saw in bold print was congratulations. At that point, I'd already started jumping around. I tried to find my parents but my grandma said that they just left the house so I rushed outside to see if they left already and got out in just enough time to catch them in the driveway. I opened the door, and put the paper about 2 inches from my dad's face. When he looked at it, I have never seen my mom and dad smile so big in my life over a piece of paper.

Once again I sincerely and with all of my heart, Thank you for making this all happen. This has made my motivation and given me much more potential to achieve my dreams. I have never been so honored and grateful to receive a scholarship such as this one.

Khai Q Le
Grand Rapids, MI

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My name is Thuy-Chau Le and I will be attending the University of Washington in Seattle this upcoming fall. Science has always been my favorite subject and that's why I plan on majoring in the science field; preferably biology. After college I plan to continue my studies and enter dental school where I hope to become a pediatric dentist. I am grateful that I am a recipient of this scholarship and would like to thank all the people who made it possible.

Thuy-Chau T Le
Tacoma, WA

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Right now, I am undecided about my major. I like photography and writing, and at first I had my mind set on photojournalism but I decided to keep my options open because it is more exciting when there is a variety of choices instead of just one set path to take. I hope that during my time in college, I will find a passion or deepen my passion for something, and discover a major. I hope to make many new good friends while maintaining my current friendships, studying abroad in Greece or Scotland, and start that youth support program I've always wanted to do. Now, with the help of APIASF, I am confident that those hopes are going to become a reality. When I opened the letter and saw CONGRATULATIONS!, I was so surprised, excited and overjoyed. I truly thought I was not going to receive this scholarship because I applied to so many scholarships yet they had all declined me. I want to thank all the donors, corporations, and foundations of APIASF for awarding me this scholarship. You all have made the financial part of college a lot less stressful for me. I promise to use this money to the best of my ability. Thank you once again.

Bao Lee
Minneapolis, MN

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First of all, my name is Ching Lee. I am from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. My pathway after high school is to go on to University of Wisconsin-Madison. My intended major is Biology/Pre-medicine. In college, I hope to get a good experience from learning from everyone around me. After getting my bachelor's in Biology, I plan to attend medical school and specialize in Pediatrics.

With the help of the APIASF Scholarship, I will be able to decrease my amount of loans for college. When I received this scholarship, I was very happy and surprised, and the first people I told were my parents. They were very happy and proud of me. I would like to thank all those individual donors, corporations, and foundations that have contributed funds to this program. I would like to thank this APIASF scholarship committee for selecting me as a winner.

Ching Lee
Sheboygan, WI

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I would like to give thanks to all donors, corporations, and foundations for everything they have contributed and done for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I would also like to thank the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for awarding me this gracious scholarship. When I found out that I was selected to be a recipient of this scholarship, I could not have been happier to be an Asian American. My parents were ecstatic! Actually they were ecstatic before I won because I applied for a scholarship that requires the applicant to be an Asian American. Winning this scholarship illustrates the pride I have for being Korean American and an Asian American.

I was accepted to New York University in December of 2007. In my opinion, New York University is the best place to study my major; I will be majoring in hospitality and tourism management. I want to pursue a career in the hotel industry whether it is related to lodging, the culinary arts, or business. Although I love the United States of America, I want to work and live in a foreign country such as China, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, etc. I would have to learn foreign languages in college in order to communicate with natives in those countries. I plan to learn Mandarin, Japanese, and possibly Cantonese, and New York University is known for teaching various foreign languages that most colleges do not teach.

So far most of my dreams have all come true. I graduated high school with high grade marks and got accepted into New York University. Now it is time for my next dream to come true. I want to study abroad in Shanghai, China and also graduate from New York University with high grade marks. Thank you all for this scholarship. I will not let you all down.

Donna H Lee
Chattanooga, TN

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Leaving my own country (South Korea), I came to the United States at the age of 3. Adopted by my maternal aunt and raised by my maternal grandparents, I couldn't have asked for a better family. My grandparents and aunt were the ones who kept me in touch with our Korean culture. Not only was I in touch with my culture, but my family were also the ones who taught me how to respect others and to always do well in school as education leads to success. Staying at home most of the time with my grandfather, my grandmother and aunt were the ones who worked 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. My grandparents and my aunt have sacrificed a lot in order for me to live in America. I would like to truly thank my aunt for adopting me and giving me the opportunity to live in America and my grandparents who have raised me to be the individual that I am today.

For fall 2008, I will be attending the University of California, Berkeley and my major will be legal studies insofar as growing up in Salinas, California, I have been affected internally and externally by crime. Every year, Salinas's crime rate increases, and by working with the justice system my goal is to become a criminal lawyer and aide my hometown by curbing the crime rate in Salinas. Some of the ideas that I have in mind is to develop social and educational programs for students of all ages, especially high school students because a majority of the adolescences are the ones who are involved in gang-related activities. In curbing the rate of crime, individuals will feel more comfortable and safe walking outside their homes. Preoccupied parents will stop worrying about their children playing out on the streets or walking to and from school. Other people will not have to suffer the loss of their loved ones. Also at UCB, I plan on joining clubs and organizations in order to interact with students who not only come from other states, but who also come from other countries. At UCB, I will make my college life an experience that I will never forget.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was excited that right after I opened up the letter and read "Congratulations," I called my aunt and when I told her, she was actually more excited than I was, which was really funny. In regards to earning the APIASF Scholarship, I would like to give a word of thanks to the staff and members of the Scholarship Fund. Earning this scholarship has taught me how important and meaningful scholarships are to certain individuals. I plan on creating my own scholarship fund in the future for college students because I know that it will make an impact on students, just like this scholarship has on me.

Hwa-Rim Lee
Salinas, CA

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I will be majoring in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, I will be enrolled in the Turing Scholars Program to further my study in Computer Science. Deciding my major was the hardest decision I had to make thus far. However, I started to see that I had some talent in the field after becoming a quarter-finalist winner in the AAPT US Physics Olympics contest and being invited to the American Invitation Mathematics contest. College will be an exciting, but scary period in my life. I will finally be independent and free; however, I will be living in a completely new environment on all my own. I believe my four years at University of Texas at Austin will be my most important years of my life. I plan to make life-long friends. However, my main focus will always be set on getting an education. I have the energy and the will to learn, and I want to use it to get an education that I'll use for the rest of my life.

After I graduate, I hope to get a master's degree in Chemical Engineering or Computer Science, and pursue in the engineering or programming field. Also, I hope to become a high school teacher on the side. I have always enjoyed helping others and I hope to be a physics or a math teacher one day. My current physics teacher, Mr. Milburn, works for an aerospace engineering company. He seems to be always busy with his experiments at his company. When he has a major failure, he is excited to show us a video of the failure. It is easy to tell he enjoys his work. I want to do exactly that. He has influenced me to become an engineer, and he has shown me the joy of teaching.

When I received the APIASF notification of the scholarship, I was shocked and confused. I had no idea I would receive such a prestigious scholarship. My parents were extremely excited and relieved. This scholarship will be a tremendous help and will help pay for tuition at University of Texas at Austin. I am so thankful for this scholarship program and I want to thank those individual donors, foundations, and corporations like Coca-Cola for supporting this program. They are all helping many students get an education. Such generous actions will not go unnoticed and they have clearly demonstrated their generosity to the society.

Jung H Lee
Plano, TX

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When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I was shocked and I could not believe that it was real. My mother was happy for me too. Before she knew, she did not know why I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I would like to say thank APIASF for awarding me this scholarship. I am so excited and I can not thank you all enough for this wonderful opportunity. This scholarship will be used towards my college expenses such as tuition, books, and room and board. I am really thankful that this scholarship will help me achieve my dreams and goals of pursuing a higher education.

As I continue to pursue a higher education, I will be attending St. Thomas University in the fall of 2008 as a full-time undergraduate. With the opportunities out there in the world I can become successful if I challenge myself to the best of my abilities. Since I've always wanted to help people out in any way possible, I want to pursue a higher education in psychology and receive my doctorate degree so that I can become a psychologist. I think a psychologist in today's society is highly important because many clinical and counseling psychologists are needed to help people deal with depression and other mental disorders, marriage and family problems, job stress, and addiction. As society is becoming more complex with the increase number of health issues, I believe that we need the right clinical and counseling specialties to provide good health care. I see that becoming a psychologist would help improve society.

I know that education will benefit me just as my high school education in IB has benefited me. I will continue to push for excellence and reflect back on how much I've already gained. I hope to become someone even better. With the help of this scholarship, I believe that I will go really far in life. Once again, I would like to say thank you to APIASF for awarding me with this opportunity to be successful in the future.

Mai-Eng Lee
Minneapolis, MN

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My name is Steven Lee. I am a senior in Hickory High School at Chesapeake, Virginia. I will attend the University of Virginia this fall, where I intend to earn a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Then, after earning my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, I intend to enter into a College of Pharmacy where I hope I to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and become a pharmacist.

Winning the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund has definitely been one of the best honors I have received in my life. When my family and I found out that I had won the scholarship, we were all filled with excitement and comfort. With this money I will be able to help relieve a huge financial burden from my parents as they have always been worried about how they were going to pay for their children's college expenses. I will use the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship to pay for my tuition, books, and supplies.

Therefore, it is very important that I thank everyone who makes the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund possible. Thank you for supporting and believing in me. This scholarship has given me the confidence to attain my goals, to receive an education, and in the future, help better my community.

Steven W Lee
Chesapeake, VA

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Thank you for the scholarship. When I received the letter, I was overjoyed that I had been selected to receive one of the scholarships. The first person I told was my mother. I am the oldest of eight kids and the first to go to college. She was very happy I received the scholarship because it's going to help me pay for college.

I am planning to go into the nursing field. I'm not quite sure which kind of nurse, but I'm looking forward to college to learn about all the different types of nursing opportunities. St. Catherine is one of the best nursing colleges. I believe that going to St. Catherine will help me prepare for my future career.

My future plan is to go to college for 4 years. Along with college, I plan to work on the weekends and do work study on campus during the week days. I want to make money so I can start paying off loans. Also, I want to study abroad. I want to go to Thailand and learn about its nursing practices and techniques. I hope to accomplish as much as I can and learn from everything around me. It is my goal to maintain a GPA above 3.0 throughout my time in college.

I just want to thank APIASF, the individual donors, corporations, and foundations for selecting me to receive this scholarship. This money will help me get a step closer to my career and reaching my dreams. Thank you for the support! This scholarship means a lot to me and I just want to Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for this money. I appreciate it! Thank you!

Youa Lee
Saint Paul, MN

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To begin, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Asian and Pacific Islander and American Scholarship Fund for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients this year. Thank you all very much.

I believe education not only broadens my horizons and enriches me but also provides a good foundation for achieving my career goals. After immigrating to the United States from Hong Kong two years ago, I was compelled to utilize my bilingual skills in a broader aspect; therefore, I taught ESL classes at local senior sites. The teaching experiences were truly rewarding, not only because the senior citizens were now open to more opportunities in their lives, but it also gave me a peek into the meaning of "sharing and giving back" and reaffirmed my goal to become a social worker. I have witnessed many immigrants suffering from the generational gap aggravated by immigration. As they speak limited English, they cannot express their thoughts in daily life and their voices are often unheard in the community. With this in mind, I am determined to become a social worker to help those who are less fortunate to speak their dreams out loud.

In a few months, I will be attending University of California, Davis and I plan to major in sociology and minor in international relations. With my strong commitment and passion to my education goals, I am confident that I will become a social worker to aid the underrepresented and the impoverished in my community. After receiving news that I had received the APIASF - Sodexo Scholarship, my parents and I were incredibly overjoyed. Now, I will be able to attend college and achieve my aspiration of becoming a social worker. Once again, I would like to express my utmost gratitude and thanks to APIASF and Sodexo for helping me on my first step of my academic road.

Wai Yi Leung
San Francisco, CA

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When I enter UC San Diego as a freshman of the class of 2012 I hope to study International Relations specializing in Economics. I hope to learn more about International Relations and Economics so that I can pursue my dream in becoming an economist.

I remember opening the letter that APIASF sent out to the scholars. I was nervous to open it, but was anxious to know what the letter contained. I ripped open the letter as I frantically tried to find the letter that determined whether or not I received the scholarship. The first word I saw was"Congratulations!" I screamed and opened the door. I told my parents that I received the APIASF scholarship. As I was telling them the news, I started crying because I knew that my parents would not have to worry about money when I was in college. My parents were really proud and I felt like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I knew that my parents wouldn't have to work overtime in order to give me spending money for books and supplies for college.

I am truly grateful for the generous scholarship. The feeling of knowing that I will not be a financial burden while I am at college is a relief. I would like to thank the individual donors, corporations and foundations for giving minority students like me an opportunity to continue my education.

Cicely A Li
Alameda, CA

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When I was in eighth grade, the thought of attending college did not cross my mind. In high school, I joined the wrestling team after the coach lobbied me for two months and that summer, I attended a wrestling camp at the University of Nevada Reno—it was my first encounter with a University campus. I even had the opportunity to live in the dorms for two weeks. Because of that experience, I knew that college was my next step.

When I discovered my status as an APIASF Scholarship recipient, I mouthed a "YESSS!" and showed it to my parents. They gave me a befuddled look and requested that I translate the significance of the letter to them in Chinese. Alas, they looked at me and said, "Good job and keep up the good work. You deserve it." That was enough because I smiled for the whole rest of the night and the whole rest of the next day.

At Stanford University, I will major in economics. Though academics are important, college is going to be more than just work, work, work. I hope to become some sort of performer (breaking, hip hop, ballroom dancing, actor, stunt artist) and to be in athletic shape. One big goal I hope to achieve is to know at least 20% of the class of 2012 before the end of senior year.

The reason one decides to contribute to a scholarship foundation is to invest in the future generation. Therefore, I humbly extend a thank you to all those who have contributed. You have financially invested in my future. I promise you that I will further my studies and enter college with high hopes and great aspirations. Thank you.

Terence Li
San Francisco, CA

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To the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and supporters, Thank you for the wonderful gift of offering me the 2008 scholarship. It is such a true and generous blessing to receive this scholarship. With this scholarship, I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania. Looking forward to the challenges, obstacles, and road ahead, I am unsure of my career and profession, but with the help of APIASF, I find myself free to explore this journey at this point in my life. It is with great joy and honor to be a recipient for such a wonderful scholarship as well as a member of such a life-impacting and monumental organization. Thank you again for this scholarship. I am truly grateful and I could never thank you enough.

Wing Lock Li
Philadelphia, PA

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In the beginning of senior year, my college years that I have been looking forward to since I can remember flashed before my eyes. I never thought of any other alternative after high school. I never worried about money before, but after my junior year, my dad got into car accident coming home from work and a few months later he lost his job because of department cuts. Now our family is depending on my mom's small daycare in our home to support our family and my older sister's graduate school as well as my upcoming college years.

Dedicated to helping my family financially, I applied to as many scholarships I could get my hands on. To be chosen to represent APIASF and recognized nationally is one of the proudest moments I have had thus far. Thank you so much to APIASF and all of their sponsors for helping make sure my much-anticipated college years are fulfilled at the University of California, Berkeley.

Born with a cleft lip, I faced social rejection early in my life. Even though I had reparative surgery, I was still teased as a child and had rumors spread about me that someone had cut my lip or punched me. Even now as a young adult, I still receive rude comments like "You will never be a dentist with those teeth," and "You should get rid of that scar, how are you going to find a husband?" from grown adults. I have grown to disregard people's ignorance, but I know others in my position may be struggling. Hence for years, my family and I have supported cleft reparative programs like Operation Smile and Smile Train to aid those unable to afford surgeries. Additionally, I would like to start a scholarship for cleft patients to help achieve their dreams despite other people's doubts. Furthermore, I wish to become a dentist or an orthodontist in hopes to continue my mission of spreading confidence. With the APIASF scholarship, I am one step closer in pursuing my dreams.

Elaine R Lim
Richmond, CA

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I want to major in Business in college and eventually obtain a Masters in Business Administration. I also would like to learn a fourth language, Spanish. I believe that having a lot of knowledge makes for a brighter life.

"I want go to college, I want go to college…." This voice has been resounding in my heart for while. When I received the letter from APIASF, I was so afraid to open it because I knew I might not be a scholarship recipient. But as soon as I opened it and read it, the cell in my body were stimulated. I yelled and jumped around the house and said," I got it, I earned it." I was so proud of myself at that moment because I saw hope in front of me, and I knew I could keep moving forward and reach my career. I had always believed that I should handle everything on my own. I never expected to get a helping hand from other people, but APIASF has totally changed my mind. My mother was so glad that I earned this scholarship and was proud of her son. $2500 may not be much for other families, but for us it is a huge amount.

I am really appreciative and feel so lucky to receive this scholarship. I believe God will bless all the donors, corporations and foundations and whoever else has helped young scholars. They gave us hope and encouragement to go forward. We are the hope for future generations.

Dachun Lin
Augusta, GA

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After coming home from a tiring day of school, I opened the mailbox to find a letter from the APIASF. I couldn't help but to squirm with curiosity of what it would say once I slid open the envelope. I was ecstatic to find out that I, one of the many college-bound students across the country, had been chosen as a recipient! I rushed up the driveway to let my family know of the great news. My parents were overjoyed and proud of my achievement for receiving this prestigious award.

Since the beginning of senior year, I have filled well over 50 scholarship applications, only to wait with anticipation of a letter with words along the lines of CONGRATULATIONS. As a first-generation American born citizen as well as a first-generation college-bound student in my family, it was challenging for me to know precisely who I needed to ask for help or where I would need to apply. Education has always been an important part of my life and it has been a dream of mine to continue this education after high school. The only obstacle, as it is for many, was the money.

In the fall of 2008, I plan to study biology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. I plan to obtain a Bachelor's Science Degree through the Chancellor's Scholar Program. After undergraduate school, I will continue my education in medical school, where I am determined to become an anesthesiologist. I feel that there is much life has to offer. There are an abundant amount of opportunities and experiences that are waiting for every individual to grasp. By working with patients and helping other surgeons save lives, I will be able to affect the people I meet in a positive manner.

Receiving the award has had an amazing impact on my life. It has helped me continue to work hard, have faith and determination, and strive for my best because every bit of it will assist me in reaching my potential dreams. By doing so, I hope I will be an inspiration to younger children in my community to dream high and realize that education is an important aspect of life where anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

I would like to thank APIASF and their generous sponsors for their support and generosity in assisting me fund my education in college. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have received your award. It gives me great pride and insight to know that there are people who are more than willing to help me overcome my financial obstacles in order to achieve my dream of going to college. I will never forget the impact you have had on me and hope, as time permits, I will be able to touch another student's heart as you have touched mine. Thank you!

Kim N Linson
Beloit, WI

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My name is Fangfang Liu and I will be attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall. When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was ecstatic and jumping on my bed. Then I told my mom, dad, brother, uncles, aunts, little cousins, friends, teachers, mentor, and community members. They were all so proud of me! It was a great accomplishment. This scholarship means a lot to me and my family.

I must thank APIASF and all its sponsors, especially Wal-Mart, Inc. for their generous donation. Thank You Very Much!

Fangfang Liu
San Francisco, CA

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On July 8th, 2005, I boarded a plane from China with my mother to come to the United States where we would finally be reunited with my father after being apart for five years. Life in the United States is hard but hopeful because we all understand that we are going to start our American Dreams. The first dream that has come true is to go to a good university, and I am going study my favorite subject, mathematics and education, at UC Berkeley in fall of 2008. My dream is to be a great high school teacher, one who helps other students to get into college to reach their dreams.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was so happy because this is the first scholarship that I have ever received. I felt so proud of myself, and I could not wait to call my parents to tell them the exciting news. My parents were so glad and surprised that I was selected as a recipient, because as an immigrant family that has just come to the United States, money is a problem for us.

I know that APIASF is funded by individual donors, corporations, and foundations; thus, I especially want to thank all the people who donated money and helped me to go to my dream college. I just want to say that when I graduate from college and get a job, I will be proud to join you and help other students who also need help to reach their dreams.

Thank you so much!!!

Qiao Liu
San Francisco, CA

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"Money doesn't grow on trees" as my parents would always tell my brothers and me growing up. Throughout my life, I've always known what it truly means to be hard working. My parents were the perfect example. Moving place to place and living paycheck to paycheck, I have learned not to take anything that comes into my life for granted. Although, my family is far from wealthy, my parents have always stressed the importance of education. My parents lacked the foundation of a strong education. Growing up, surviving the Khmer Rouge war was their only priority. My parents came to America to give my brothers and me an opportunity for a good education and a better life. I knew that my parents didn't have the money for me to attend college. So I was determined to do anything and everything I could to attend college without taking out loans and being in debt when I graduate. As the first generation in my family to go to college, determination is the key word.

I am pleased and honored to be chosen as an APIASF/Wachovia Foundation scholarship recipient. With this scholarship along with government grants, I am grateful to say that I will be attending Washington State University next fall on a full ride. I will be majoring in journalism with a minor in business. What I hope to accomplish in college is not only a good education but also the knowledge to make a difference in the world. My future career plan is to hopefully become a novelist and publish many books. My heart is in writing and my hope is that through my books, I will give light to those who live in shadows of darkness.

When I first found out that I was selected as a recipient, I fell to my knees and cried. This scholarship will give me the financial assistance that will take away the financial burden from my parents. My parents are proud to know that what they came to accomplish in America is finally coming true. I want my family and community to see me as their success story. I would like to give many thanks to the Wachovia Foundation for funding APIASF. It is the support of people in the community which helps young adults such as myself succeed. I am lucky to live in a society where there are people willing to help make a difference and shine light on those who are less fortunate. This scholarship will benefit many others to come and is the perfect example of what it means to give back.

Jennifer V Long
Tacoma, WA

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After many rejections from the different scholarships that I had applied too, I received a small envelope in the mail. The name on the return address read Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I thought to myself, "It must be a rejection letter because it came in such a small envelope." I was hopeless and tore the envelope opened carelessly. My eyes lightened up and I screamed as I ran to the kitchen to hug my little sister! I could not believe my eyes! There it was! Finally, there was a letter for me from one of the scholarships I spent so much time applying for and it actually chose me to be a recipient. The word CONGRATULATIONS appeared as the first word on the line of the letter! This meant so much for me. I picked up the phone and called my mom! She was really happy for me. Money is easy to spend, but very hard to earn. For this reason I am thankful that I was chosen to be one of the recipients of the scholarship. APIASF boosted my confidence to pursue education.

Coming from a low-income family, I only have so many options to choose from when it comes down to how much everything costs. For example, it would be cheaper for me to go to a state school than a UC or a private college or university. I was limited to only my state schools, but after I was notified that I was selected as a finalist for the APIASF scholarship, I opened up my options to the UCs.

As a high school graduate and an incoming fall freshman at the University of California, Irvine, I hope to study in International Studies. My dream career has always been to be able to travel to the different ethnic countries and help with the socio economy and the developments. Not only do I plan to take classes on campus at UCI, I plan to get involved in the study abroad programs and get involved with different organizations and internships pertaining to my field of studies.

Being a member of a family who is less fortunate in high monetary status, I have learned the values of receiving financial aid opportunities to attain higher education. I am not handed resources and other kinds of help for both my parents are illiterate in the English language. Thus, I have to put myself out in different communities to find help as a first generation college student. Financial help is an important factor that opens up more education opportunities for me. Therefore, every chance I am able to receive any kind of help to better my education, my parents are proud for they were never able to have the same experiences as me.

Bao Lor
Sacramento, CA

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Growing up, my father always told me to be the best I can be. When I am not the best, my father doesn't get upset but he tells me to try harder. I was born in Phananetkhom Refuge camp in Thailand. After I graduate high school, I plan to study education. I like to socialize with different people especially young adults and children. I would like to become an elementary school teacher or an English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL). I know that teaching is not easy, but I do believe that I am strong enough to handle it.

In college, I do hope to join different types of clubs, especially Model United Nations. My high school sponsors Model UN, but I did not have time to join because I was really busy with the school newspaper. The reason why I want to join is because I love history and politics. Later on I do hope to study abroad if I can afford the cost. I still cannot decide what country I want to study in but I know that I can decide later.

In the future, after I have taught for a certain number of years I would like to become a school administrator. During my senior year in high school I really enjoyed working with the assistant principal and the office staff.

When I received the letter from APIASF that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship I was really excited. My family was really proud of me and my community was just surprised because many of them did not know that I was applying for a scholarship.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the donors, corporations, and foundations for providing the funding for this scholarship. If it wasn't for you, this scholarship would not be possible.

Mong Lor
Hickory, NC, USA

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Every student deserves an opportunity to be at their best. Every student deserves to go after their education no matter the circumstances. Every student who strives for something more than what is expected of them, deserves more than what they expect to receive. Today, every one of those students gives thanks to Sodexo and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. My name is Han Luong; I am one of those students and I thank you.

I will be going to Macalester College, a place where giving back to the community means everything. I am glad to have been accepted and I thank Sodexo and APIASF for making it easier for me to attend. At this point, I do not know what my major will be when I am in college. I just hope to do my best in college, learn as much as possible, and come out of it with satisfaction. Since I do not know what I will major in, I do not think my future career plans are very clear. However, I do take joy in helping people in need. I believe that great things have happened to me because there were people there to help me along the way. Therefore, I want to give back by motivating and assisting others with a strong determination to succeed. Regardless of my major, career, or income, helping others is what I will do with my life.

When I received the letter saying I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF - Sodexo scholarship, I was stunned. I was frozen for about a minute or two with my mouth wide open staring at the papers. My family does not know much about my academic career, to be honest, but they were very happy for me also. My sweet "Admission Possible" coach, Jessica Rosenberg, told me that I deserved it. To know that I was selected and to hear that I deserved it gives me the greatest joy. To Sodexo and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and to all of its donors, I thank you with all my heart for giving me and others like me this opportunity. Thank you for believing in me.

Han T Luong
Brooklyn Park, MN

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Being from an extremely poor family and now a foster youth, getting the education I wanted was much harder. Lack of resources has always been an obstacle that has affected my ability to achieve academically. I was living with my mother in a very small apartment in Chinatown. (I would describe it as a "small box"). After placing a TV, a closet, a refrigerator, and a bed, the room could barely fit my mother and my little brother. And my "office" was there! Everyday, I would do homework on the bed. When I was done, I had to clean up those "eraser leftovers". Since my family could not afford a computer (and there was no where to put it anyways), every time the teachers assigned some typed essay or project as homework, I would have to either wake up early to do them at the school's computer lab or stay late to do them using the library's computers. Even though that was the case, I did not give up going to school and getting my education everyday. This passion for education has never changed and I know that, by holding on to this passion I will be successful. Then I can have a real office for myself and a big house for my family. I appreciate everything that I have today, especially my church friends and my"unusual" family.

Financial aid is essential for me to achieve academically. Since my father is deceased and my mother worked from day to night, I did not have much encouragement from my parents. Now, even my mother is not around with me. I had to handle many of the family's issues. Financially, my mother cannot support any of college expenses. Her salary can barely support the family through the month. And now it is even worse, she does not even have a job, and has to go through many medical procedures and rehabilitation. So, I must rely on any financial aid in order to achieve my educational goals. Thanks to the Coca-Cola Foundation and APIASF, my dream of becoming a teacher and writer is not just a "dream" anymore. I greatly appreciate the Coca-Cola Foundation's generosity.

Being a foster youth enables me to see many different things that I could not have the chance to experience if I was just a normal kid. Many of those memories were unpleasant, depressing, and even hurtful. Yet, I have learned a lot. Through these hardships, I have become stronger, more mature, and more independent. I feel so proud of the changes that I have made in my life. And now, as I am moving onto the next chapter of my life, there will be many more challenges yet to come, but I know from my heart, I can and I will overcome them all.

Po Yan Ma
Daly City, CA

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My name is Tina Mai and I am a graduating senior at West Hall High. I am thrilled to be a recipient of this reputable award, and greatly honored to be able to share my experience.

I first became interested in the educational field through my personal experience with my father's desire for me to pursue a vocational career in cosmetology. Before his sudden death, he enrolled me in a cosmetology school where I wasted one precious year in a field I ultimately disliked. After graduating from the school, I promised myself I would be successful and be an inspiring teacher. I hope to make an impact and teach future generations the true meaning of life through their inspiration and not their parents' perceptions. I hope to attain a degree in education and make a difference in future generations.

I would like to thank APIASF and its wonderful sponsors for aiding in my search for financial assistance. Thanks to APIASF, I am one step closer to achieving my goals.

Tina Mai
Gainesville, GA

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My personal goals and educational goals are to continue my education by going to college and hopefully be able to play Division I sports, whether in volleyball or basketball, if I decide to continue throughout college. By continuing my education to college, I would like to strive to become a doctor or dentist and try to further my education by going to Medical School or Dental School. I would like to have the opportunity to succeed in whatever I plan to do in life and help those who are less fortunate throughout the world and just make a difference in peoples' lives, and have a career that makes me happy.

If I decide to become a dentist , I would be helping others 24/7 and caring for other's health issues. I would also like to make my own charity, or charitable fund to reach those who are less fortunate and just give back to the community and to those who need it more than others. Gods will, if I get an opportunity to succeed and do something with my life, I will surely never forgot the obstacles I have to face as well as the most important people in my life that have helped me get there.

When I found out I was a selected a recipient for the APIASF Scholarship, I was so happy!! I jumped up and down in my living room with so much joy and excitement. My parents were so happy for me, and I was happy too, because it was less money they would have to pay. I am so thankful for all the corporations, foundations, and donors who helped fund for this money and this scholarship. Thank you so much for helping me because it will truly benefit me in the future. I honestly do not know what to say, but to express my gratitude with you all. I just wish I can be able to meet each and everyone of you face to face to show how much I really appreciate it. Again, thank you so much and much Aloha!

Marlena M Malepeai
Honolulu, HI

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I plan on majoring in Nursing. I want to get my Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and hopefully move forward to become a Nurse Practitioner.

I want to learn as much as I can and accomplish what I need to get done in order to get my career path going. Going to college is an opportunity, a privilege as well as an accomplishment in the making. It's a hurdle to get into college, and yet another one to graduate from college. I know that, these truly are the stepping stones I need to be taking to get to where I want to be in life.

As of right now I am focused on nursing and becoming a nurse practitioner. I am also considering in the long run joining the military and working in the medical field. My dad has always wanted a daughter in "uniform" and I feel that I want to be that daughter for him.

I was overjoyed when I found out my application was even being considered as a finalist, and I was hoping, praying and crossing my fingers that I'd get it. When my mom found out I was selected, she started crying and was truly overwhelmed with the news. I was overjoyed to see how happy my parents were. The reason I do this is not just for me, but for my parents as well, because I don't want college to become a burden for them. It's one thing to work hard in school, and get into the college of your choice, and it's another thing when you don't have the money to pay for it. With the help of the APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship, I will get far and it's not only a sense of relief but truly a blessing to me and my family.

Behind any scholarship, I know that there are so many people who are involved and to all those people, whether they may be donors, corporations or foundations, I want to thank each and every one of them for being a part of this. Without them, there wouldn't be any rewards to provide for students like me; who are financially limited, but still aspire to become successful.

Darl Hazel Joy A Maristela
National City, CA

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First of all, I would like to thank all of the patrons who have contributed to this scholarship. Without all of you, many students would not have the opportunity to seek out higher education and lend their talents to society. I would also like to thank APIASF for establishing this scholarship in the first place for the same reasons as previously listed. When I opened the letter and read the first line that stated "Congratulations" I was ecstatic and jumping for joy. My family and I were, and still currently are, fighting financial issues and were trying to make ends meet when it came toward my next few years in college. When I showed my mother and father the letter, they felt such a great sense of pride in having me achieve such an honorable award and were relieved knowing that I had received some aid. The people of my community (especially teachers, school counselors, and family friends) were also proud of me for achieving this honor. This scholarship, along with other scholarships, grants, loans, and work money, will help pay for my education at the University of California San Diego.

After receiving my bachelor's degree, I plan to go on and get higher degrees and enter the medical field possibly focusing on psychiatry or diagnostics. I will also spend any spare time in helping the community much like I do now and also donate any excess money to certain worthy causes, especially the fight against cancer. Many people in my family, including my aunt who was very near and dear to me, died of some form of cancer and I would like to help in any way I can against the disease. Most of what I have already done and accomplished was in part done in her memory. If she were alive today, I know she would be very happy of what I've achieved. Thank you all for not only making my wishes come true, but for also fulfilling the dreams and hopes of those around me who have always believed in me.

Kunchhai Meas
Riverside, CA

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My name is Alec Medeiros. I will be attending Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. I plan to major in Spanish and Mathematics. In the future, I would like to work for either a pharmaceutical company or a business/insurance firm.

When I found out that I had received such a prestigious scholarship I was astounded. I could not believe that I would have the honor to receive this. My family was also very proud of this accomplishment.

If there would be anyone to thank it would be my mom. She has been my motivation for so many years to try and make me the best I can be. I would probably not be receiving this scholarship if it wasn't for her.

Alec W Medeiros
Red Oak, IA

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To begin, I would like to give my most heartfelt thank you to my most beloved--Allah. Without him in my life, I would never have achieved as much as I have today. After him, I would like to thank, with all of my heart, my heroes- my parents. Thank you for everything, I mean EVERYTHING- whether big or small. I don't think I will ever have enough words to express my gratitude to them for everything they have done for me- from the time that my mother stayed awake until two in the morning with me to finish my science project, to the time when she cooked auloo cutlis at midnight for the school potluck I was to have the next day. Also, for the times when my father would drive two blocks to the bus stop to pick me up on those cold or rainy days just so that I wouldn't get sick, to the day he bought me two dozen AAA batteries after I asked for just three for my calculator. JazakAllah Khair you two. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my sisters and friends for always being there for me, and my AP coach, Ms. Uyenthi Tran, for always believing in me and for introducing this great scholarship to me. Thanks.

Thank you so much APIASF for selecting me as one of the recipients of this scholarship. I remember not being able to scream after reading the word, "CONGRATULATIONS!" when the envelope was opened. I also remember showing my parents the letter with my mouth wide open in disbelief. I never saw them as proud of me as they were that day. Thanks for making that magical day happen.

I have always wanted to become a pediatrician and hope to later go to poor, war-torn countries to provide the medical care to children whose families are unable to afford the financial costs for the care their ill children need. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Minnesota, in Twin Cities to pursue a bachelor's degree in child psychology, and then going off to medical school to become a pediatrician. Thank you again to the Wachovia Foundation and APIASF for giving me this great honor and for believing in me.

Kanwal Mehmud
Minneapolis, MN

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When I reflect on my 13 years of school, I realize the importance of education in the shaping a child's life. My life could have been completely different if my parents had not sacrificed their youth and early adulthood to bring me to the land of opportunity—America. In Pakistan, survival was difficult and luxury was far to be seen. Even then, my parents worked to make the best of every situation. I remember when we couldn't afford a light bulb and as a result I had to do my homework under a street lamp. There was a time when every grocery store in town refused to allow my family from buying food because of the extreme debt we had with all the stores. Eventually, my parents had only one option—to sell everything and move to America. I wished that things would improve but because my parents were not educated professionals, they could only work as minimum-wage workers. To run the family efficiently, my parents worked 18-20 hour shifts and it would be days and sometimes weeks until I saw their faces.

Alone, I had to set the path for my future. It was through the grace of God that I discovered the International Baccalaureate Program and spent the final four years of my school career finding success. Conditions in our family did improve since our first step into this country, but not enough to support further education. I had to look for other options and as a result, I found the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I have no words to express my gratitude to the generosity and support that they have given me. Every penny is important to me because I understand the value it has and I thank APIASF from the bottom of my heart for their support. I want to go far in the medical field, majoring as a Bio-Technical Engineer and Neurobiologist and pursuing a minor in Education. With these skills, I hope to give back to society, especially to the poor, and aim to improve the lives of many individuals. It is true that the "Roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet" because it only the intellect that you acquire through education which takes you far, above all.

Shazia A Mitha
Tampa, FL

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I would like to thank the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for allowing me the opportunity to receive this scholarship. When I found out I was a recipient of the APIASF, I was so happy because I felt like I wasn't going to receive any scholarships at all. I felt blessed because anything and everything would help fund college. It's helping me pave my way to get to the next best thing. My family, friends, and close community members were really happy for me because they knew I worked really hard for this and deserved it. All the long nights and hours of work finally paid off because I'm finally going to college and I will be funded by people who believe in me. My major is Sports Medicine and my future career plan is to, hopefully, become a Sports Medicine Doctor and eventually work with athletes. In college I hope I learn to manage my time better and learn to stay completely focused without a high authority having to remind me. Not only that, but I hope I mature and continue to grow and make the right decisions.. I'm just really happy that people who don't even know me are investing in my future with an optimistic attitude because it shows that there are people who do really care.

Ge'Anna I Mohamed
San Francisco, CA

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First of all, I would like to start off by congratulating all the recipients on receiving this scholarship and I would also like to thank the donors and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I am honored to receive this scholarship. I am currently a student attending Patrick Henry High School. I am excited but also afraid to leave my high school years with graduation in the back of my mind; as it is soon approaching. I have decided to attend Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota where I intend to study Physical Therapy.

When I first received a letter saying that I was a finalist for the scholarship, I was so thrilled I nearly cried. I quickly sent in all my information to make sure that I would hear back from them as soon as possible. A few weeks later when I found out that I was a recipient, it just made my life a bit easier. Because of my family's financial dilemma, I knew that paying for college was going to be a challenge, so the help from the APIASF has helped me tremendously. So again, I would like to let everyone know how glad I am to receive this scholarship and that I will not disappoint anyone.

Carrie Moua
Minneapolis, MN

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One of the hardest decisions that I have had to make was choosing a college where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life and pursue my career. I remember when it was November and I was so anxious, yet excited at the same time when I clicked the submit button to the colleges that I wanted to attend. Finally when March came along, I received those letters in the mail from the colleges where I applied. I was accepted to the colleges of my choice and at that time, I was very happy. I couldn't believe it, I accomplished one of my goals. I will be continuing my education at the University of California, Davis (UCD) this coming fall 2008.

Coming from a low income family and the first generation to pursue a higher education, my family has not saved any money to help pay for my college education. I do not want this to be a barrier to college. I am a hard working student with many goals, great perseverance, high expectations, and determination.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was thrilled and surprised. I was very excited and I couldn't believe it. I had to read it over and out loud to myself to be clear. When I told my siblings and my parents, they were also surprised and proud of me. I would like to thank the APIASF individual donors, corporations, and foundations for making this possible for students likes me. I am very honored and grateful for this opportunity. I am able to set an example for my siblings to follow. This scholarship is going to help me to continue my education, seek more opportunities at a higher level, and achieve more.

Maly Moua
Fresno, CA

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Coming from a large family of nine, I knew going to college, especially a private college, would be a huge financial burden on my family. My parents emigrated from a refugee camp in Thailand 22 years ago with nothing. Since then, they have had to struggle to earn every single penny, especially with six young children still at home. When my family and I found out I would be receiving a scholarship from APIASF, we were ecstatic. Not only does it lighten the burden on my parents' shoulders, it also means I will get to attend my college of choice.

In just a couple of months, I will be a freshman at American University in Washington D.C. I love learning and experiencing new things, and I am so excited to be part of a student body that is culturally diverse and passionate about knowledge. In high school, it was difficult to get involved in extracurricular activities because, as one of the older children in my family, I had to dedicate most of my time babysitting my younger siblings and helping around the house. At American, I hope to discover what it is I am passionate about and what I plan to spend the rest of my life doing. Although I am still unsure of my major, I know that I would like my future to involve working with children. I enjoy spending my time working with young people who are eager to learn. Currently, as a reading tutor at an inner-city school, I work with low-income, at-risk kids who are reading extremely below their grade level. At times, working with them can be very challenging and frustrating, but it is such a phenomenal feeling when a student reaches his or her reading goal. Teaching is definitely one of many possibilities in my future.

Of course none of this would be possible without the help of APIASF and its generous donors and supporters. To them I would like to say thank you. Without you, it would have been impossible to attend AU. Because of you, my life has become a little bit easier and my future a little bit brighter. Thank you.

Pang Dao Moua
Woodbury, MN

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I sincerely wish to express my gratitude for the generosity that APIASF and its sponsors have extended. Not only has this scholarship given me a sense of belonging to the Asian American community, but has made me even more motivated to aid this community to the best of my abilities. When April came along, I received a pleasant surprise in the mail: an APIASF scholarship! Twenty five hundred dollars goes a long way when it comes to the high cost of college tuition.

With the help of the APIASF Scholarship, I will be able to do more volunteer work for my community rather than working just to make money to put myself through college. Now I can focus more on learning and less on course fees. With this generous scholarship in hand, I will be able to pursue a major in microbiology at Louisiana State, and aspire to ultimately earn a M.D and later specialize in Cardiology. Being a cardiologist is my ultimate goal.

Once again, thank you for awarding me this scholarship. I hope that the APIASF organization will keep this program available in the future so that future Asian and Pacific Islander students will have an opportunity to pursue a higher education.

Haroon M Mujahid
Kenner, LA

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I was born in the small town of Winfield, KS and this is where I have lived all my life. Both my parents had escaped the war in Laos and came to America to build a better life. I could not imagine all of the trials that they had to face in order to get where they are today. They knew that coming to America would give their children a better chance to succeed in life. Neither of them had the opportunity to further their education and attend college. That is why I treasure the opportunity that they are giving me. My dad has worked on the factory line at Rubbermaid for over 20 years and I can not believe that he has been able to do that for so long. He has always told me that "an education is the most important thing you have."

Now that I have graduated from high school, I will be attending Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Once I am there, I hope to become a better person and discover new things that interest me. I would like to be involved in many activities including clubs and intramural sports, but more importantly I hope to meet new people and form lasting relationships. One of the reasons I chose to go to a large university is to meet different kinds of people. I have also been accepted into the OSU orchestra, so I will be able to continue to play in the orchestra in college. I hope to make my studies my top priority and receive my bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. Once I settle into a good job I hope to continue my education and attempt to earn my master's degree. Chemical Engineering has such a wide variety of career opportunities, but I have become interested in being involved with medicine.

When I found out that I was selected to receive this scholarship, I was ecstatic and surprised. I knew that this scholarship would be very competitive, but I tried to keep my hopes up and it paid off in the end. My family was very proud of my accomplishment and now my college costs will be less of a burden on my whole family. With out-of-state tuition at OSU, I was afraid the costs would be too much for my family because they still have to put two more children through college. The thought of having thousands of dollars in loans was daunting. Fortunately, some of my worries have been put to rest, thanks to the generosity of Wal-Mart and APIASF. Organizations like APIASF give hope to students who are uncertain of the future. There are not enough words to show how thankful I am for this amazing opportunity. APIASF is an amazing organization and I hope it continues its quest to help future students reach their life goals.

Nicholas Namphengsone
Winfield, KS

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Starting in fall of 2008, I will be attending The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate freshman majoring in actuarial science. I am very excited about my acceptance and looking forward to the next few years in college with high anticipation. I have been very interested in dice and card games, so I chose this major in hopes of learning about broader aspects of probability.

Many have told me that the few years in college have provided them life altering epiphanies and eye opening experiences. College education not only will enable me in becoming a professional within the field of my interests but also will enable me to see the world with a fresh pairs of eyes. I am looking forward to my four years of college life that unfolds new, challenging, and exciting paths besides gaining knowledge from classes.

My family was thrilled to know that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship. With higher costs in tuition, books, room and board, and transportation, there is definitely a desperate need for financial assistance. We are very glad to receive this financial help to relieve the preoccupation of my college years becoming a financial burden for the family. We are also very thankful that APIASF is willing to reward me for my hard work and dedication to my education.

Being a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship makes my college education more affordable and relieves the financial stress. Now, I can focus on every step that I take on this new path in life leading to my future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the donors, corporations, and foundations for their kindness and generosity.

Kwok H Ng
Philadelphia, PA

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I hope to maintain good ethics while socially expanding and living the many experiences that college has to offer. I hope to find and create the foundation for my future career all the while having fun doing it.

I have cycled through a few ideas but have not come to any definitive conclusion regarding my future career plans. Psychology interests me, but I don't know if I will find a suitable career in it. In an idealistic world, I will grow up to create my own art museum starting from its structural design. Once finished, I wish to publish creative writing on the side.

Obviously, receiving the scholarship is a great blessing both for my family and me. Being first generation immigrants and the first to attend a 4-year college in my household, no one around me knows anything about colleges. This also meant that we did not have college savings. Ultimately, if it were not for organizations such as Wells Fargo and APIASF, I would most likely not be attending college. In short, every scholarship is received with great excitement and enthusiasm from my family and me. As for my community, they also share my happiness in my growth and success.

My gratitude cannot be expressed by a few sentences in this reply. Instead, I hope to express the sincerity of my thanks through my actions. By allowing me the opportunity to attend college without fiscal demands, I hope to be able to accelerate at what ever I may do. Regardless of my success, I can assure you that I will give it my all. In doing so, I hope to express my thanks and hopefully one day give back to the community that has been so helpful to me.

Hai H Ngo
Saint Louis Park, MN

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When envisioning home, the image is not my former house or FEMA trailer. Instead, the ringing of a cash register and smell of gasoline engulf my mind. Along with the humidity of the deep-fryer, these images comprise Super Mart CITGO, my family's seventeen-year old gas station. Purchased two months after my birth, my perspective of the world originated from a crib tucked in the rear of the store. Inevitably, I began to rebel against my cage and evolved from crawling to riding a tricycle down the aisles. Acquiring my first job at age four, greeting customers by unleashing the Barney song defined my duty.

Each morning at three a.m., my brother and I followed my mother to the gas station, where we would sleep in her office until seven when the school bus came. After school, we would return"home," where our chores included stocking, mopping, and running the register. Following in my brother's footsteps, I conquered the cash register and gas pump switchboard. As a family-operated business, Super Mart encompasses my native culture. Although they possess limited English abilities, my mother and grandfather cook up the most famous and unique component of our store. Gas is not our best venue; our food is. From five a.m. to three p.m., my mother and grandfather whip out the shrimp fried rice, homemade eggrolls, fried chicken, and burgers. In a western business environment, American practices sit juxtaposed with my Asian heritage.

"Never lose to anyone." This is the literal translation of the Cantonese command my grandfather gives me daily. Leaving his medical practice and my mother leaving her junior year of medical school to hide from Communists in the Malaysian mountain refugee camps for three years has been the basis for my grandfather and mother's tolerance for living in this unfamiliar society. It was not difficult to see how the loss of education or the ability to use it can transform one's solid dreams to a mere transparent vision. With my own family being a real-life example of how valuable academic development is, my goals include obtaining my biomedical/mechanical engineering and medical degrees before traveling back to Vietnam to work for those like my family. I cannot describe the degree to which I am grateful for this scholarship. APIASF has aided in keeping my feet planted firmly on the road to success.

Jenny M Ngo
Gulfport, MS

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My primary goal is to get into dentistry. As a dental hygienist, I have the ability to teach people to prevent oral or gum diseases. Presently, my goal is to secure the funds to attend Portland State University. Education has always been my number one priority because it's the path way to my destiny. As my high school career comes to an end, it has become necessary for me to reflect upon my abilities and my passions.

When I received the letter from APIASF notifying me as one of the recipients, I could see my goals achieved. Scholarships are the only way I will be able to fulfill my dream of practicing dentistry. Receiving the APIASF Scholarship will help me pay for part of my tuition and assist me in achieving my future career goals.

Tram Anh Ngo
Portland, OR

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The first thing I would like to say is, "cam on nhieu lam," which means "thank you very much" in Vietnamese. I guarantee that I will put this APIASF scholarship to great use. Without scholarships such as this, prospective students such as myself would have a hard time trying to find funding to attend college. THANK YOU SO MUCH APIASF. I promise that your generosity will not be neglected.

I was thrown with expectations and responsibilities at birth. My parents have always stressed that a good education was the prime foundation to success. My father is well educated. He attended a prestigious Catholic school in Vietnam and is fluent in Vietnamese, French, and English. As for my mother, she comes from a family of 12 and only finished grade school. She had to drop out of school to tend to her family's needs. My parents met in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the United States in the 1980s in hopes for a better life.

Both of my parents moved up to Dutch Harbor, Alaska in the 1980s and have been working here ever since. Living on a small island in the middle of the Bering Sea has its advantages and disadvantages. Working on this island amounts to a large paycheck every two weeks, but the cost of living here is not accounted for. The cost of living on this island is extremely high.

I will be among the first generation in my family to attend college. This accomplishment puts great pride and honor in not only mine, but also my family's heart. My parents have always dreamed of me becoming a doctor. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career within the medical field; I just didn't know what profession. By my junior year, I became an active volunteer as a FIRE/EMS Cadet and an Emergency Trauma Technician for our island. In April, I became a certified EMT I [Emergency Medical Technician] for the State of Alaska. As I periodically volunteer at our island's small clinical facility, I grew a passion for working with children. That was when I discovered that I wanted to become a pediatrician.

I will be attending Seattle University this fall to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. I hope to become a prominent pediatrician. When I found out that I was an APIASP Scholarship recipient, I drove to my dad's work and told him of the great news. Both of my parents are proud of me and are happy that I am fortunate to receive a scholarship to help them out with the costs of college. Our island is rather small and when something exciting such as this occurs, the immediate reaction of the community is joy.

Once again, I cannot express how much gratitude fills my heart with your generosity to help young prospective students achieve their dreams and goals such as myself. Cam on.

Aline M Nguyen
Unalaska, AK

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Everyone has at least one dream in his life. So do I. I do have one ultimate dream: to become a highly educated citizen and a knowledgeable person. It is a main reason accounting for the truth that I love education and am passionate about learning. However, the rising cost of higher education, unavoidably burdens my family and invisibly poses worry for my parents who work from sunrise to sunset at an industrial factory. The only way I could do to relieve my financial burden to nourish my dream of attaining a high education is to seek scholarships, and by luck I reached APIASF website a few days before the deadline. Reading the profile of scholarship recipients, I found my own encouragement and confidence to apply for the APIASF scholarship with the hope that one day my application would come close to APIASF committee's consideration. Fortunately, the miracle of being selected for this scholarship stunned me and my family the moment I opened the APIASF congratulation letter. There were no adequate words to describe that awesome moment at which I sensed a combination of surprise and happiness. My dad who always encouraged and fueled my passion for education responded to this good news with a satisfactory words "You can do it."

Honestly, receiving APIASF scholarship not only relieves my financial situation, but also importantly strengthens my confidence. To me, it is hard to believe that a two-year Asian immigrant student, whose English is not as fluent as that of other students, could receive this national honor scholarship, which numerous extraordinary students also applied for. This scholarship reinforces the truth that "America is the land of opportunity".

I find myself totally committed to education in order to peruse the ultimate dream of becoming a pharmacist. With a strong interest in science, a countless passion in helping humanity, and the generous financial assistance of APIASF, my road leading to my dream becomes wider than ever before. I am extremely eager and excited to attend Gainesville State College this upcoming summer as a freshman and start my own educational journey. I would like to finish my bachelor's degree in science before applying for pharmacy school. Once again I would like to send my special thanks to APIASF and its generous sponsors for providing me financial assistance, valuable encouragement, and especially hope. Now, I am extremely in love with learning, and eagerly live in the breath of college years. Thanks for giving me a priceless chance to walk confidently into the journey of education. Honestly, this scholarship gives me a good start for my journey and helps me understand the deeper meaning of Ovid's wise words "The person who does not prepare today will be less in future."

Anh Y Nguyen
Gainesville, GA

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I will be majoring in Entrepreneurship with a possible double major in Finance at Temple University. I hope to find my passions in life and create a business out of it. My path to entrepreneurship began when I attended the PA Governor's School of Global Entrepreneurship. I thank Mrs. Trisha Alexy for giving me a chance to experience this eye opening summer program. I would also like to thank my parents who have supported many of my ideas and aspirations. They have sacrificed their lives coming here from Vietnam in order to secure a future for their children.

I was extremely surprised to win this national scholarship after being rejected from many local scholarships. When I received this scholarship, my mother had a little smile when she handed me the envelope. Once I opened the letter and saw that I was a finalist, I jumped in the air and took her out to dinner that night. This scholarship will help towards the financing of college and my future business ventures.

Lastly, I want to dedicate this scholarship to my brother, Vu Nguyen, who passed away last year. He truly lived everyday like it was his last and made an impact to many people around him. This inspires me to enjoy life and make a difference in the world we live in.

Thank you APIASF.

Dan K Nguyen
Lancaster, PA

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If there is one thing that I have learned from my parents, I learned that a person can achieve anything that he puts his mind to. My parents fled Vietnam after the Vietnam War in fishing boats. After staying in refugee camps in Malaysia for a few months, they were interviewed to be able to fly into another country. To their excitement, they were chosen to go to the United States to start a new life.

At the time, they knew no English, had no money, and barely had any education (only my mother had completed high school in Vietnam and my father dropped out of high school to find work in order to support the family). A decade had passed since they came to the United States until they met in California, married and had me.

I have always been taught that I needed to work hard in school in order to lead a more prosperous life than they did. As a student, I have always felt disadvantaged. While some of my friends have parents who are doctors or physicists that they can ask for help, I have never been able to ask my parents for help on schoolwork. However, this has not discouraged me, but instead it has caused me to try even harder to prove that I can succeed despite setbacks. Being the first person in my family to attend college, I am determined that I will not disappoint them by putting as much effort as possible into every endeavor that I pursue.

When I told my parents that I wanted to pursue a career in ophthalmology, I was quite surprised at the response they gave me. My mother told me that she had also wanted to become a doctor when she was a high school student in Vietnam, but due to both the country's political and her family's financial problems at the time, it was not a plausible option for her. Because of this, she has always hoped that I would become a doctor and was very happy when I told her that that is what I wanted to do.

One day, after I complete my training to be an ophthalmologist, I hope to go back to Vietnam for a little while to help the community in any way that I can. I know that with perseverance, good things will come and I hope that one day I can change the way people see the world… literally. I will be attending the University Honors College at Oregon State University next year and I would like to thank APIASF and the Coca-Cola Foundation for making my college dreams possible.

Elvis T Nguyen
Lake Oswego, OR

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First of all, I would like to thank APIASF for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients this year. I'm really grateful to be part of the 2008 Awardees. The scholarship will help me achieve my hope to be successful in college.

My name is Gia Nguyen, I'm from Louisville, KY. I will be attending University of Louisville for the next four years. Going to college is one of my biggest goals, because this is where I will decide what I want to do with my life. My goal in life is to have a job I like and a happy family after college. During high school, I started to think about my career and what I wanted to do with my life. I know that I love helping people and I have strong people skills. In academics, I'm good at math, science and technology. With these abilities, I have thought about a career in health care or health technology. After much consideration, my educational goal is to get a bachelor's degree in health science, then I plan to become a physical therapist. I want to become a physical therapist because I like to help people feel better and I have much patience for it.

I want to do well in college without worrying so much about my financial problems. I'm glad scholarships such as APIASF are here to help me out. Once again, I'm really thankful to be chosen as an awardee this year.

Gia H Nguyen
Louisville, KY

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When I checked the mail on May 7, 2008 I was surprised to find a letter from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I already had it set in my mind that I did not receive the scholarship, but when I opened the letter I discovered that I was chosen as a recipient of a scholarship of $2,500. A huge smile came over my face and I was in disbelief. I had been stressing out over the past few weeks about the cost of college and how I would be able to afford it. I received financial aid and another scholarship, but I was still expected to pay about $5,000 more. I applied for a second job and have been working twice as much in order to save up money for my tuition. Now that I have received the APIASF scholarship I feel more relaxed. I will still continue to work in order to pay for my necessities in college and to make my monthly car and insurance payments, but I'm relieved that I will not have to work too much. Now I am able to focus in college and not worry about how I will get by financially.

When I told my mother about the good news she was even more ecstatic about my win. She has been struggling to pay for our mortgage and has also been looking for a second job. This scholarship takes a lot of stress off her shoulders because she doesn't have to worry about paying for my college tuition. She told me that she wanted me to get the best education and worried that if I worked too much in college that that would not be possible.

I'm attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and will be majoring in accounting. I have always enjoyed mathematics and knew that if I chose a career in that subject I would be happy. I want a career that I will never get tired of or regret doing. In college I hope to accomplish many things. Along with continuing my education I also hope to learn more about life and the real world. I want to be independent. I want to learn from my mistakes and become a stronger person. If I succeed I want to know that I did it all on my own.

I want to thank Wal-Mart and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for their support. Everything I hope to achieve in life would not be possible without their help. This scholarship has not only helped me financially, but it has also made me realize anything is possible. I thought that I would not receive anymore scholarships and I would have to pay for college through my own pocket, but the organization's notification of my award has made me more optimistic and encouraged me never to put myself down. I realized that there is always a bright side to everything.

Jennifer Nguyen
South Riding, VA

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First of all, I would like to say thank you to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and its donors. Thank you for choosing me as one of the recipients for the scholarship. It is a great feeling to find out that I was selected for this award. I grew up in a small country, where higher education is extremely difficult to achieve. However, I moved to America with my family when I was twelve. I came here with determination and a big dream. I dreamed of attending college, learning new things, and accomplishing all of my goals. I will be attending the University of California, Davis this fall and I will be majoring in Biological Sciences. I plan to get my Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences and apply to medical school. In college I would like to be involved with on and off campus activities. I would like to join clubs, meet new people, and continue working hard to keep up my grades. I also want to work for a non-profit organization and different hospitals in many third world countries. I want to return to Vietnam and help build schools and hospitals for children who did not have the same opportunity as I do. I finally have my dream fulfilled and it is time for me to share that dream with others.

Several of my friends also received this scholarship; however, I was the last one to find out. I thought I did not get the scholarship because some of my friends received an envelope from the APIASF but I didn't. I was disappointed and sad; however, it shocked me when I received an email from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund in which they informed me about the award. I did not know how to react. I kept asking my father if they made a mistake by sending me an email. It was an unbelievable experience and I will never forget how I felt at that specific moment. My parents were delighted and proud of me. It made me happy to see the smiles on my parents' faces. Thank you so much for giving me this award. I have been so worried about how I am going to pay for my education since it is extremely expensive. But this scholarship has made it easier and possible for me to pay for my education. Thank you for helping me achieve my dream, accomplish my goals, and pay for college. I truly appreciate it and I promise to use this money wisely.

Khanh D Nguyen
Sacramento, CA

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Haunted houses are scary. Roller coasters are scary. Watching "The Ring" for the first time is scary. Who would ever think school could be so scary? I, Bee Nguyen, sure didn't. It wasn't until my junior and senior year that the whole college process freaked me out to the verge where I began considering community college. I started to search for scholarships to help me relieve the financial stress that would be imposed on my family. Now that the APIASF committee has chosen me as a recipient, I can surely say someone's got my back when I walk to class on my first day.

At the University of Texas, I plan on obtaining a chemical engineering degree and with that degree, take it to dental school. Peculiar? I just like to play it safe, in case I don't make it to dental school. Along with a successful career as a dentist, I imagine my future to be settled somewhere close to my family and in Houston so I can still participate in the activities I would be leaving just to attend the college in Austin. When I found out I was selected as an APIASF recipient, I was pretty flabbergasted. I hadn't heard from them ever since I passed the first round and the anxiety clearly died down until the day I was informed. My parents were ecstatic as well, seeing how they rushed me to complete this online portion of the scholarship just so I would be in the clear for the award.

And finally, I would like to give a never ending thanks to the donors of this award for making my college dreams tangible.

Khoa N Nguyen
Houston, TX

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My family and I were astonished and so grateful when we found out that I was selected as one of the APIASF Scholarship recipients. This scholarship will help me tremendously for the tuition and the book fees coming up for the next four years. Hopefully, I will earn my bachelor's degree in Biology in May of 2012. I currently work at Walgreens' Pharmacy hoping to gain experience in the pharmaceutical field. In doing so, I have benefited from the experience and can't wait to apply the knowledge that I have learned as a Pharmacy Technician by going to Pharmacy school. Words can't even express my gratitude and appreciation towards the APIASF Scholarship Committee who have selected me as a finalist. Again, thank you so much for giving me this scholarship as it will help me further my career goals.

Khuyen T Nguyen
Richmond, VA

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I plan on majoring in business administration. I hope to push myself to my limits and meet interesting people who will help me grow professionally and personally. I would like to have an emphasis on global economics and work abroad for a couple of years, perhaps in a finance or nonprofit company. I was ecstatic that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship. There were so many scholarships that I filled out hoping for something that would help with college finances. I really felt that my accomplishments fit what APIASF was looking for. My mother was very proud I was chosen to be a recipient. I would like to thank all the APIASF donors. I'm happy to find that there are successful people who give back to the community. One thing I fear about being in business is that it may take away my time and love for the community. The donors set a great example for philanthropic companies and foundations I want to work for in the future. Thank you for the chance to receive a higher education. I hope to use it to its fullest extent.

Kim-Loan T Nguyen
San Diego, CA

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For my major in college, I plan to study business. I would like to get a degree in marketing and international business. In college I would like to accomplish many things. The first thing I would like to accomplish is being more independent. All my life I have always depended on my family to help me get through the struggles in life. I always had someone to fall back on. But now that I will be attending college and moving out of the house, I can only be there for myself. I will finally be able to do everything on my own. I will finally stand on my own because I know that for my career goals I can't depend on anyone to help me get through them. If I want something bad enough, I can be the only one to get it. I also would like to finish college and start a career so that my family will be proud of me.

All my life I have always been known for being the weakest kid in the family. I had trouble in reading, writing, and math. The three most important subjects in life! I was determined to pay closer attention to what I didn't understand and tried different tactics to help. Once I learned different ways to study and about the different subjects I started doing better in school. With time, I have been able to show my family that with enough effort, I can and will be successful in the long run. My future career plans are to travel around the world and open businesses worldwide. But first I would like to start off in the community where I have lived my whole life, my neighborhood, Montbello, Colorado. I would like to start at the place where my heart is at. I want to create my own recreational plan to help empower and educate kids like myself and let them know that there are better things in life than to skip out on your education.

Kristine M Nguyen
Denver, CO

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Hello, my name is Luyen and I'll be majoring in Pre-Med at St. Xavier University. My goal for college is to study hard and stay focused in school. As for my career, I want to be a neurologist and work in a good hospital. When I first found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I was ecstatic, speechless, and full of joy. All of my family members, friends and teachers were very happy and proud of me. I would like to express my gratitude to the generous support of Walt- Mart, and APIASF. Without your help, I would not have this opportunity to pursue my life time dream. Thank you

Luyen T Nguyen
South Chicago Heights, IL

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My palms are sweating as I am holding a letter from APIASF. After I read the letter, I am overjoyed and surprised. The letter tells me that I have been selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship award from APIASF. My eyes fill with tears of joy. My family and I celebrate as I plan for college next fall.

I am going to attend University of Colorado at Denver this fall. I first plan to earn a bachelor's degree in computer engineering. I hope that after college, I can obtain a career in computer research and design. After getting some experience in my chosen career and deciding where I want to focus within my profession, I will return to get my master's degree. I intend to use my degree to serve the community by helping design computers that will improve the quality of people's lives, such as medical equipment.

There are no words to express my feelings right now. I am so thankful to APIASF and Wal-Mart for giving me this opportunity to continue my education. I will keep my commitments and will show that I deserve this scholarship.

Minhthien b Nguyen
Thornton, CO

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First of all, I would like to say thank you to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving me this opportunity and lending me a helping hand in furthering my education. My family and I immigrated to the United States 9 years ago, with nothing in our hands and no understanding of the English language. No matter how many struggles we went through, my parents have always taught me and my sister about the value of education. Growing up, I have always done my best to prove to them that their hard work has not been in vain. When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I felt exhilarated and proud of myself. I wanted to shout it out to the world. My parents could not stop smiling. What APIASF represents is what I believe in whole-heartedly— the desire to help others. Life should not be about getting, but about giving.

This fall, I will be attending college and majoring in Pre-Med: Biochemistry, and minoring in Psychology. In college, I hope to learn more about the world and about myself, since that process will never end. I want to make my parents proud of my accomplishments, and also give back to my community and my heritage. I hope to join the Doctors Without Borders organization and travel to third-world countries to help those less fortunate than I am. Once again, I want to thank APIASF for this wonderful opportunity, and for giving me a chance to soar.

Ngoc H Nguyen
Oklahoma City, OK

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In the upcoming year, I will be attending the University of California - Los Angeles. At UCLA, I will be majoring in Computer Science and hopefully minoring in an engineering field.

In college I hope to have an amazing time. Everyone says it is an incredible experience one would enjoy for the rest of one's life and I am looking forward to that. In addition, I am really looking forward to studying Computer Science along with students as dedicated as I am about the subject matter. I see many students around me in high school apathetic to their studies and am looking forward to seeing a change of heart. After college, I will be looking forward to starting my career as a computer programmer. I hope to work for a company such as Google or Mozilla. I know it will be difficult and so I am just going to have to work hard in college to make the right impression for my future employers.

After discovering I was a recipient of the APIASF/Southern California Edison Scholarship, I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe I had won a scholarship. I had almost given up hope in applying because I had been rejected by so many. I was so excited that I had won that , I screamed in joy and dashed out to tell my friends and family. They were so proud of me. The next day I rushed to tell my counselor and tell him too. He jumped up and congratulated me over and over. I am so thankful for his work in pushing me to do scholarships.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Southern California Edison and the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for providing me with the unique opportunity of winning $2,500. College tuition and room and board are such a heavy burden and I am so thankful that APIASF was able to help me relieve a bit of that burden. Southern California Edison and APIASF, you have really made a difference.

Steven T Nguyen
Lawndale, CA

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My proposed major is biology. However, I also have a profound interest in environmental science. Either way, I hope to find more feasible means of creating enough energy to sustain the growing population. In college, I hope to accomplish ground breaking research in the environmental sciences or in biology. I intend to obtained internships and study abroad to supplement my college education. First, I would like to thank my mom, dad, sister, uncles, aunts and cousins just for loving me and helping me when I needed them. I would like to thank all of my friends for their support. Also, I would like to thank Mrs. Bandy, Miss Buchieri, Ms. Foster, Mrs. Hoggarth and Mrs. Narsavage for helping me with school, college applications and so much more. Finally, I would like to thank APIASF and all of its affiliates for giving me this scholarship. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I felt honored that I was chosen. When I opened the letter that informed me that I received the scholarship, I ran in excitement informing everyone I knew. I jumped in the air at least ten times, yelling with joy! This scholarship will help me reach my goals because I do not have to worry about finances. I am just so happy that APIASF provided me an opportunity toward higher education because my parents and I have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. I want to make my parents proud.

Thanh V Nguyen
Whitehall, OH

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This fall, I am enthused to meet the challenges college life has in store for me. As a student of the University of Portland, I will be majoring in Biology. This field will serve as an advantageous and extensive preparatory major for medical school. To become a medical doctor has been my passion ever since the age of six. I know the career I am aiming for entails determination, dedication, and excellence. With this mindset, I am prepared to travel the road I have envisioned. It is in my greatest confidence that I will make it to the final destination to achieve my dream.

In college, I hope to become more involved. The University of Portland is a private college and I am hopeful to find more networking opportunities to reach out to the community. It is to my greatest anticipation that I will be able to engage in research and scientific studies. My goal is to take the initiative to become more proactive.

For the last four years, I have been preparing myself for this new phase of life. It all seemed so recently, when I was worried about financial burdens—the expenses of pursuing higher education. I would like to thank APIASF for helping students like me. Upon receiving the congratulatory letter from the organization, I was able to let out a sigh of relief. For me, this scholarship extends beyond the financial aspect; it is also moral support from APIASF reaching out to students who truly appreciate the help. APIASF, thank you for the acknowledgment.

Thanh-Truc T Nguyen
Portland, OR

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My major will be pharmacy and I hope that I will become a pharmacist in six years. Graduating from a good medical school is my biggest dream. After becoming a pharmacist, I will work in a hospital or a clinic to help other people. I will also use my free time to volunteer and reach out to others. When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I was so happy and proud of myself. I told my parents as soon as I got the letter. My parents were really happy for me too. My school knew about it four days after and I was congratulated on the school morning radio the next day. This scholarship really helps me a lot. It gives me the confidence and motivation to continue accomplishing my goals and dreams. I want to say"thank you so much" to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving me this opportunity.

Thien N Nguyen
Cleveland, OH

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"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent (Eleanor Roosevelt)." I have lived by this maxim throughout high school. To be the best, the one and only, has been my goal since the beginning of freshmen year. Now, the end to the long journey is fast approaching. The motto of life has changed to: "Who cares? Do what makes you happy!" Society plays too big of a role in stereotypes; it needs no place in one's decisions. The choice belongs to only one.

I was given the opportunity to attend the prestigious, private Tulane University or the BCS football champs, Louisiana State University. It was quite a difficult decision to choose between prestige and heart. However, "do what makes you happy." I am proud to say that I will be attending Louisiana State University A & M in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Not yet past high school but I already know that I bleed purple and gold!

I am going to study biology and philosophy as a pre-med student. I have plans to complete my undergraduate degree at LSU. I have no idea where I want to go medical school or do my residency. However, they are in my future.

While attending college, I hope to grow and mature into someone everyone, young and old, can respect. I am going to continue my academic excellence in college. I will take advantage of everything in college.

Therefore, I am so grateful towards the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for aiding my pursuit of postsecondary education. This scholarship means too much to me. I was ecstatic when the award letter arrived. I almost felt a whoosh of stress leave my body. My parents were very proud and thankful, also. Thank you APIASF! Thank you to all those who have helped fund APIASF! I promise to make this investment worthwhile.

Thu Ha T Nguyen
Abbeville, LA

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My ultimate plan educationally lies within the medical field. I want to serve my community in this regard. Becoming a person who positively contributes to the people in the community is my highest goal in life. By practicing medicine I can help people who are less fortunate. I want to help those families or individuals who cannot afford to pay for medical care. By pursuing a medical profession, I want to find cures so that I can give back to the community and literally put a smile on people's faces. I will utilize my responsibility, self-discipline, and organization to meet any challenge that will help benefit myself, but more importantly, the world of my future.

I plan to major in general science at Portland State University. I will study hard and get the help available to maintain my grades. As for my future career plan, I hope to have a stable job to help pay the extra financial cost that my parents pay for college. When I saw the letter from APIASF in my mailbox, I was very anxious to open it to find the results. It was very nerve-racking, but as soon as I spotted the word "Congratulations," I was filled with gratitude and happiness. My parents were speechless as well as my teachers.

With this scholarship, I will be able to pay for my textbooks and supplies. This gift has also given me the opportunity to further my studies and soar higher in education. I will never forget this opportunity and my goal is to grasp whatever life has to offer to get me into school. By being accepted for the APIASF - Sodexo Scholarship, I feel this would be a huge opportunity for me to further my educational and career goals in hope of one day giving back to the world.

Thu T Nguyen
Portland, OR

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I would like to say thank you to all the generous sponsors, companies, organizations and the people at the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for making this scholarship possible to students like me. It was a great honor for me to be selected as one of the 2008 scholarship recipients.

When I first arrived in America five years ago, I brought with me many dreams and goals that I would like to achieve. However, financial hardship appeared to be the greatest obstacle that my family and I would have to overcome. Throughout the past five years, my parents have worked very hard to finance my education and make my dream of obtaining a higher education become possible. I am very grateful for everything my parents have done for me and for every sacrifice they have made in order to bring me to America. Since my brother and I will be attending college full time this fall, my parents' financial burden has increased, making it difficult to provide me a post secondary education. This scholarship will help my family tremendously and enable me to attend college without having to worry about the financial burden.

I will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology this fall semester with the intended major of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering. I fell in love with chemistry the first day I took it in high school. Chemistry is truly an amazing subject and very applicable to real life. During my years in college, I would like to participate in as many extracurricular activities and volunteer opportunities as possible. I eventually hope to obtain a master degree in the field of engineering.

When I found out that I was selected as a scholarship recipient, I was extremely happy. I ran into my house with the letter in my hand and told my mother that I was selected as an APIASF scholarship recipient. I was so excited that my voice was shaking when I told her the news. My mother was very happy and she congratulated me for this outstanding achievement. I called my brother immediately to tell him this amazing news. My brother was also very excited and told me that he was very proud of me. My father came home that night and my mother was the first one to tell him the news. He came up to my room and told me how proud he was for having a daughter like me. That day was probably one of the most memorable days of my life.

This scholarship brings me the great feeling of pride and satisfaction. This scholarship means a lot to me and my family and it will make a big difference in my life. Thank you for making my first step to college easier.

Thuy P Nguyen
Lilburn, GA

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It is a great honor to be one of many recipients of the APIASF/Wachovia Foundation scholarship. I would like to thank the scholarship committee as well as the Wachovia Foundation for making my dream become a reality. When the month of May began, I was nervous everyday to come home and look for my mail. As soon as I saw the letter from APIASF, I was so anxious to open it. I was thrilled to see the word "Congratulations," and couldn't believe my eyes.

I was 10 years old when I first arrived in the United States. I remember leaving Vietnam not knowing where I was going because my parents told me that I was too young to understand. This might sound ignorant but I did not know where America was or what it was like. Moving here has definitely changed me for the better. I cannot imagine the life I would be living right now. I came to America with my mom and my sister and lived life without my dad for three years. Life was rough for our family. It was difficult to adapt to everything: to the new environment, to the people and especially to the language. Shifting from one country to a new world was a struggle, but along the way I've accomplished and gained so much.

I will be attending the University of Kentucky this fall. I will be majoring in Chemistry and Business Management and I plan to become a pharmacist. This scholarship not only helped me financially but also pushes me closer towards my ultimate dream. Eventually, I know I can be a helpful pharmacist for my community. Once again, thank you so much.

Trang T Nguyen
Louisville, KY

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Learning the differences between the educational system of third world countries and the U.S., I'm more appreciative of how the system here offers the opportunity to advance and succeed. In fact, there are not many scholarships in third world countries available to students, which indeed could have helped many to become successful rather than leaving them stuck in poverty. In addition, the U.S. system allows individuals more options to reach their potential and to foster their talents.

My parents emigrated from Vietnam to Philippines in their early 20's. In my refugee camp, I saw lots of talented people around but didn't have the opportunity to have their talents revealed, which could help the community to improve its quality of life. We all felt hopeless looking at the circumstances but couldn't do a thing to improve it. In 2005, my family moved to America. I met my cousin there who was majoring in pre-pharmacy. He showed me how pharmacists care for patients and help improve the quality of life of the community and their families in such a positive manner. I'm motivated so much by this thought when I think of my community in Philippines and my own family. I quickly set myself a goal to become a pharmacist.

We have been here for almost two years now. The most discouraging obstacle is financial difficulties. With the little salary that my parents make monthly, most of their incomes are spent on the house rent, bills, and necessities. The hard work of my parents inspires me to always to try my best. "Winners never quit, and quitters never win" became my philosophy. I couldn't believe it when I received a letter after a few months: I am an APIASF scholar. The APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation scholarship will help me during the first year because it is difficult for freshmen to work while adjusting to college. I am grateful to APIASF and the Coca-Cola Foundation and I believe that APIASF will continue to fulfill dreams for many years to come.

Vu H Nguyen
Denver, CO

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I am honored to be a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship. This upcoming fall I will be attending the University of Virginia and I will be studying biomedical engineering before entering pre-med. I hope to enter medical school in the future. In addition to my study of medicine in college, I hope to find a volunteer opportunity that helps mentally-disabled children much like the current program that I am involved in now called Milal. In the future, I would love to set up a similar program of my own to give future high-school students the opportunity to experience and learn the things I have learned from helping these children.

My parents and I were obviously thrilled when we heard we were getting this award. Besides getting into college, this has been one of the most wonderful and exciting things that has happened to me recently. I am sure that college does not come cheap for a lot of students and I bet they deserve this award as much as I do. This makes me cherish this award even more and I am more determined to put this money into good use and really start to focus on my college education. My parents have been worrying about how to pay for college and I worry as well on how I am going to pay off the loans I've taken out. This award sure helps a lot and has helped us calm down a bit. I am grateful for the opportunity that the APIASF and its sponsors have given me and I will make sure that this money does not go to waste. This award has motivated me to drive even harder to achieve the goals I have. Thank you once again.

John J Oh
Oakland Gardens, NY

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I would like to thank APIASF for lending me a helping hand in my educational goals. My plans for a career are still, as of yet, undecided. My grandparents suggest that I major in math because it holds more potential than that of my other interest which is music. I had my first encounter with a musical instrument after my parents divorced and I started going to visiting sessions along with my sisters to see our father. One day he gave me a ukulele which I really had no idea of how to play. Somehow I picked up on the techniques of how to get this thing to produce music and eventually I couldn't stop playing it.

Now I am about to graduate from high school and I am learning how to play the traditional Hawai’ian style of guitar known as ki ho'alu or slack key guitar. It seems with all these musical influences, I should major in music, but I am also not that bad in math. So this is why I am at a crossroads between what I should major in, but I can assure you that I will not disappoint you by wasting your time and effort to help me with my education.

I would like to thank you again for your kindness and generosity not only towards me, but many other students around the nation. It is unfortunate that many of us cannot afford the cost of education which is a vital tool in preparing us for our future careers. My family mainly lives off of social security which is hardly enough for a family of four. I feel very fortunate that I am receiving this scholarship and will do my best to put every cent to good use.

Zachary M Onaga
Kapolei, HI

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I will like to thank Rita Ruel, my mentor and supervisor from Visiting Nurse Services for writing a fantastic recommendation for this scholarship and props to all the other people, Ms. Bonnie Phillips, Tina Simotas, Stephanie Smith, Uzma Shah, Catriona Mcleod, and Michael Decclesiis who have supported me throughout this strenuous college process.

In the fall, I will be attending Wheaton College in Norton, MA. I look forward to the challenges ahead of me in my new college environment; it is so different from NYC! As for my major, I plan to stay undecided not because I don't know what I want to do but because there is just so much I know I will do. I look forward to study abroad so I can broaden my horizon and aspire to build a bridge of compassion and understanding that will cross all borders, enabling our world to meet on common ground.

I am the first child in my family to be fortunate enough to ever go to college. It is really an honor to become an APIASF scholar. My gratitude to APIASF and its generous sponsors is beyond expression. My whole family was ecstatic when I ran up the stairs screaming, "I got it! I got it! The Asian Pacific one!" I actually stumbled all over the last part because I was overjoyed with the fact of actually getting the scholarship. Thank You!

Jessie (Cu Cu) Pan
New York, NY

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To all those who make the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund possible, you have my thanks, my gratitude, and my deepest respect. When I first found the letter in my mailbox, a letter of congratulations was far from what I had expected.

My counselor and friends were proud of my accomplishment. The proudest was, of course, my mother, who, upon hearing that I received the scholarship, began to scream for joy.

Knowing that I am now an APIASF recipient makes me all the more excited and prepared for college. Knowing that someone out there - a still faceless, albeit generous person - is willing to invest in my future makes me feel that I am worth APIASF's time and support, that I truly have the potential to succeed.

When I received notice that I was accepted to both Harvard and Yale, I was absolutely ecstatic. The only matter left was where to go and how to pay for it, and APIASF's generous $2,500 will definitely help with college expenses. Next year, I will be attending Yale University. There, I hope to continue helping the community by means of tutoring high school students in and around New Haven and reaching out to those who, like me, were disadvantaged as children. There, with the help and support of APIASF, I hope to become a successful scholar and, being the first from my family to go off to college, an agent of change for my family.

Once more, I would like to thank everyone that helped me to get to where I am today. Most of all, thank you, mom, for making all of this possible.

Tiffany Pang
San Francisco, CA

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First and foremost, I would like to thank the Lord for answering my prayers by helping my parents pay for college. When I saw the envelope from APIASF, my heart immediately started racing and the thoughts of winning my first scholarship was overwhelming. I ripped open the letter and looked for the key word of"Congratulations" and I found it. I read the paper so fast and literally started jumping up and down screaming with excitement! I was ecstatic and called my folks. My parents were excited but as parents, they kept their composure and reacted with restrained excitement. My close friends were excited for me as well since they knew about our financial situation.

I'd like to thank APIASF so much. It is truly an honor to receive this scholarship from an organization that recognizes minorities. This scholarship meant a lot to me because it will lighten the financial burden of attending UVA. UVA's tuition is not cheap and with the financial problem we were going through, this scholarship helps a lot.

As I start college this fall I am pursuing in becoming a pharmacist or in the medical field. I will be majoring in Chemistry and possibly double majoring with Psychology. I'd like to be a counselor in the physical well being and also the mental well being without charging people expensive prices just to be healthy.

APIASF, thank you so much for this scholarship. God Bless.

Jennifer Park
Stafford, VA

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Since my childhood, I always wanted to become a shining star and my voyage lead me to the path of being a doctor. I am starting my career with pre-medicine at Santa Fe Community College. I want to transfer to the University of Florida after one year. My journey seems as hard as walking on steel thrones. But, I will water them by fertilizer of perseverance, hard work, and optimism and I believe that one day I will cultivate success. As I know somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dream that I dare to dream will come true. I am really grateful to APIASF for helping me take the first step toward my dream.

After finishing my studies, I want to go back to India. I want to open my dispensary among the poor area of India where people die without money. Even today, in India, some people don't have money to go to a hospital to cure their illness and disease. I want to go back to India and help these people.

I have seen a lot of poverty around the world. What really disappoints me is when I see somebody not continue their education because they don't have the money. After finishing my studies, I also want to help students who are in financial need. I want to support my community. I want to help my people as APIASF did for me. I want to be a candle that lights up the darkness.

I consider myself lucky that APIASF considered me worthy of this scholarship. I am really grateful to APIASF for allowing me to take my first step toward my career. I don't have the words to thank APIASF. I would like to thank APISAF from the bottom of my heart, but for APIASF, my heart has no bottom.

Archanakumari V Patel
Gainesville, FL

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I will be attending Arizona State University. My goal for college is to complete all my credits and work towards becoming a police officer. I want to be a police officer in order to help more people in this country.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I was so happy, I even scream for a while. My family, who were also happy for me, was screaming with me. Since I was waiting to hear from APIASF for a while, I thought that I didn't get it but I kept my head up because I knew I would succeed no matter what. I was really excited about this and now I am ready for my future.

I am very grateful to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and all its supporters for believing in me. I want to thank APIASF and its sponsors for supporting me and making my dream possible!

En-Jung Peng
Surprise, AZ

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I emigrated from China to the United States with my mother in July 2003. However, just as I was expecting a splendid future, my father became ill in China. My mother had to return to China to take care of my father, leaving me with my grandparents, who were over seventy years old. I still remember how my mother placed my hands in hers and urged me to study hard, take good care of my grandparents, and overcome all difficulties by myself. I have tried to live up to her expectations; for the past four years I have awakened at 5 AM everyday to cook breakfast for my grandparents before I go to school.

I will be attending University of California, Berkeley in fall 2008, and I will work hard and try to the get into the Business Administration major in my second year of college. And because I am so interested in politics, I will also try to double up my major with Political Science. I think it is very important for Asian Americans to be involved in politics, therefore, after I graduate from college I will try to get into the political field and repay the Asian Community.

When I got the letter saying that I was chosen as one of the scholarship recipients, my whole family was ecstatic. My grandfather even cried. All my family income comes from my grandparents' SSI and Food Stamps. It is just hard for my family to pay for me to go to college. The money from this scholarship is so important for me to achieve my goal in college and my future.

I want to say thank you to the Asian and Pacific Islander and American Scholarship Fund for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients. I also want to say thank you to the Coca-Cola Foundation for helping students like me to achieve our goals.

Zi R Peng
San Francisco, CA

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Nothing is in my way. Determination, perseverance, confidence, strength: that is all I need to succeed.

I believed this for the majority of my life so far, but as I reach the end of my high school career and prepare for life outside the safe haven I call home, I received my first impression of how the real world really works. Though hard work, skill, talent is awarded continuously, it is not always enough. College, housing, food, these things all need money. My family has worked everyday to provide me with everything that I can ever ask for. They gave me the support, the help, and the advice that kept me alive and striving for seventeen years of my life, but money, this physical object, they cannot give me.

When I saw the word Congratulations; the statement that I have been selected to receive a scholarship from APIASF, I could not do anything but feel proud. I did work hard for the past four years; my entire AP and Honor course, all of my leadership positions in clubs and extracurricular activities, and all of my time in countless volunteer opportunities. I felt proud; as did my mom. She felt proud for me.

My parents spent their life savings on failed attempts to reach America from Vietnam. They jumped onto ships, spent nights in jail cells, hid in the bushes in the dark, and jumped back into the water because someone in the family was unable to make it on the boat. They kept failing, but yet they kept trying, all in an effort to give their children a better life, a better education, a better everything.

Inspiration I need no other. This story can feed my desires to reach forever. Thank you, to the APIASF scholarship committee. My parents gave me the inspiration, but you gave me the means. This money will be used to fund my education, to fund my dream to succeed.

I hope to graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a major in Molecular Cell and Biology. With that diploma, I will attend a medical school in order to earn my MD. With both of my degrees, I wish to volunteer a year or more in a third-world country in order to help those in dire need. I also wish to set up my own scholarship fund so that I can help other students as APIASF has helped me. Thank you for helping me

Linda M Pham
Roseville, CA

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My life starts after I graduate from high school. The thought of being on my own and going off to college excites me. However, the fear of having to deal with problems all on my own and not being able to turn to my parents for help as I have done as a child exhausts me. I find myself constantly worrying over the tuition money and fees that come with college. But do you know what? I welcome all those worries and frustrations with open arms because this indicates that I have grown up and ready for what awaits me in the future.

Starting in the fall of 2008 I will be attending Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences majoring in Dental Hygiene. I decided on this major because of the idea of working closely with patients and teaching them oral health fascinates me.

I came home after school one day and found the letter from APIASF on my table. It was quite thick when I held it up. Opening the letter I found myself reading loudly to myself. I was speechless after I had finished up the letter. Honestly, I did not believe that I would be one of the recipients for this scholarship. It felt good to know that all my hard work in high school paid off. All those nights that I stayed up to study for tests and finishing up homework just seemed worth it all of a sudden. I couldn't wait to show it my parents. This was something to boast about, something to be happy about.

I do not know how to show my appreciation for this. But I can say that I am thankful to be a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship. This scholarship will help me pay off a part of my tuition. I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It truly feels excellent to know that I am getting help from both my parents and from corporations that care about students' problems.

Tuong Vy T Pham
Dorchester, MA

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As a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I would like to thank all of the donors, corporations, and foundations that generously donated money to this organization and made it possible for other recipients, and myself to receive this award.

I will be majoring in Pre-Engineering this fall at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. My future career plans are to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and afterwards earn a Master's degree. With this degree I will be able to find a good paying job that is suitable for today's living expenses.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient for the APIASF scholarship I was overwhelmed with excitement because this scholarship will help pay for the things needed to receive a higher education. My family was happy as well because they knew this scholarship would give me the financial assistance to receive a college education. Therefore, thanks again to all of those who contributed in funding APIASF.

Mahina W Powell
Arkansas City, AR

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When I was a child, I liked to watch people build houses, pave roads, and construct small bridges. I was always amazed by people who could build things. I lived on the island of ZhouShan in eastern China for eighteen years. There are countless smaller islands around the island of ZhouShan. The only way to visit my aunt who lived across the sea was taking a ship. Seven years ago, a project to connect the Main Island and the bigger islands was initiated. Two years later, an enormous concrete-steel bridge was constructed across the 500-meter sea in front of my house. From that time on, I made up my mind that I would like to be a civil engineer.

Lafayette College accepted me as a freshman in the civil engineering department for the September 2008 semester. I hope to graduate with a BA in Civil Engineering and a minor in Spanish since I like to study foreign languages. I am also ready to take part in extracurricular activities by joining a variety of clubs. There are some clubs I am really excited to join, such as, EWB (Engineering without Borders) and the Investment Club. I am going to take a few internships in the field of civil engineering while attending college. I plan to find a job related to building industry, and eventually start my own career.

I couldn't fall asleep when I learned that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship. My mom did not believe me until I showed her the acceptance letter, then she smiled. My little sister has no idea what this scholarship means to me. Although I am a Posse Scholar which means I don't need to pay for my tuition, the cost of textbooks and transportation are still high. The APIASF scholarship will help me cover these expenses.

I would have to borrow thousands of dollars without the support of APIASF and its generous donors. This scholarship means a lot to me since my mother alone supports my younger sister and me. My mother gave me the opportunity to pursue a college degree in United States by bringing me to this land of dreams three years ago. This APIASF scholarship makes it possible for me to actually study in college for which I am so grateful.

Lin Qian
Woodside, NY

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Throughout my life, my family has been a tremendous influence on me. Because of their encouragement, I am able to live life the way I want to. Throughout my education, I always viewed my youngest aunt as my role model. She tells me excellent advice that will help me in the future. I always keep her and my family in mind when making any important decisions. Everyone in my family has always been supportive of me and I appreciate their supportiveness.

I will be a freshman this fall semester at the University of Georgia. My major is pre-pharmacy/PharmD. I hope to make new friends and keep old friends. I plan to become a pharmacist after four years of undergraduate studies and two more years of graduate studies. During college, I also hope to gain important life experiences. I also want to become actively involved in the community in which I will live.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was ecstatic. I was so happy because this scholarship will help pay a portion of the cost of attendance at UGA. My family was also elated when they found out. They want so much for me but due to financial constraints, it is difficult to do so. There is so much more I can say about the APIASF Scholarship, yet it is difficult to express in words my feelings.

After finishing college, I plan to continue to be actively involved in the community. The most important thing that I believe I should do is to retain my Asian heritage and give more respect to my parents and family. No matter how far you can go in life, I believe that happiness is based on many different factors other than money. Without my family, I would not be here today as who I am now.

"To be or not to be—that is the question" from Shakespeare's Hamlet is one of my favorite quotes. Life is not set in stone and I am the one in control of my future despite the obstacles I will face. I believe that if I work hard enough, I will be able to achieve my goals of helping my family and becoming a pharmacist. My family is one of my greatest motivations in life. I will not give up and will constantly fight for what I want.

I also want to thank whoever funded this scholarship to me, may it be individual donors, corporations, and foundations. I am grateful of their contributions and I hope they will continue to do so in the future for other financially obstructed students.

Sandra L Quach
Morrow, GA

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A few years ago, I couldn't imagine that I would be here today, about to graduate high school and begin the next chapter of my life. I have always worked hard in school, knowing that someday it would all be worth it. Nevertheless, when time came to plan my future, I was unsure. I researched and visited a few colleges before I applied, but it was difficult to picture myself living in an environment so different than what I was used to. The college I visited that truly left a mark on me was Stanford University, a top-ranked, internationally-known school; one I knew was extremely competitive. My chances of acceptance were slim: less than ten percent of those who apply are accepted; the number of freshmen at Stanford makes up less than one percent of freshmen in California, and one could only imagine how those statistics stood against the number of freshmen in the U.S. With these facts in mind, I decided to take a big risk and apply early action to Stanford anyway. One could understand my surprise and delight when I received my letter of acceptance to Stanford in mid-December. I was ecstatic. My parents were so proud. At school, I was known as the Stanford Girl. That was when I realized my hard work was finally beginning to pay off.

I would like to express my deepest thanks to the Coca-Cola Foundation and APIASF for their generosity to students in need of financial aid, like me. Before (and even after) Stanford announced its increased financial aid package to its students, I knew that obtaining financial aid to help pay for my college costs was more important than ever. I loved APIASF's scholarship application because it catered to my needs by allowing room for me to showcase my passion for life, learning and success. This scholarship has not only helped me pay off my student contributions for my first year at Stanford, but also allowed me to freely explore what college has to offer without worrying about working or taking out loans while I'm adapting to college life.

Just this past April, I was given the opportunity to stay at Stanford for a few days with 2,399 other accepted students to attend classes and social events, experience dorm life and simply explore what Stanford has to offer. My reaction? I fell in love. For the first time, I could envision myself in college. I could see myself at Stanford, learning and being challenged by esteemed faculty along with my new friends and classmates, admiring the beautiful architecture, and enjoying the wonderful California weather. There is so much to experience in college, both academically and socially. I will immerse myself in everything Stanford has to offer, including clubs, organizations and community service, while pursuing a degree in Humanities in hopes of someday becoming a lawyer. Whatever the future holds, I now know where I'm going and how I'm going to get there, partly due to the sponsorship of the Coca-Cola Foundation and APIASF.

Lisa T Quan
Elk Grove, CA

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For many years, I have been interested in the study of international relations. My interest in pursuing this field stems from several factors that have affected me. Such factors include my fascination with history, politics, and economics, my early interactions with cultural differences as a Chinese-American, and my desire of serving my country. I believe, through my study of international relations at a higher degree institution, I can effectively satisfy my curiosity in the fields of my interests and have a chance to help bridge gaps between my country and others.

International Studies has truly embraced both my curiosity as a child and my fascination as a young adult and now I am ready to study intensively at a university to build up and disseminate greater knowledge. And the school I will be attending in the fall is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts where I intend to double major in economics and mechanical engineering. Furthermore, I hope to plunge myself into the full array of possibilities in life by taking advantage of the undergraduate research, co-op, and internship opportunities afforded me in college. In short, I believe that my experiences in life, combined with a rigorous academic education, will enable me to pursue a successful profession in an international environment, more precisely, a career of an international lawyer in the future.

I still remember the moment I open the letter from APIASF and saw the bolded word "Congratulations." I was overjoyed, and so was my family for we know that I was one step closer toward achieving my academic and career goals. Here, I sincerely thank those who have always believed in and supported me, and everyone in the Asian and Pacific Islander and American Scholarship Fund for helping me continue my education at a top university without the worries of financial obstacles and achieve my goals in life - self-actualization. Lastly, I consider myself a hard-working and intelligent student who will make the most out of this scholarship and I aspire to be an asset to family, community, state, and eventually the world with my confidence, industriousness and a desire to excel.

Minghui Ren
Oak Ridge, TN

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While I was growing up, I realized that my island was lacking qualified teachers. I am not certain what I am going to major in but I know that I want to do something that will benefit my island and related to a career in teaching.

I believe that with the opportunity to attend college and APIASF's help to finance my education, I will be able to focus and find a career that fits me. I know that it is important that I do something that will be beneficial to my island and I will try everything possible to accomplish that goal.

When I first found out that I was selected as a recipient of the scholarship, I couldn't believe it. I was very happy and excited. I am thankful for this rare opportunity to receive the scholarship. I would like to extend my utmost appreciation and thanks to all the generous people who contribute to the scholarship funding.

Thank you very much and God bless you all.

Stephanie Rigag
Colonia Yap, FSM, Federated States of Micronesia

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I would like to thank the individual donors, corporation and the foundations that funded the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. Without your help, I may not be able to attend Edmonds Community College or any other college due to my family's meager financial resources. When I found out that I was selected for this scholarship, I was so happy because it made college more of a reality. My family was happy and thankful. Everybody in my community was happy and supportive as well. My major will be Business Management. I plan to attend a two-year community college first before transferring to a four-year college to earn my Bachelor's degree. I plan to come back to Yap in the future to work and have my own business.

Mary G Rogoninug
Colonia, FSM, Federated States of Micronesia

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It is 2:00 A.M., and I am again doing some unfinished project when a question came into my mind. Is all this work worth it? This question was one that I needed to ask myself. I pondered for about an hour, but I didn't quite find an answer before I fell sleep.

As I aspire to become a mechanical engineer, I remember the hardships my parents suffered when they were just a child. Most of all, I envy my mom who sold her pig and cow that she took care of since she was just a child in order to pay for her school tuition, despite of the disapproval from her parents. Like my parents who paved their own future with sweat and blood, I intend to follow the path that they have taken and also create a future I can be proud of.

Four hours after falling asleep, I dreamed about the future. I see the fulfillment of my happiness. On the worn-out face of my dream, I see the sweat that was shed but also see the successes that have enriched my life. Around me, people come by and go, but in my heart, a piece of them stays, enhancing the life that I once had. The path behind me was full of hardship and as a result, the path ahead can lead to many successes.

I stayed in bed for another 10 minutes, wondering and daydreaming, "to go to school or not to go to school". I went to school of course, knowing that I will someday become a mechanical engineer who owns a company, but what drove me the most was the fact that I have the power to create my own future. I also know that I will make a difference in the world by changing the lives of my fellow human beings.

Like any other day, I came home that day soaking in the new things that I had learned but this day was unique. I received a letter from heaven; I thought that an angel had come to solve my problems. That day, I received a letter from Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). I wasn't happy or relieved by the fact that college education was closer to my grasp; I was ecstatic that someone believed in me and my dreams. My feelings were indescribable, and my parents shared the same feelings. The trouble that I was into was diminished when they found out that I received the scholarship. Thank you for saving my life. I am touched by those who made this scholarship possible: Wal-Mart, McDonald's Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, Asian McDonald's Owner/Operators Association, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Organization of Chinese Americans, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, the University of Hawai'i, Native Hawai’ian Community-Based Education Learning Centers, United Negro College Fund, Hispanic Scholarship Fund and former U.S. Congressman Robert Underwood. I thank them for contributing a piece of themselves to my life.

In my path to success, I do not walk the unpaved road alone, but I walk with others who believe in me like my parents, friends, and organization like APIASF. In my dream, I will someday awake, knowing that my dream has become a reality.

Francis C Sabado
Fort Smith, AR

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I am more than honored to be a recipient of the APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship. I have an overwhelming feeling of joy being recognized for all the work I have accomplished. Since I am the first person in my family to go to college, the scholarship is truly a blessing and it will greatly help me get far with my educational goals. I was anticipating on hearing more information once I was notified that I was a finalist. When I found out that I was a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I literally screamed. All I could say was "YES!" I was so excited and weight was immediately lifted off of my shoulders. I was staring at the letter wondering if it was too good to be true. I handed the letter to my parents and once they read it they told me that they were proud of me and also acknowledged that hard work pays off in the long run.

At the moment, I am undecided on my major but I have decided to start off at the community college here in town. From there I will decide whether I want to major in Business Management or Sociology. I plan on devoting my time helping others and giving back to the community. In the future I want to share with others that it is possible to accomplish any dream that you have. Since I am first generation my parents never had the same opportunities as me to education and I will take advantage of my education to not only benefit me and my family, but those who gave to me and those who are less fortunate.

I will continue to work hard for what I want and I know that I will find success in my future because I never give up on my goals. I am beyond grateful to Wells Fargo for funding this scholarship. This is a tremendous means to help me achieve my goals because my parents are my main supporters and they have little knowledge about how to help fund my college education. This scholarship is now a big part of me because it is funding the start of my bright future.

Helen Saechao
Visalia, CA

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My name is Galley Saleh and I was born and raised in America, but my family is from Afghanistan. I will be the first child and woman going to college. I will be setting an example for my siblings and the women of Afghanistan who have struggled for so many years.

I will major in Biology and participate in international service projects while doing civic service in local communities. After college I will attend medical school to become an OB/GYN and then travel the world curing people and helping the underprivileged people of the world. I want to build orphanages, hospitals, and schools in third world countries where the help is most needed.

When I found out that I won the scholarship I was shocked and out of my mind. I could not believe the words I was reading. My parents were also extremely happy because this removed a burden from their shoulders. My community was also proud and very supportive throughout the process.

I would like to thank God; Mrs. Shaw, the career center specialist who has helped me with everything; Ms.Datu for always being there to help; my counselor for keeping up with me' my parents' family and friends. I want to thank the donors and corporations of the APIASF scholarship for giving me this scholarship. I want to let everyone know that I will not let anyone down and that this money is going to a good cause. One day it'll find its way back in some form or way. You all are truly making a difference in the world and I want to thank you.

Galley Saleh
Springfield, VA

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As a child, I remember my mother constantly sitting me down to tell me that we were relocating to another city or state. My childhood consisted of us moving from one place to another due to our financial instability. My mother did not have the opportunity to get a college education because she decided to help finance my uncle's college education. My mother believes that education is the best gift one can receive. My uncle has a passion for chemistry and my mother felt that without her financial help he could not afford to complete his education. As we moved from area to area I struggled in school. My mother was always there to motivate me and tell me that I would always succeed as long as I work hard. I knew my mom had to work hard to make ends meet. I always admired her work ethic. Now it is my turn to go to college. My mother's face beams with pride whenever I mention graduation plans. She knows I have what it takes to succeed. However, she worries that we might not be able to afford my education.

When I received notice that I had received the APIASF scholarship, I was speechless. I tried to tone down my enthusiasm to surprise my mother. A couple hours later when she came home from work I had a huge smile. I asked my mom how her day was and she asked me about mine. She knew I had news to tell her because I couldn't hide my happiness. I told her about my scholarship and she gave me a round of applause. She was very pleased. I am honored to be selected out of the many applicants that applied for the APIASF scholarship. Receiving this scholarship is a milestone in furthering my education. I am truly thankful for everyone that made this scholarship possible for me and my peers. This scholarship will help secure my future success. This generous gift will be used toward my goal of receiving the first of my many degrees in Human Resource Development at the University of Minnesota.

Neeyada M Santopietro
Minnesota, MN

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When I saw the envelope from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, my first thought was "That's a thick rejection letter." After applying to numerous scholarships and receiving negative responses, I was starting to lose hope of getting any scholarship to help pay for college. When I found out that I was an award recipient, I was overjoyed and relieved. The APIASF Scholarship eliminates the need for me and my family to take out a loan and the worry of paying it back after I graduate from college.

At this moment, I am contemplating a future involving mathematics. Math has been my passion ever since the third grade, when my teacher created a game to help the class learn the multiplication tables. Since teachers are the people who have made the greatest impact on my life, I am thinking of becoming a math teacher. Math is where I can utilize the patience, interest, and the knowledge of the subject to influence students the way my teachers have done for me. I will explore and develop my interests and passions. If I decide to become a math teacher, I would not stop with just an undergraduate degree. I would pursue a mathematics career earning a doctorate at a well renowned institution.

I am extremely thankful to the donors who fund APIASF. Thanks to their contribution I will be able to focus more on my studies in college. I will work harder and strive to do my best. That way, in the future I will be able to give back to my community the same way that the donors have for me.

Jenny L Sen
Brooklyn, NY

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The "light bulb" of the era, the innovation of thinkers, or the willingness to venture… that is: curiosity. Curiosity is perhaps one of the dynamic strengths in my character. Since my first encounter with medical technology, I frequently pondered what made machinery capable of providing people the hope of cure and life in a hospital. Because of that curiosity, I sought the ambition to investigate the ingredients to this technological recipe through math and science. Being aware that in order to pursue my endeavor in biomedical engineering, I became curious about definite functions in mathematics and how electromagnetic radiation explained the physics of radioactive machines that operated in the imaging centers of health examinations in the medical area.

As an ambitious scholar searching for the utopia of knowledge, I discovered that university was the ideal place for me to obtain "hands-on" experience with esteemed researchers and the best location that will open numerous windows of opportunities for me to participate in prestigious programs and internships. By achieving an award from the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, I will be able to fully engage myself into community projects and academics. Since "scholar" is the root word of scholarship, I sincerely guarantee that I will demonstrate my qualities of a scholar by accomplishing my goal as a biomedical engineer. Having my career goal established can present the qualities of a true scholar in two ways: the first is that I will utilize my engineering skills to perfect the medical mechanization in Arizona, and the second is that I will be an efficient individual to society. I will not squander the priceless educational opportunity offered by the organization, because wasting gifts of knowledge is a great crime to a student. Thus, the APIASF Scholarship will be able to finance my education, so I can excel in my studies to prove the authenticity of my willingness to strive as a reputable intellectual for the Asian community.

After reading the award notification from the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund when I arrived home after school, a combination of excitement, unconquerable joy, and appreciation permeated throughout my heart. I am extremely grateful for the financial support granted by the organization because it greatly lightens the financial burden of both my family and me. When I informed my parents about my scholarship from the APIASF, they were proud and delighted at the same time with a smile growing from ear to ear, knowing that I was honored with a competitive national scholarship. My parents felt glorified because they were able to know that their worthy teachings that they enlightened me with since I was born were now bringing in great fruits of reward. As for my community, who had nourished my dreams with helpful education, they were proud that not only did I earn merit for my family but I had also brought respect for the place that promoted my goals.

As a student who is about to venture on to her journey of rigorous studies, I am absolutely thankful for the scholarship committee and donors, who made this award to be possible. Because of the organization's generosity and benevolence, I was able to earn this scholarship and expand my goals into a higher level. The altruistic qualities of the scholarship sponsors enabled me to fathom the idea that there are people, who preserve faith in my career and invest in my education. The challenging part of obtaining this scholarship was to demonstrate to the committee that I will make an efficient use of their funding by establishing success in my goals, and the APIASF had granted me the opportunity to display the fact that I will transform my dreams into a reality. I thank the organization in believing that I can make the Asian community proud by succeeding in my goals. Their charitable act of helping out with my financial needs encouraged me to perform well in the present so that the roads of the future are graceful and brightened with yesterday's hard work. Thank you for bestowing me the opportunity to journey into college without unbearable financial troubles with the APIASF's noble monetary grant!

Maple So
Yuma, AZ

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I have been raised by a single parent in a poor family since I was about nine years old. Since I emigrated from Cambodia to the United States with my family two years ago, my life has been surrounded by obstacles and challenges, including financial difficulties, problems using English, and culture shock. I decided to depart Cambodia and moved 3000 miles away to live with my uncle and aunt in Oregon. They not only work very hard, with a low income, to raise their son and daughter who are currently attending college, but also to help me go to school. Because of everything they have done to support me, I have been able to work very hard to become a productive student in the last two years at high school.

At school, I have paid great attention to teachers, listened carefully, and took effective notes. Sometimes I arrive at school early in the morning and often stay late after school to get extra help from the tutoring center. When I arrive home, I review everything I learned at school that day so that I can recall and understand the concepts from all my classes. I have tried not only focusing on the quantity of the time I spend on my homework but also focusing on completing my assignments thoroughly. I always prepare for every test or quiz, so I can ensure a high score. I am persistent and have a "never-give-up" attitude, and have found many different ways to inspire myself to strive for success. As a result of hard work, I am academically accomplished.

In the fall of 2008, I will attend Oregon State University and major in Electrical Engineering. I will use the same drive, motivation, and dedication I had in high school to maintain outstanding academic achievement in college. Also, I will organize my time wisely so that I can get involved in extracurricular activities, community service, and work-study. As I have experienced hardship in the past, I will use all everything I have learned to help other people. After I complete my undergraduate degree, I will aim to become an engineer who has the ability to help my own family and community. I also plan to volunteer in a developing country like Cambodia.

Last but not least, I would like to say thank you to the Wachovia Foundation who provided this scholarship to help me pursue higher education. I really appreciate their help and support. I will use this scholarship award wisely. It encourages me and builds my confidence to keep moving forward in order to get a bright future. I will use all my skills and knowledge to help other people around me who are in need.

Ratanak So
Damascus, OR

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Life for me hasn't been easy. I came from a country in Southeast Asia where English is not the first language. To study a new language is like climbing a steep mountain. I have problems with my accent, my writing, and my reading. However, it doesn't stop me from pursuing my education in college.

I am the first child in my family who will go to college. The reason I am going to college is because I want to change my family's life condition. I don't want to see my mom and brother work under bad conditions, especially my mom. She is 58 years old now, but she works seven days a week and at least 10 hours a day. Furthermore, she doesn't have any Medicare or health insurance because we can't support health insurance's monthly fees. This is also one of the reasons that made me pick Economics as my major in college. I think if I can find a solution for my family's financial problems, I might work for the government to improve our economy.

Currently, I am both working and studying. I go to school in the morning and go to work in the evening. I work at least 32 hours a week at Dunkin Donuts to financially support my family as well as school costs. However, I have to focus on my studies this fall to get good grades in college. I've already planned to spend more time on studying and less on work. I expect to get a master's degree in the future. Having my own business is my desire in my life. But before I can become a businessman, I have to study the world's economy. After I specialize in world economics, I might run my own business very easily and succeed.

When my family and I received the award notification letter, we were very surprised. I never thought that APIASF would grant me this scholarship to help me pay for my college tuition. This means a lot to me to pursue my happiness and my education. I am completely honored to be a recipient of this scholarship. Thank you so much APIASF and all your generous supporters for giving me the opportunity to earn a university education. I really appreciate your kindness and am thankful that I was awarded this wonderful scholarship.

Ly Sreng
Philadelphia, PA

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It is an honor for me to be selected as an APIASF scholarship winner. When I first opened my letter, I was literally in shock knowing that I had not only received financial support from a very benevolent organization but also earned a privilege of being chosen among many other amazing recipients. The tuition that this scholarship covers will undoubtedly become very helpful towards my pursuit of a higher education, majoring in Life-Sciences at University of California of Los Angeles (UCLA) in the fall of 2008.

I would like to thank APIASF for giving me an opportunity to concentrate on studying and the opportunity to find my potential as an individual. I also would like to thank Mr. Cardoza, Ms. Nguyen, and many other amazing teachers at Bolsa Grande High School for providing me the best education I have ever had throughout my four years in high school. Last but not least, I just want to say that I am very grateful to have my family's support and my friends' encouraging words in difficult times. Without them, I would have never become who I am today. Once again, thank you APIASF and its sponsors for your generosity.

Phat Q Ta
Wesminster, CA

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"CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship award from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund." I jumped up and down in excitement as I read these. My first scholarship. I was ecstatic since I never expected to receive this scholarship I had put a great amount of time and effort into applying to many different scholarships but I never thought that I would be lucky enough to be a recipient of such a prestigious award. I told my mother right away and we both knew that this would help us pay for the ever increasing cost of college. My parents were both proud of me and I was proud of myself. I realized that scholarships are real; people really do get rewarded for their dedication and commitment to school and to the community.

As a senior at Alhambra High School, I will be attending the University of California San Diego in the fall and I am very excited. At UCSD I know that I will not only gain a wealth of knowledge but gain life experiences and grow as a person as well. I have always been a dedicated member of many extra-curricular activities at school and I plan to use my leadership and people skills to pursue a career in either event planning or to become an entrepreneur and manage my own business. Although UCSD does not have a Business major, I plan to study and pursue business by either majoring in their economics program or by possibly transferring to a more business oriented school in the future.

I would like to thank all the individual donors, corporations, and foundations that sponsor this generous scholarship fund. I am so grateful for this scholarship and the people who help to make college affordable to young adults like myself!

Beverly Y Tam
Alhambra, CA

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When my mom showed me the APIASF envelope during the first week of May, my first thought was, "It's a small envelope. Is that bad news?" Naturally, after anxiously waiting for college letters throughout the months of March and April, my first instinct was to assume that I didn't receive the award since my mother was holding a normal sized envelope in her hands. Thank goodness I was wrong! As soon as I read the first line, I ran to both of my parents. Loud screams and leaps of joy ensued. My entire family was ecstatic. We couldn't believe that I had been selected for this honor and award.

This fall, I will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles as a biology major. Since I dreamt of becoming a doctor as a little girl, the idea of me attending a top-notch university to pave my way to medical school is absolutely surreal. Now that college is only a few months away, I know I will continue to work just as hard as I had throughout the past four years of high school. This scholarship certainly lessens my family's financial burden and alleviates my worry about college loans and debt.

Hopefully, I will be able to fulfill my dreams by becoming a doctor. Though I don't know what the future holds, I know that I have enough determination and the drive to accomplish my goals. I am committed to studying the field of science and I am willing to endure any obstacle to ensure my happiness in my career. With the support of my family and friends, I know that nothing can stop me. Now I am fully confident in my abilities to be able to step forward as I stride toward accomplishing my dreams.

I would like to thank everyone at the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for selecting me as a scholarship recipient. Additional thanks goes to Wal-Mart, Inc and all the other sponsors for generously supporting APIASF. I am extremely honored to be chosen and this scholarship money will go a long way. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. God bless you all.

Hannah N Tan
Placentia, CA

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I plan to major in Biochemistry with an interest in Pharmacy at Seattle University this fall. With my degree in Biochemistry, I will attend graduate school for the consequent four years. As a pharmacist, I plan to educate people about living a healthy lifestyle, medication-related illnesses, the prevention of diseases, optimal blood pressure and cholesterol management, well-balanced diets, and routine exercise. Because Seattle University is a private four-year institution, the tuition is very high. The tuition increases every school year, which creates the issue of monetary need. Scholarship organizations such as the APIASF have played a significant role in reducing this issue by providing high school seniors such as myself with scholarships.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I felt very thankful because I know that this national scholarship is very competitive. I regard the award from The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund as an investment that allows me as well as other outstanding students to continue our education. My educational dream is now fulfilled through this scholarship, which is made possible by the generous support of Sodexho USA and other corporations, foundations, and individual donors. The burden of financial assistance is now taken off my shoulders. I am no longer hindered by the high costs of college. Once again, I would like to thank APIASF for allowing me to continue my dream of pursuing my education.

Andy Tang
Seattle, WA

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I was taking an afternoon nap after school when my brother threw me a letter and said it was from a scholarship fund. My eyes popped open and stared at the dark blue letters on the envelope. I opened it with apprehension and sheer adrenaline, nearly ripping the envelope in half. Once I saw the thick bold words of "Congratulations" I ran out from my bed towards my mother's room, screaming "I GOT THE APIASF SCHOLARSHIP!" She was as ecstatic as me, as she cannot afford my tuition at UCLA and I would have to take loans. She quickly called my father at work telling him the good news.

That same day, I took the local bus to the Asian Branch Library in Oakland. I then told my advisor, Vicky Chen, that her recommendation letter made a huge difference. She was glad to help, and was also happy when she received the news. I would like to thank Wells Fargo for their generous donation to APIASF! The scholarship makes a great difference in my life towards funding for college.

My major is Business Economics as an undergraduate, and I hope to earn my way towards a MBA in the future. These necessary skill sets will enable me to establish a business, with a portion of my profits going towards benefiting my community, notably in the greater Bay Area. I will definitely donate to APIASF in the future, and I thank APIASF for making me one of their investments.

Jessica Tang
Alameda, CA

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When I found out that I received the APIASF scholarship, I was so excited! I realized that receiving this scholarship would help alleviate my worry of how I was going to pay for my cost of attendance. My family was very ecstatic to learn that I got the scholarship, especially my sister.

I will be attending Texas Tech University next year where I will be rooming with my sister in the Honors dorm. Currently my major will be mathematics. In college, I hope to continue to improve my acting skills through extracurricular activities and classes. I also wish to keep on being philanthropic and volunteer at non-profit organizations as much as I can. I plan on completing my major with a minor in communications or theatre. As for my future career plans, I am unsure of what profession I will go into.

I would like to thank Wachovia for their generous support in allowing me to pursue a higher education.

Sandy M Tang
Midland, TX

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College had never been an issue for me until I received my financial aid award package. When I received my admissions letter from the University of Rochester, the college of my dreams, I thought all my hard work finally paid off. But when I found out that I was unable to pay for my education, I was shocked.

In the middle of May, when I received my letter from APIASF, I literally jumped off the floor and ran into my parents' bedroom and told them the great news. We were screaming for joy. This scholarship means so much to me. I don't even know how I can thank you. Receiving this scholarship makes me feel like anything can be done with hard work. I would like to thank all the individual donors, corporations, and foundations that fund APIASF because without you all, I may not be able to go to my dream college. Finally, I would like to thank my English teacher from High School of Fashion Industries. He is one of the best teachers that I know and he really looks out for his students. Thank you Mr. Weida for your support and help.

I will be in the Pre-Medical program at the University of Rochester. I want to become a pediatrician so I can help as many children as possible. I know that it is going to be a lot of hard work. I hope to finish the Pre-Medical program in three years and get into an excellent medical school.

Yanling Tang
New York, NY

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My name is Maha Tanveer and I will be attending the University of Virginia. I plan to major in chemistry and do pre-pharmacy requirements. I aim to become a pharmacist and I am really glad that I received the APIASF scholarship to help me in my pursuit to achieve my goal.

I came from Pakistan seven years ago and pursuing higher education was really a dream. Assimilating and learning English was hard enough already for me when I first immigrated. Even dreaming about going to college in the United States was far-fetched. My parents worked day and night to ensure that I wouldn't lack any resource in studying and live the dream that they once had. When I was awarded this scholarship, my parents were really happy for me. But I really have to share this credit with my parents because they were my only support and motivation.

I would like to thank this organization and all its donors who are ready to help minority students like me achieve their dream.

Maha Tanveer
Burke, VA, USA

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When I first applied for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship, I thought that I would never be standing in the ranks among those who are acknowledged for their talents, determination, and hard-work. When I found out that I had won this scholarship, I was honored and thankful. The $2500 will of course be beneficial in helping my family pay less for my education. We were all blessed with this aid. Thank You, APIASF and its donors. Without this aid, my family and I would have to worry less about paying tuition and it will allow me focus on my education.

I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to be in America by going through hardships in order to flee Vietnam. They gave up everything they had in order for my siblings and me to live our lives much easier than their lives in war-torn Vietnam.

After graduating from high school, I will be studying at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in their prestigious Secondary-education program, in pursuit to become a High School Teacher. In doing so, I want to help others as others have helped me to be where I am today, I want to make somebody else's life better than how my life was. I hope to be one of those very influential teachers that make a difference in a child's life like how my teachers have been to me.

Once again thank you, APIASF for everything and especially for helping my family to overcome this one obstacle in my life! I will not let this opportunity turn to waste.

Philip Tat
Chicago, IL

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My house is located on a hill. I do not walk to my doorstep -- I hike to it. Every day after school, I walk twenty minutes to my house only to be faced by this monstrous beast. I arrive sweaty, out of breath, and in need of deodorant. Some days the walk is not be too bad because at the bottom of the hill is our mailbox. Every few days I receive my mail ordered from Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Economist, Wired, Spin, or National Review. If I was Sisyphus and the hill was the boulder, the news magazines are the breath of relief I feel every time the boulder rolled down the hill.

However on May 2, 2008, on an excruciatingly hot day, I faced my mailbox and my hill in tired but determined exasperation, hoping to find a Newsweek Magazine with some interesting Fareed Zakaria editorial. But when I opened it, there was a letter from APIASF. My heart immediately…sank, because I'm a pessimist and I figured I got rejected from another scholarship. When I opened it, I read, "CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased…" I stopped at that and lightly pumped my fist in the air and mumbled a smile.

I know that it is not everyday that students come home tired from school and are blessed enough to receive a gift from organizations like the APIASF. I can never give enough thanks to APIASF and Southern California Edison. This scholarship will help me reach my goal in attending Cal State Fullerton to major in Journalism. A person can only contribute to the world with what they are good at. My gift is writing and a passion to be informed on the important issues of the day. My passion in journalism is in some way a reimbursement to the thousands of articles that have pulled me up that hill. I strive to provide the community with credible news during detrimental times.

It is organizations like Southern California Edison and APIASF that are passionate about offering these opportunities that will allow many students to pursue their own passions. Thanks to Southern California Edison and APIASF, I am one step closer to writing for a news publication. And perhaps one day, some young student will come home tired from school, only to find a news publication with my article in it. To know that maybe my article will help him climb up that figurative hill was worth all the effort.

Lee Thach
Orange, CA

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For the past twelve years of my life I have grown accustomed to America as my home. My family and I came here in search for a new beginning and a greater future. Thus, we went from one job to another, moved homes and even lived with my uncle for a couple of months.

Being the first generation to arrive to America not knowing a single thing about American society, our prime concern was failure to communicate or the inability to deal with certain situations in the American lifestyle. I started school and as years went on, I took hold of English as my second language. It was a struggle to be the only child in the family who was accountable for translating everything for family members.

With my brothers at work, mom disabled, sister-in-law nurturing five of children, I thought it'd be a good deed to aid her with the toddlers. Nurturing these kids as if I was their"other" mother, I've become drawn to them as if they were my little siblings. Caring for them has influenced my decision to become a pediatrician.

Over a period of time, I have been faced with many decisions, such as choosing my college as well as what major I would like to study. It wasn't until last year that I knew I really wanted to be a pediatrician and decided to research what I have to do to achieve my dream. Once I have finished the eleven immense years of hard work and studying Biology, I hope to be the best pediatrician I can be. I would like to take on the knowledge that I've learned and apply them towards my job. I will one day open a clinic.

Once I found out that I was one of the selected recipients of the APIASF/Southern California Edison Scholarship, I felt overwhelmed and words couldn't describe how much this has meant to me. In my recent years, I have never won anything, and coming from APIASF, this scholarship was just a nice reward to prove that hard work does pay off.

I would like to say thank you Southern California Edison and APIASF for taking time to look at me as an individual student who has kept her head high, having the capacity to carry on her aspirations of achieving her dreams. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be a recipient of your organization's scholarship.

Christine P Than
Long Beach, CA

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First of all I like to think the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving me this award. I will be attending the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and will be majoring in biological engineering. I hope to accomplish three main things while attending college. They are to get my bachelors in biological engineering, get my masters in biomedical engineering, and hopefully meet my soul mate. My main future career plan is to become a biomedical engineer and maybe write stories on the side as a hobby.

When I found out I had won this scholarship, I was totally blown away. My hopes are soaring high and this proves to everyone that anything can happen so never let anything get your hopes down cause who knows what may happen next. When my family found out, they were astonished just as I was and they were excited that I was getting closer to paying off my tuition. My community was happy and congratulated me almost every time they saw me, making me really shy and embarrassed.

I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me through the easy and hard times. I would like to thank all those donors, corporations, and foundations for giving me the opportunity to participate and win this scholarship award. I especially like to thank Wal-Mart, Inc. for generously donating money to APIASF, without their donation I would of not have received this award. I would like to thank everybody again and I wish everyone luck with the present and the future.

Andrew Thao
Floral, AR

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My intended major is biomedical engineering so that I can become a scientist. Even though my dream career sounds unreal, I will succeed in becoming a research scientist working under NASA in the next 10-15 years. It's quite ironic how as a child this was my dream, but as I grew older my careers kept changing; yet in the end I want to follow the dream that I originally had.

While in college, I hope to accomplish many things: to be successful in every class (continuing a GPA of 4.00), create new lasting friendships, befriend many professors and alumnus, enjoy the college lifestyle, participate and make a difference in clubs/communities on campus, and lastly, attain my PhD and MD from UCSF.

Truth be told, when I first found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was surprised to have at least received one scholarship because all the other scholarships that I had applied for declined me. I was relieved to know that my hard work at least paid off. My family, friends and staff at school expected me to at least receive one scholarship.

I am truly grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship. I want to personally thank those who had selected me as they have reduced the pressure I carry for being an Asian daughter. Again, thank you all very much for this scholarship, it will help me greatly and will be put into good use.

Angelia M Thao
Sacramento, CA

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When I saw the APIASF letter in the mailbox on a Saturday morning, I was really excited to see what was inside. I had been waiting for months to hear from them. When I opened the letter, the only word that stuck out to me was "Congratulations." I was really happy that I received the scholarship. My family, friends, and Admission Possible coach were really proud of me. In the fall of 2008, I will be a freshman attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I will be majoring in medical technology, which is a four year program at the University of Minnesota. In college, I hope to overcome any obstacles that I may encounter. I want to graduate college in 2012. I would like to thank all the donors, corporations, and foundations for making this scholarship possible for me. Having this scholarship is a great opportunity for me because it is giving me a chance to challenge myself after high school. Thanks so much to all the funders, APIASF, my family, friends, and my Admission Possible coach for making college possible for me.

Bao Thao
Saint Paul, MN

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There are many obstacles and paths that an individual can take. Either you become a conformist or nonconformist. My choice was to become a nonconformist. I chose my own path and created my own road and made my own decisions. When I heard about the Asian Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund, I quickly applied for the scholarship.

The first step in receiving this scholarship was a letter telling me that I advanced to the next round. In my head I was thinking," One more step closer to receiving a scholarship (hopefully)!" Then I waited and waited. I checked the mail constantly to see if I received anything. Still nothing! I thought to myself that maybe this was a way to tell me that I did not receive the scholarship. So I gave up checking for it in the mail. Two weeks went by, and FINALLY I saw the envelope and even though I was afraid to open it, I was too curious and I quickly opened the envelope. "CONGRATULATIONS!" was the first thing I saw. I was so grateful to have received such a great amount of money that will benefit me in pursuing a higher education in the International Business field. My family was really ecstatic for me, especially my dad. He was really proud to see me excel in my education.

There are no more words to say to APIASF, but THANK YOU! You have helped me financially and mentally!

Chue Mai Thao
Minneapolis, MN

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"Happy families are alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" (Leo Tolstoy). Each of us has come a long way, and we each have a story to tell. Those stories will strike many hearts and encourage many souls. Most of us are born in a hospital, live under a finished roof and floor, eat nice things, and throw leftovers away, to have three meals on the next day. I was born in Thailand under a wooden roof that cried in the rain and whistled in the wind. When you looked up you could see the sky and the stars, when you looked down you could see the ground and Mother Nature. I grew up eating what my mother could gather for eight mouths.

Who said dreams never come true? In 1995, I do not know whether families were crying for joy or for sorrow. I experienced the most phenomenal things. Family after family was swallowed by giant elephants. My family was one of them. This elephant carried massive amount of weights. When it moved it would start slow but once it picked up speed it could run up to more than 75 miles per hour within a blink of an eye. Once we were spit out, we were swooped by a giant eagle. It took us above clouds, carried us over land and sea and for a whole day we never touched ground. At night we swapped eagles in Tokyo. The scene was breath taking. For the first time in my life I saw night turn into day. The ground was brighter than the many stars in the sky that night. A child of four years of age was inspired.

Finally, my family arrived in California. The life conditions changed for the better and for the worst. For once in my life, I could eat more than my belly could hold, but this new strange land didn't feel like home. After a year, we moved to Michigan, it was not until years later when I learned this strange language called "English", I then understood "myself".

Growing up in America and has given me the greatest opportunity of seeing things that I would have never seen in my lifetime living in a concentration camp: cars, trucks, planes, computers, lights, and technology, so many wonderful phenomenal things. This is how inspiration of becoming a Mechanical Engineer was sparked in a child eye, which knows little and has much to grow and learn. Like the bus and plane that carried this child and his family, there are many individuals that encouraged and inspired him to aim for the moon and if he failed that he still will land among the stars. Those figures said to me "You will go far in life". A millions thanks to those people will be to much but not enough.

Life is a mist but if man can image it, it can become reality. I continue to dream and hope. I will be the first to build a flying car that will travel a million light years faster than the speed of sound. I will be the first to create a robot that will function like a human. I will be the first to build a time machine that will travel us back in time. I will be the first to teleport men to Mars. I will be the first to discover the other side of the black holes. How can I not be the first, when you, my inspiration, those mentors, every individual donors, corporations, and foundations of APIASF are behind me? I cannot promise you a noble prize but one thing I can be sure of, you will not be disappointed. You, my greatest inspiration who believed in me and gave me hope, I will make you proud!

Ger Thao
Warren, MI

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I am headed towards Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall and majoring in business administration. I want to use my education to help others get an education. I want to come back and help the community that has helped me get to where I am today.

If business does not work out for me, I would like to attempt a career in the medical field. I want to become a successful obstetrician where I can share the joys of families with everyone.

Growing up in a low income family, I have always thought that it was impossible to go to college, especially with the high cost of tuition. I did not want my parents to struggle to pay for my education. They are already overworking themselves in order to keep the smiles on our face. With this scholarship, I will be able to go to school and show my family what an education can do for me. I can also come back and help them too.

After weeks of waiting, I finally heard news about the recipients of the APIASF Scholarship. I came home to find a letter addressed to me from APIASF. The grin on my face flipped to a killer smile. My heart almost stopped. I screamed with excitement around the house and told my parents. They were excited for me too, as well as very proud.

I would like to thank everyone for their excellent work and helping low income students like me achieve a higher education. I am very thankful to all the donors, corporations and foundations that will make my dreams of obtaining a higher education come true. I will make you guys, as well as my parents proud. Thanks for giving me such a great opportunity to achieve far and beyond others.

Hlee V Thao
Hamilton City, CA

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Being the first to go to college was so exciting to me and when I got the scholarship I felt even better. One of my friends told me about the scholarship and I gave it a try because I knew that I could do it. When I told my parents that I was going to continue my education they didn't know what to say. They were happy but at the same time worried about how they were going to pay for school. I want to go into the medical field. In college I want to accomplish a lot.

When I was little I always wanted to become a teacher and be a role model to the younger generation. Then when I was in middle school I wanted to go into the business field. When I had to try to sell something I didn't know how to get people to buy my things. Then I finally realized that those fields weren't meant for me. One day my best friend told me that I should become a doctor because I like being around people and love kids. Now I know that I want to become a doctor. It doesn't matter what kind but I want to become one and help people get better. I hate seeing people getting sick or losing a family member.

In the future when I am done with school I want to continue my schooling. I also want to come back to my home town and help out the schools and community. I want to give back to the schools because the school has provided me my education and helped me. Now it's my turn to give back to the younger ones. In the future I also want to find a job so that I can support my family and parents. My parents have helped me with many things that I can not pay back.

When I received the mail and read the letter that said I was selected for the scholarship I was excited. My parents were happy that I got some help. They didn't know what to say because this was a lot of money. I was thrilled that I got the scholarship to help me. Even though it does not help me pay my whole college tuition, it can help me pay for my books and other needs. I just want to say thank you APIASF for giving me this scholarship.

Khou Thao
Pontiac, MI

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I plan on majoring in business in college. I have been interested in business ever since I was a young boy. In college, I plan on learning as much as I can in business because I want to start my own business. I want to help the Hmong community become financially independent. I was full of joy when I realized I was selected as a recipient. I could not believe it. My family was also very happy for me as well. I am the first to go to college. They see this as a big accomplishment for me. I would like to send my gratitude to the individual donors, corporations, and foundations. They are the ones who made it possible for me to get this award. I am now able to pay for a considerable portion of my tuition. Without them, I would not be able to pay for college.

Vong Thao
Sacramento, CA

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Ten years from now, I see myself researching on the mountainsides of China, looking to piece together the history of the Hmong people. I have always found anthropology and archaeology very interesting because it's about studying the language, culture, and history of humans. Being Hmong, I believe I have an obligation to give back to the Hmong community, and what better way to do that than being able to educate later generations about the migrating journeys and stories of our ancestors.

Being able to tie in my personal interest with my career interest is both exciting and motivating, but I know that it will mean a lot of hard work on my part. I plan to attend Beloit College and major in anthropology. During my four years in undergraduate school, I plan to study abroad in China, where I can do research on the Hmong people. At the same time, I will also be able to use both my Mandarin and Hmong language skills. After undergraduate school, I plan on going to graduate school to further my education in anthropology. While in graduate school, I hope to do a lot more research and field work on my topic of interest. I'll be able to build professional connections and a greater understanding about how to be successful in this career.

After graduate school, I hope to be working with other professionals in research groups. Around this time, I can propose and lead my own research of the Hmong origins. Raising awareness of our people will help incorporate our relevant history in books. It will also build a base for unity and culture for Hmong people worldwide. This would be my ultimate career goal. Winning this scholarship means so much to me, because going to college has always been a huge part of my goal. I see it as a key to success. My parents who are immigrants to the United States were not given the opportunity to obtain an education. I want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to make my life the success I want it to be.

Winning this scholarship has also inspired me to give back to the community through being a role model and hopefully being able to make scholarships, like this one, available to the next generation of students. Being a role model, whether it's for my younger sisters or other people, is important to me. I will be able to show them that no matter what roots and circumstances you come from, success is possible, and this is an empowering message. Not only do I want to help people of this community, but hopefully, I will also be able to reach out and help people in impoverished communities around the world. I believe that giving everyone a chance to obtain an education and success will raise awareness about world issues on a global scale, and lead to better world relations.

Mai L Thor
St. Paul, MN

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As the first member of my family to actually graduate from high school and proceed onto college, I was concerned about applying to colleges and scholarships because everything was new to me. Like every scholarship applicant, I was afraid of rejection. After I submitted my application for this scholarship, I prayed each and every night in hopes that I would get the scholarship. In May, I received a letter in the mail from APIASF. I was nervous to open it, so I set it aside. The moment lasted for about thirty seconds. I had to open it. I read the first line. The word CONGRATULATIONS made me burst into tears of joy. I ran around the house showing it to everyone in my family. They all congratulated me and we went out to eat that night. I spread the news to my friends at school and church. I would like to thank APIASF for selecting me and the individual donors, corporations, and foundations that contributed to this scholarship fund.

I will hopefully major in something related to the medical field and religion. I would also like to join the convent and become a nun. This is unusual for a teen to have in mind, but as I have become more involved in my church, I am being influenced by the Sisters. Their loving hearts and dedication inspire me to become a nun and live a life of vocation. As a nun, I guarantee that I will be able to help out my community.

Thank you very much.

Cindy T Tran
Pasadena, TX

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Growing up in the countryside of Vietnam, I didn't have many hopes and dreams for my life or my future. I still remember those miserable days, searching for food and a shelter to live in. One day, an unfamiliar lady entered my house which was made of hay and soil. I was playing with the dust on an empty stomach. I looked at her and smiled, having no idea who she might be. She was very elegant; the way she dressed and carried herself inspired me. Unexpectedly, my mom told me that she was my grandmother, who left Vietnam when my mother was five years old. Her arrival that day was an invitation to sponsor us to a land of opportunity, America. All of a sudden, my family and I had the chance to live a life with hopes and dreams.

While I was sitting on the airplane with my family, I thought I was headed off to a place that could possibly be heaven. Surprisingly, I found myself in Manchester, New Hampshire, on May 20, 1999. I'll never forget that magnificent moment. I was filled with many emotions: sheer excitement for my new life and deep, painful sadness for memories that I had left behind. America was very different compared to my homeland in the way people dress, the food they eat, and even the houses in which they live. The size of the buildings and the expansiveness of the community made me feel very tiny, like a humming bird. Yet patiently I believed in myself and my aspirations. Finally, I found myself with a desire and passion to succeed in life.

Because of my family's experience, I realized that I should dedicate my life to helping others. From all the challenges that my family and I have faced, I have decided I want to pursue a degree in social work to help the immigrant community. I would like to focus on the welfare of children and their families because I understand how difficult things can be when moving to a new world. Also, I want to honor my parents' sacrifices by going to college and making my dream of helping others come true.

I applied for the APIASF scholarship because my parents and I need financial assistance to pay for my tuition. When I received the award letter announcing that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I was very pleased and surprised at the same time. This scholarship would benefit me directly and also benefit my family, who would be elevated by my success, indirectly. Since I am part of the first generation in my family to have a chance to go to college, I get a lot of encouragement from them. I hope APIASF will continue to support and lead new Asian American student leaders, as it has done for me. Thank you and I will never forget that I am an APIASF recipient.

Ha T Tran
Portland, ME

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Living in a small home with a big family, it's hard to have enough money to go around. I am the fourth out of six children and also the fourth to attend college. My parents worked so hard to get me to America and helped me through 13 years of school. Since I have three older brothers attending college, my parents are still working very hard to provide for us. I don't want to ask any more of them since I have younger siblings who will also need money for school. I want to find ways to pay for college myself.

Throughout the years that I've attended public schools, I noticed that there are not enough math educators. I plan to major in education at Kennesaw State University in order to pursue a career in education and become a math teacher in Georgia. I hope to make a difference in people's lives and also mine. When I found out that I was a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I was very excited. I ran and screamed all over the house. My parents thought that something happened but when they found out that I had received the scholarship they also got excited. They were happy to know that I have money to help pay for college and that they don't have to worry as much about financing my education.

My family and I are very thankful to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving me this scholarship. I am also grateful for everyone who donated money to this organization. Without your support, my parents would struggle even more to help me pay for college. Thank you so much.

Hong Lien T Tran
Morrow, GA

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I was born in Vietnam and lived there for fifteen years prior to moving to the U.S with my mom. English was at first a very big obstacle that I had to overcome. I was an ESOL student for three years. In these ESOL classes I learned a lot and learned to speak English like other students.

My senior year was very difficult for me. Besides taking AP classes, I had to struggle with the fact that my family was not going to be able to pay for my college education. I tried to apply for as many scholarships as I could. In April, I found out that I still have to pay $12000 a year in order to attend Goucher College, even though I already received a merit scholarship, federal loans, and grants from the college. For a single-parent family like mine, where my mom has had to support the whole family, that amount was impossible. However, my mom encouraged me to enroll at Goucher because its one of the best schools in the nation. Although we were worried about paying interest, my mom would have to borrow money and use loans to pay for my tuition.

In the first week of May, I received a letter from APIASF saying that I was one of the recipients of the scholarship. I was so happy and my family felt relived to hear the good news. In the same week, I also received some grants from the state. All the tuition costs, as well as room and board, will be paid for and my mom won't have to use loans anymore. The total amount of all the aid reaches the cost to attend Goucher.

I want to major in biochemistry. I hope to become an environmental researcher. I want to help the environment with my knowledge. I also want to be able to give back to my community.

I realize that there are so many people out there who want to help students get a good education. As a recipient of the APIASF scholarship, I'd like to express my appreciation to all individual donors, corporations, and foundations that support this scholarship. This scholarship will allow me to have an education beyond high school. I'd like to thank the scholarship committee who selected me as a recipient. Your work means a lot to all of us.

Phuong T Tran Nguyen
Silver Spring, MD, USA

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Throughout my 12 years of education, I have used the word "perseverance" in my vocabulary. I have strived constantly to reach my goals despite the many obstacles in my path. I grew up in a low-income family, but I persevered by working jobs to support my family while managing my time for education. I also worried about finding money for college. Despite my parents' best efforts, they are not able to pay my way through college no matter how hard they try or how much money they save. They work endless hours everyday just to make enough to put food on table.

It would be easy for me to use my low-income status as an excuse to rule out opportunities for college, instead, I persevere. Instead of letting it bring me down, I use it to motivate me, to drive me to college. Rather than complain about lack of money for college, I put forth my full effort to earn the money to go to college with work, scholarships, grants, and any other source I can find. Therefore, when I received a letter from APIASF that began with the message, "CONGRATULATIONS!", I could not say much at that moment except "thank you." With this scholarship, I will use it to buy books and other materials for college. I will continue with my education and plan to become a nurse for my future career. Lastly, I would like to say thank you to Target for giving me as well as other students this opportunity. With your support I will continue on in spite of the challenges I will face

Phuong T Tran
Denver, CO

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Within the next several years, I will major in health science, directing my path to graduate school and attaining a career in physical therapy. A physical therapist deals with the physical needs of a patient while helping them live a better and healthier lifestyle. The reason I want to study health is to help my mother with her arthritis pain and help myself become healthier as well. By learning how the human body works I can help people change their lives through the knowledge of health. I have always tried my best to strong like everyone else. When I was little, due to my intestinal disease, I became ill, requiring me to go through a risky surgery. I had a few more surgeries along the way and each one was life-threatening. People did not believe I would grow up to become a strong man due to the multiple surgeries I have had and my weak health. It discouraged me and I gave into the idea that I would be weak for the rest of my life. But my mom believed in the strength inside me and she knew I had the potential to become a strong man. Thanks to my mother I started to believe what she said and I tried my best to eat as many healthy foods I could and to exercise everyday. The help of one person gave me the strength, hope and will to change my life. I want to help others like my mother did for me by giving them the strength to achieve their goals of becoming healthy and strong.

My mother and I were excited that I had become a recipient of this prominent scholarship. I do not want my mother to worry too much about my college tuition because she has enough things to worry about, including all the surgeries to keep me healthy. By receiving this scholarship, it is one step closer to accomplishing my goals and understanding more about my health. My mother is happy to know that she has raised a son who started out weak, but progressed and persevered into a strong and intellectual man. I want to start taking care of myself and worry about my own financial needs.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and its sponsors for helping me pursue a good education and my future career. This scholarship will go a long way in my quest for higher education.

Richard D Tran
San Diego, CA

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Alexander Graham Bell said,"When one door closes, another opens," This quote comes to mind when I think about my future. What am I going to do after high school? Am I going to go further my studies? Do I go to a university or a community college? What am I going to study? How am I going to pay for this? Those are just some questions I asked myself. When I got home from school one day, I received my letter from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. I was so amazed because I have not heard back from any scholarships that I have applied for. It made my day a lot better because I had been stressing about school, graduation, and, especially, college because I had no idea how I was going to pay for it. My family and I are honored that I was chosen to receive this scholarship.

My plans for the fall of 2008 are to attend Oregon State University, and I am planning to study International Business and Merchandising Marketing, and maybe even fashion merchandising. I want to study everything and anything that interests me because I want to have as many opportunities offered to me; therefore I have to be willing to try everything. I also plan on studying abroad in Japan and learning Chinese and Japanese.

I would like to thank the APIASF sponsors and Wai-Ling Eng. I am very grateful to be given a chance to continue my education and pay off my tuition. Again, thank you so much!!!

Nancy Trinh
Keizer, OR

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My name is Benjamin Truong and I attend Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona. I am a first generation Vietnamese-American, born in California and raised in Arizona. Growing up, my parents have always taught me how important education was and how I must strive to receive a great education. Finally attending college will make my parents' and my dreams come true.

This fall, I will attend the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. I will be majoring in Nutritional Sciences and minoring in French. Besides getting a great education, I hope to meet as many people as I can in college. I want to learn as much about other people as possible while also learning more about myself. Becoming more independent is another thing that I really look forward to this fall. After receiving my Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences, I will attend Medical or Pharmacy school. I want to become a Bariatric Physician, for that career mixes my love for fitness, nutrition and medicine. Pharmacy is also a possibility for me after receiving my undergraduate degree.

When I discovered that I was selected to receive the APIASF scholarship I was incredibly happy. Receiving such an award is a great honor and I was so proud to be recognized as a scholar. Everyone in my family was so proud of me, and for such an esteemed organization to recognize my efforts and success in high school is really phenomenal. With the many great things that come with college also carries a lot of financial stress. To have some of the financial stress lifted off my shoulders is such a blessing and I thank all people who donated to the APIASF, for without them this award would not be possible. Thank you for this outstanding award.

Benjamin Truong
Chandler, AZ

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The transition to the United States of America has not only brought me new challenges but also opened for me a new horizon of knowledge, friendship and happiness. I was born and raised in Vietnam where I had lived a peaceful and joyful life until my journey to the United States. My parents and I were sponsored to come over to America by my grandparents for a family reunion in 2006. From that journey, I have experienced self and family hardships in my life which I considered pivotal in my life.

Arriving to America without any English speaking skills, my parents jumped to work at a manicure salon, trying to save every penny that they could earn to pay for the cost of living. Not being able to speak English has brought on more difficulties and less advantages for them. However, with persistence, they are still optimistic and dedicated with an indomitable will to overcome the hurdles of life. That is also the reason why whenever I faced academic and social obstacles, the images of my parents are always the strongest motivation for me to strive and achieve what I am longing for. With that effort, the power of optimism and support from my family, I was also selected as the Top 20 Outstanding Senior at my school and the Student of the Year in the Science Department.

I will be attending the University of Washington this September and majoring in Biochemistry. Entering college means more responsibility over every aspect of my life: self-responsibility, diligence, and financial responsibility. My entire family was happy and proud when I received the letter from APIASF saying that I was selected as one of the winners. The APIASF scholarship means a great deal for me. It will help me to pay off the cost of books and transportation while I am at University of Washington. I would like to express my appreciation and gratefulness to the APIASF staff and every corporation who contribute to further the education and goals of Asians and Pacific Islanders. Once again, thank you so much for this great scholarship and this wonderful chance that you are opening for my future life.

Hai-Quan N Truong
Puyallup, WA

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On May 7, 2008, I received a letter from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). As I slowly opened the letter, anxiety filled my mind. The letter read, "CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected …" I jumped and screamed in joy after I finished reading the very first sentence. Then I came running to my mom and told her that I had received a $2,500 scholarship. Mom stood up and gave me a warm hug as tears of happiness rolled down her cheeks.

When my family and I immigrated to the United States four and a half years ago, my parents needed more money to support my younger brother and me. They worked from morning to night with only an hour break in between. My parents, a middle-aged couple, who speak poor English, struggle day-to-day to make our lives better. As Mom came home more often with back pain, I was worried about her. Once, the pain was unbearable. She moaned as I massaged and put ointment on her shoulder. I wished that I could share some of that pain. Then came my Dad. He was constantly losing weight and skipping dinners. I was frightened. I took him to see the doctor. As a result, he was given an upper GI endoscopy and diagnosed with three ulcers in the upper part of his small intestine. He is going to be all right as long as he takes steps to improve his health. Tears of relief streamed down my cheeks as I walked him home. A sudden flow of warmth overwhelmed me. My parents' pain had awakened me to my true passion. I wanted to become a family practitioner to alleviate my parents' pain. I wanted to hold their palms firmly and take care of them as they age.

My parents encouraged me to go to college. Since I am the first one in my family to attend college, my parents cannot help me academically having a minimum elementary school education, and can only provide moral support. My parents are not rich nor are they perfect. They only expect me to try my best in everything that I do in life. They work hard to strengthen the foundation for my future so that I can go to college and develop a successful career.

Thus, receiving the APIASF/Target Scholarship means a lot to my family and to me. It alleviates my parents' burden of paying for my college education and provides a big helping hand for me to pursue higher education in college and eventually achieve my educational and career goals. It is with great pride and honor that I accept the APIASF/Target Scholarship. I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the APIASF Scholarship Committee members, Target and all those who are affiliated with APIASF for awarding me this scholarship. Thank you for making college possible.

Hua S Truong
San Francisco, CA

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"Perception does not always reflect reality." In my case, this quote closely mirrors the story of my life. Sure, many people - teachers, friends, acquaintances, strangers - will now look at me and perceive myself to be "Miss Perfect," but no person could ever acknowledge the real truth about my life - a truth full of personal and economic struggle - for it is so carefully concealed behind that mask of perfection.

When my family first immigrated to the United States, I did not even know how to speak English properly. What most Americans took for granted - the ability to speak, read, and write the English language - proved to be a major struggle for me. However, with hard work and determination, I eventually mastered the English language, and by the end of the seventh grade, I was known as "the smart girl" instead of "the girl who doesn't know how to speak English." This personal struggle has taught me the importance of having perseverance and a burning desire for education. With passion, I am capable of achieving my dream of becoming a pharmacist and a successful individual in society. While my family's continual economic struggle inspires me to achieve academically, my determination serves as a driving force that compels me to work hard until my dreams have been achieved.

As a radical dreamer and a pursuer of knowledge, my lifelong passion and my ultimate dream is to become a pharmacist. Currently, my educational goal is to complete the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy starting in the Fall of 2008. My long-term goal is to participate in Médecins Sans Frontiè"res (Doctors Without Borders). In countries where everything is consumed by decades of conflict and everyone is ravaged by wars and poverty, medical aid is more essential than ever. Thus, my ultimate goal is to utilize all of my professional knowledge and skills and use it to provide medical care and lifesaving aid to people in need.

I was so thrilled when I received the letter from APIASF in the mail: I was selected to be a 2008 APIASF Scholar. Due to my family's poor economic condition, attending college has never been a realistic option for me. However, as a first-generation college student, I recognize the importance of a higher education in today's ever changing and developing world. With perseverance, I can accomplish a life beyond what I currently have, and if given the opportunity and room for growth, I can achieve anything and everything I set my mind to. While my dream of becoming a pharmacist fuels my passion and determination to achieve academically, my perseverance challenges me to always work hard to better my own knowledge. With a burning desire for success and a willingness to tackle any challenge or obstacle, I am determined to fulfill my lifelong goal of being a pharmacist. Dream! Passion! Determination! Perseverance! Triumph!

Trang A Truong
Aloha, OR

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My name is Kanika Skye Tua'one. I live in West Valley City, Utah and am the fourth eldest child of Kekumi and Neilani Tua'one. I am half Tongan and half Samoan. I recently graduated from Rowland Hall St. Mark's School in May of 2008.

I feel extremely grateful and blessed to be a recipient of the APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship. My financial situation has always been the one barrier to my education. So after receiving the great news of having received the APIASF Scholarship, I feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted off of not only my shoulders, but also my family's. I hope that with this scholarship I am able to focus more on my studies rather then worry about how to pay my way through college. My deepest and sincerest thanks go to Wells Fargo and APIASF for allowing me the opportunity to attend the college of my first choice despite my financial status.

In the fall of 2008 I will be attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. I will be entering as a freshman. My major is undecided, although I would love to study psychology. I hope to accomplish much during my years at Occidental. No matter what career or path I find myself traveling after my college years, I hope to help my Polynesian Community in any way that I am able to. Whether it is helping educate the younger generation about the importance of education or merely helping them search for opportunities to pay for college, I want to give back to my Polynesian community.

Once again I would like to thank APIASF for allowing me the wonderful opportunity to receive such a beneficial scholarship. I know that it will help me immensely this upcoming school year.

Kanika S Tua'One
West Valley, UT

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My name is Tiffany Ulberg, and I will be a freshman in college. I plan on attending MCC-Longview for two years then transferring to St. Luke's School of Nursing to complete my BSN. After receiving my BSN I plan on working for two years at St. Luke's Hospital and attending the University of Kansas to get my CRNA.

I was ecstatic when I found out I was selected as a receipt of the APIASF Scholarship. I had applied for so many scholarships I couldn't even begin to count anymore, yet somehow I hadn't been awarded any of them. I am truly honored to receive this scholarship. I can still remember coming home from school and getting the letter in the mail. When I realized I had been chosen as a receipt of the APIASF Scholarship I started to tear up because I knew that I wouldn't be able to pay for college on my own without help from organizations like APIASF. I told everyone about the great news.

Words cannot express how truly thankful I am for APIASF and for all its sponsors. I thank every one of its supporters from the bottom of my heart. It is a true blessing from God to have an organization out there that is so willing to help young people that want to get somewhere in life but have one or two road blocks to overcome along the way.

Tiffany C Ulberg
Blue Springs, MO

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I would like to sincerely thank the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for choosing me to be a scholarship recipient for the year 2008-2009. I would also like to thank the individual donors, corporations, and foundations for making the APIASF Scholarship possible.

My name is Mai Nhia Vang and I was born in Thailand. My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1995. I have been living in Saint Paul, Minnesota for thirteen years. I am the oldest of nine kids. I have five brothers and three sisters. I will be attending The College of Saint Catherine in the fall of 2008 and studying elementary education. I will work hard to pursue my bachelor's degree and than continue on to get my master's degree. Aside from this, I would also like to study aboard some where in the eastern part of the world.

It was the 8th of May in 2008, I was coming home from school and, as usual, I checked the mail. "There sure is a lot of mail today," I said to myself. I dropped my backpack on the floor and quickly looked through the piles of mail. There, I spotted the APIASF envelope. I pushed the other mail away and opened the letter as fast as I could without ripping the letter. My heart was pounding very fast; I crossed my fingers and hoped that it would be good news. When the letter was ripped open, I quickly scanned the letter for the word "Congratulations". When I saw it, I started screaming and yelling. My parents were not home to see the excitement, so I phoned them to tell the good news. They were very excited and happy for me. My mom was right, all the hard work I have been doing had finally paid off. This scholarship means a lot to me and I will work hard to set a good example for my siblings to follow. Once again, thank you.

Mai Nhia Vang
Saint Paul, MN

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During my sophomore year, there was a poster in my biology class that read, "If you could do anything, what would you do?" If I could live a million years, I would do everything. There's so much that interests me and I hope that I can find every opportunity to try everything I want to do.

When I think about college, I can only think about how hard I have worked and the goals I want to achieve. Once I get into college, I'm going to major in psychology. I might also major in English since I enjoy writing so much. After my undergraduate studies, I plan to go to medical school so that I can be a pediatrician. I also want to work towards obtaining a Ph.D.

Being the first to graduate from high school and the first to go to college in my family is enough to make my family proud. When I found out that I got this scholarship, not only was I surprised, but also my family and my teachers were happy for me. I'm grateful for this opportunity. My thanks go out to the sponsors of this scholarship and all those that have made this experience possible. It will help me tremendously. I appreciate being selected.

Nou Vang
St. Paul, MN

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Each and every one of us have encountered and surpassed our obstacles. I have reached some of my long-term goals and am still chasing after more. First of all, I am very thankful for receiving this scholarship. When my family received the letter they called me right away at work. It means so much to me and my family because I am the first generation to go to college. I never thought I would receive this scholarship because there are so many students from my school and surrounding states who applied. The chance of winning was very small because everyone was great in his or her own way.

In the fall of 2008, I will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities majoring in Education Business and Marketing and a minoring in Computer Science. I would like to encourage future students to continue their education because education is the key to success. In college I hope to be successful and live my college life by being involved in student clubs, ask for help when needed, and finish my B.A. in four years. My future career plan is to get my license in cosmetology because I have a strong passion for beauty. One day I would like to open up my own business in Twin Cities.

I would like to thank all the individual donors, corporations, and foundations. Without your help I wouldn't be a step closer to accomplishing my life long dreams.

Pang H Vang
Saint Paul, MN

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My name is Sheng Vang and I am currently a high school student attending Lindhurst High School. I am planning to go to a four year university and major in Liberal Art Studies after high school. I have always been fascinated by teaching kids to aim high in education because education will get you far in life. I want to be an elementary school teacher. I want to make a difference in children's lives by teaching and giving them the tools to better understand education and by doing this, I want to teach them to understand that education is very important in life because it provides the path for one's future, and it allows a person to gain new knowledge. Going to college will help me obtain a successful job that I dream to have. I want to aim high in education, pursue a higher education for myself and later on, pass it on and teach it to the younger generations to understand the importance pursuing a higher education.

I was very thrilled and happy to receive a $2500 scholarship from the Asian and Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund. On behalf of my family and myself, I would like to thank the APIASF staff members for selecting me as one of APIASF's 2008 scholarship recipients. Receiving this scholarship will help to reduce my financial burdens and will also motivate me to continue my education at the California State University of Sacramento. Once again, thank you very much.

Sheng Vang
Marysville, CA

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As a little child I had dreams of being a doctor, but I couldn't easily see my path to this career. I've always thought that I would never get the chance to become what I want to be. My life was always full of hardships and difficult decisions. As a person who really likes to think on his feet, I found it really hard for me to choose an exact major. As my dad said, "Life is the result of one's mistakes and what one does to change those mistakes. History is only made by those who work, not those who rest." These quotes have become really beneficial in my life. As a result, I have taken them into consideration as I finally chose my major.

APIASF serves as an inspiration for many high school seniors, and I was no exception this year. Not only has APIASF and its sponsors relieved me of some of the financial burden of attending my dream college but they have also broadened my understanding of the lack of encouragement some Asian students face when it comes to higher education and beyond. For all that the APIASF has given me, I am truly thankful. I plan to contribute what I've learned from Lindhurst High School and the University of California at Davis, as a Biochemistry and Molecular Science major, back to my community. In college I plan to work as hard as I have in high school by joining clubs and organizations that I know will benefit me in the future of my college life. Also, I plan to attend graduate school after I get my bachelors degree from Davis with the thought of my community in mind. I know that I can make a change in my community and many others if I start now. As I always say to myself, "Find a passion that you have and strive for it as no one else would."

Xang Vang
Marysville, CA

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My name is Nikita Vi and I am 18 years old. I am about to attend the University of Utah. Looking ahead, I know that this money will help me on a path to a better future. I come from a poorer background than most and I hope that I can better myself by attending college. My family comes from the island of Tonga and I am the third generation to live here. I come from a family with seven brothers and will be the first in my family to attend college. My grandmother and father came here believing America to be a land of opportunity and that dream lives on inside of me.

In college I hope to major in medicine and become a doctor, so that I can make a handsome income, be able to help people, and save lives. Also in college, I hope to learn a lot so that I will be able to further help out my community and give back to those who helped me throughout my life. Medicine really interests me and I think that it is a great way to give back.

I was so excited and surprised when I found out that I had been selected to receive the APIASF - Sodexo scholarship. I was on a father and son campout in the mountains. I was setting up camp with my dad when my mother called. She excitedly told me that I had won the scholarship. I was elated and started screaming and whooping for joy. All the other sons and fathers thought I had seen a snake and came over to see what the commotion was about. It was hilarious and I proudly told them of my award. They were all very proud of my accomplishment and of me. They all knew that I was a hard working and dedicated boy and sincerely felt that I deserved it. I was so happy and everyone was so happy for me. It was one of the best moments of my life.

I am so thankful for this scholarship and will use every penny to make sure that I accomplish my goals in life. I just want Sodexo to know that I am eternally grateful for their contributions and that this aid will not go unnoticed or ungratified.

Nikita K Vi
Salt Lake, UT

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First of all, I would really like to thank Wells Fargo who has so generously given us all this amazing opportunity. It means so much to me and my family to have the support of others to help me pay for college. My family and I were extremely grateful and excited when I screamed after I opened the envelope and saw the words "Congratulations!" Struggling with finding the means to pay for my education, this scholarship has really lessened the burden that my family and I will eventually face when I have to pay back all my student loans. With a single mother supporting myself and two younger brothers, I have tried to do my part as the older daughter by trying to find my own ways to pay for college so that I wouldn't put a heavier load on my mother.

Attending the Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California this upcoming fall, I will be majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in international relationships and a minor in public policy. In college, I will take advantage of the opportunities around me in order to give back to my new community, the surrounding community around USC. There are many programs to help the locals who need hands-on help. I particularly would like to help children to understand their full potential and to help them on their way to higher education and success.

I want to be able to instill the same amount of hope and aspirations that my family instilled in me as a child, in other children. After college, I plan on establishing a non-profit organization to specifically help socio-economically challenged children reach their full potential and help them on their way to the road to success through one-on-one peer mentors, goal-building, and, well, just having fun. I strongly believe that at a young age, children just need to know that they are important and they just need to know that they are capable and will succeed.

I am really glad and relieved to know that such great organizations like APIASF and generous donors like Wells Fargo help kids like me have the opportunity to go to college. My grandmother has always taught me that if you get help from one person, then you should help two. That way, the world will be a better place. It is because of generous contributions from organizations like APIASF that I hope to one day give the same opportunities to children in need.

Vina Vo
Garden Grove, CA

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First, thank you so much to all those that make Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund possible. I am extremely thankful that I was chosen to be one of the scholarship recipients; it is impossible to comprehend how much this scholarship will help me.

With my college degree in Human Biology, I hope to become a doctor and help as many people as I can. So far, I have had a particular interest in oncology, but I have not decided on a specific medical field yet. My primary focus is to make a difference and improve my community by having a profession in healthcare.

At the University of California San Diego, I hope to continue to pursue my passion for volunteerism and serving others. This scholarship allows me to spend time volunteering instead of working in order to pay for my education.

As my mom brought the APIASF Scholarship letter to me, smiling enormously as I read it, she congratulated me for my hard work. After reading the letter out loud, I couldn't help but smile back and cheer a little. It is extremely rewarding to know that my academic successes in high school will aid me in college financially.

Again, thank you so much APIASF for choosing me as a recipient!

April Voong
Sacramento, CA

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I'd like to thank the scholarship committee for giving me this opportunity. It will contribute significantly towards my college years. I can attend California State University, Los Angeles as an accounting major without worrying about my college tuition. It will lessen my parents' financial burden.

Applying for this scholarship got me thinking,"What are the chances of me actually winning?" The next three months felt like a roller coaster ride because I didn't know what was coming. After a hard long wait, my mother finally handed me the APIASF envelope. It took me a few minutes to open the envelope because I was so afraid to see the results. I carefully tore open the envelope and reached for the letter. When I saw the words CONGRATULATIONS! I stopped reading and looked at my mother. A smile gradually made its way on my face.

I hope to pursue a successful career to benefit others in need of aid. By becoming an accountant, I can provide assistance for financially struggling individuals or families and practice in low-income areas. These were obstacles that my family overcame together over the years. In addition to being a scholarship recipient I can fulfill my parent's dream of being successful.

Again I want to thank the Asian & Pacific Islander American Fund and the generous support of their sponsors for making this happen. I can only express my appreciation with my future actions, not just humble words.

Helen Vu
Los Angeles, CA

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I have known countless peers who decided to attend public universities in California and only a few chose private institutions. It is ideal to say that cost does not matter when deciding which college to attend, but since many of my peers and I come from low income families, it is hard to say anything but otherwise. I can say that I took a leap of faith when I decided to attend the University of Southern California.

Even though my mother was not able to attend high school and my father did not attend college, my parents supported me in my decision. They both emigrated from Vietnam to escape the restraints of communism and raise their children in a country of opportunity. I believe in the resources that I will find and use to build my future while I am at USC. My parents are humble people, always doing their best to pull the family through and placing education on a high pedestal. When I told my parents about how I was selected to receive a scholarship, I witnessed proud expressions on their faces and an aura of ease from some of the costs that would come with valuable education. I received an enormous hug and exclamation from my counselor and one of my teachers, and my friend whom I work with at the St. Callistus Church gave me a gleeful smile.

I am sincerely thankful to Wal-Mart and the Asian Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund for helping to ease the financial burden I have created upon my parents and myself for my education. Furthermore, this gives me additional belief that although college education might not be free, there are people and organizations reaching a confident hand out to say that they believe in the youth and future generations.

I look forward to finding the career about which I am passionate at the University of Southern California. I hope to join the prestigious newspaper staff at USC and also take part in community service events as I have in the past. Speaking of the past, it has been with experience through community outreach groups and extracurricular activities throughout high school in which I have grown in character and have found my belief in people and in life. I hope to do the same while attending college and earning my bachelor's degree, and applying to graduate school afterwards. My favorite quote, which I believe puts my future goals in the simplest terms, comes from Hellen Keller who once said, "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."

Kim H Vu
Santa Ana, CA

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My name is Phi P.H. Vu. I was born and raised in a refugee camp in Malaysia and came to the United States in 1999. I will be attending Oregon State University next fall majoring in pre-pharmacy. My grandmother's death influenced my goal to be a pharmacist. When I was 13, my grandmother passed away due to heart disease. It was one of the most difficult times that I've been through. Due to the limited resources and medications that the Vietnamese hospitals offered, my grandmother had an unbearable and painful death. Since then, medicine has always been at the forefront of my career goals and aspirations. My plan for the future is to attend pharmacy school and successfully master the skills of internal medications

Throughout my life, my parents have always been my greatest heroes. They've suffered for years in order to improve my life, and in many ways my parents still suffer. Like many immigrants, they suffered the language barrier. English has challenged their daily lives and how they interact with others. But no matter how harshly life has treated them, they smiled through it and completed the given tasks. They hold a special place in my heart and I would like to use this opportunity to give thanks and honor my parents for being my supporters and encouraging me to become a successful person.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF/Wal-Mart Scholarship, I was surprised. I was too afraid to find out to see if the letter from APIASF was a rejection letter. But, luckily it was a Congratulations letter. My mom was very proud of me for going this far.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wal-Mart and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for making my college education affordable. Thanks for making my dream come true and at the same time helping me be the first generation in my family to go to college. Thanks for lifting the load off my parents' shoulders. Once again with my gratitude and sincerity, thank you APIASF!

Phi P Vu
Portland, OR

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My family has always been a major part of my life. As the oldest of four children I take on many responsibilities. I translate for my parents and take care of my siblings to set a good example for them. At times, I hated being the oldest and doing so much work for my parents, but now I have learned that my responsibilities are skills that I have developed and are life lessons that will help me wherever I go. My parents' life makes me realize how proud I am of them and my Chinese heritage. They have taught me to be a hardworking individual who never gives up, to hold my head up high to represent my Chinese family, but more importantly, to embrace my Asian American culture.

My personal goal is to obtain a BA from the University of California, Davis. I hope to graduate in four years and then apply to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in Education and Foreign Policy. I want to learn about different countries and how to help them. After receiving my Ph.D., I plan to teach and travel to developing countries with the goal of funding and supporting elementary schools there. My parents immigrated to the United States from China before I was born. They shared with me the difficult times they experienced in Chinese schools. Although my parents yearned for an education, they did not have enough money to pay the tuition for school. I want to change that.

The Asian & Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund (APIASF) was one of the first scholarship organizations I applied to. I hoped to receive help financing my college education. When I heard that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF/Wachovia Foundation Scholarship, I was surprised and overjoyed. This scholarship has helped me realize that there are organizations out there willing to help, which motivates me to continue to reach further for my future career goals.

From the moment I found out I got the scholarship, I truly wanted to thank the Wachovia Foundation for funding APIASF. Without them, it would have been hard for others like me to attend college. I hope that in the future, I will become a donor myself, to fund scholarships like APIASF and give back to the community.

Amy Wei
Richmond, CA

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Upon finding out that I was a recipient of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship, my mother and I were both ecstatic. Due to the immense generosity of individual donors, corporations and foundations, I will now be able to make my lifelong dream of attending college a reality, and for this I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved. After the death of my brother, my father deserted our family and left my mother to support us with a menial minimum-wage paying job. I'm not sure that I can ever express my gratitude for what this scholarship has made possible for us, easing the burden of college financial debt and helping me attain success in the world. I will be forever grateful.

In the future, I will be attending Towson University beginning in the fall of 2008, eventually enrolling in the AFROTC program to become an officer in the Air Force. In addition, I plan on taking courses focusing on social work and art therapy. Hopefully, receiving my Bachelor's and eventually becoming a counselor as well. By doing this, I will be combining my two passions in life: helping others and self-expression via art. Perhaps one day I will be able to give back to the community what they have given me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, APIASF!

Denise Y Williams
Laurel, MD

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I am dedicated toward acquiring a Business degree at Texas Tech University. My major at Texas Tech University in the Fall 2008 will be Business Undeclared. I might possibly pursue a degree in Business Marketing after I complete my Freshman year. I believe that the degree that I acquire at Texas Tech University will enable me to fulfill my dreams and goals of being a part of the corporate world—yet an interactive individual who is involved in a diverse society. In college, I aspire to attain a four-year Bachelor degree in Business and incorporate the skills that I will acquire and apply them to my future career in order to be successful. I am dedicated to reaching my dreams and goals within these four successful years of my college education. In regards to my future accomplishments in college, I aspire to be a bright, intellectual, and dedicated student and acquire my diverse education at Texas Tech University.

I was speechless when I discovered that I was a scholarship recipient. My family and I exchanged moments of sincere appreciation toward the APIASF organization

As a scholarship recipient, I am truly grateful and appreciative for the APIASF organization and this scholarship. I would like to thank the individual donors, corporations, and foundations in assisting me financially for college. I believe that this scholarship will impact my life positively beyond recognition.

Amy F Wong
Houston, TX

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My experiences living in San Francisco made me conscious of the social inequalities in our world today. These realizations have shaped my aspirations. I want to contribute to my community by educating others about social inequality. Through education I want to help people in my community to be aware of their choices. I believe that everyone has the right to have a better future.

Two summers ago, I had the opportunity to visit Solano State Prison and speak with the prisoners and travel with the American Civil Liberties Union's Friedman Education Project on a weeklong field investigation trip about the truths and myths of military recruitment and service. During this trip I was fortunate enough to meet with many influential people such as Stephen Funk, the first person to refuse service in Iraq; Pablo Paredes, who refused to board the USS Bonhomme Richard; and Antonia Juhasz, the author of The Bush Agenda: Invading One World, One Economy at a Time. Meeting with these inspiring people and organizations, such as Swords to Plowshares and Military Families Speak Out, has opened my eyes to the reality in the military world.

After the trip I remained involved in the ACLU, and with this amazing group I have explored topics of gender inequality, racism, global warming, the war in Iraq, the prison crisis, and the effect of current economic policies on the average worker. I have been able to share the knowledge I gained with my family, friends, and community. I want my community to know the truth behind our social problems, and I want to be able to help my community overcome its many tribulations. I believe my community has played a vital role in my passion for knowledge, and organizations I have been active in have taught me to improve my community.

It is a great honor to receive the APIASF scholarship. I was overjoyed when I found out that I was chosen as a scholarship recipient. I am extremely grateful to all the generous donors to this scholarship fund and the potential that the APIASF committee saw in me. I will be attending the University of California, Santa Cruz next fall and majoring in Community Studies. I plan to study with Angela Davis and do prison abolition work in my future.

Cally B Wong
San Francisco, CA

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I would like to thank Southern California Edison and everyone at the Asian and Pacific Islander and American Scholarship Fund for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients. Thank you all so much for giving me this opportunity to further progress my education.

I will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall of 2008. My major is Genetics and Plant Biology in the College of Natural Resources. I want to be involved in undergraduate research as much as I can because my career aspiration is to be a research scientist. The idea of learning something new, discovering something undiscovered and experimenting with unprecedented goals is very appealing and fitting for me. I have always had an insatiable level of curiosity about things I was interested in. Ideally, I would be a professor as well, because I love teaching and spreading knowledge.

My family and I were very happy and excited when I received the phone call and letter from APIASF saying that I won the scholarship. $2,500 will be a great contribution to my cost of attending Berkeley and I am very appreciative that an organization like APIASF exists to provide scholarships to students like me.

Winnie S Wong
El Monte, CA

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I always enjoyed vacationing outside the country as a child and I often wondered what it would be like to travel on business related excursions as an adult. Taking a business administration class during my senior year has piqued my curiosity on how the world plays a crucial role towards a country's economy.

Attending Pace University will assist me on making favorable decisions on my career path. Moreover, I will be able to build and utilize my knowledge on finance. Ever since obtaining an internship at Ambac Financial Group, I am enlightened on how a business operates.

My passion for languages has developed over the years as I was introduced to Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish and Russian. I am eager to participate in international activities as well as studying abroad. During my travels in other countries, I have broadened my perspective on a variety of cultures and traditions.

I will be the first generation in my family to attend college. My mother is proud of my accomplishments and the APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation scholarship has lightened my family's financial burden towards my college tuition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Coca-Cola Foundation and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for providing me with this great opportunity to excel in college. Attending a business affiliated school is the perfect decision for me because I will soon have the opportunity to begin the arduous yet exciting journey in the world of business.

Elaine Wu
Brooklyn, NY

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I want to become a biochemical engineer. My desire is to combine the concepts and ideas of biology and chemistry to produce environmentally friendly products that could benefit humans while not harming the environment. Problems like limited fossil fuel, excess green-house gases, and disorders of the worldwide climate can be solved by approaching them from a biologically friendly position. Only scientists and engineers who can regard more than one aspect of science and practice interdisciplinary studies will be able to solve these problems, and my career goal is to join this team of scientists and engineers in their efforts to solve some of these crucial issues.

When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, my family and I were thrilled. Both my parents did not receive a college education because of the many political factors in China. In spite of this, my mother always supported my goal of obtaining a college education. The generosity from the donors of APIASF has given me an added measure of confidence. Since coming to the United States to pursue my dream of education in 2005, I have worried about whether I would be able to achieve my goal because of the high costs involved. Thank you very much for granting me this scholarship. Thank you again for helping to make my dream of an education become a reality.

Yong Y Wu
Falls Church, VA

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It was very discouraging to hear my parents object to the hours I spent on my scholarship applications. I kept hearing my parents say "You are giving out too much personal information", "What are your chances of winning?" and "There is no such thing as free money" while typing my essays and completing my application. But I ignored them because I knew there were scholarships out there for students in need. At times I was doubtful of my chances but I forced their voices out of my head. I refused to pass the opportunities waving in front of me.

I will be attending New York University in the fall. I almost cried when I received the acceptance letter and the financial package. The worst situation to be in is to be accepted to your dream school and find out that you are not able to afford the tuition. However, I did not lose hope that day. I grew more hopeful and motivated to win outside scholarships and grants.

APIASF was the first scholarship I applied to. The three required essays on the application scared me but I embraced my fears and spent nights writing about things I would not normally think about until I was in college. I learned more about myself.

I fell in love with Chemistry, my proposed major, during my high school freshman year. I took AP Chemistry junior year, and I am currently taking college-level Organic Chemistry. While taking Organic Chemistry, my career goal of being a synthetic chemist shifted to being a pharmacologist. However, this is not set in stone because I have many topics and areas in the Chemistry field to further discover.

I will discover more about Chemistry and myself in college now that my financial burden has been reduced. I cannot thank APIASF and its sponsors enough. When I first received the finalist email notification, I was ecstatic. My sense of self-confidence shot up and I felt like the luckiest person alive. I kept checking the website for updates and grew more and more nervous as May 8th, 2008 drew near. Having that date engraved into my mind, I was in complete and utter shock when my mom handed me a thick APIASF envelope on May 7th. The first word my brain processed was "Congratulations!" in bold and uppercase letters.

Now I am able to prove my parents wrong. There are many organizations out there that are able to see through those who deserve to be given a chance to continue their educations and APIASF is one of them. I am extremely lucky to be supported both financially and emotionally and I cannot thank APIASF and its sponsors enough.

Jing W Xiao
Corona, NY

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First, I want to thank the sponsors, donors, corporations, and foundations that help make APIASF possible. It would not be possible for me to pay for college with your support. I am very grateful and happy to receive this scholarship.

When I found out that I was a recipient of the APIASF, I was really happy because this was the first scholarship that I received out of the all the ones that I applied for. When I saw the APIASF envelope, I thought it was just another rejection letter, but when I opened the envelope, the first word I saw on the letter was "Congratulations!" I was so enthusiastic that I started to scream my head off and ran around in my house.

I am going to pursue a double major in biology and Japanese. I am going to major in biology because I am thinking about going into the field of medicine. I want to help people and make a difference in their lives. I am going to major in Japanese because I like to learn new languages and I plan to go to Japan one day. I hope that I can become successful in my studies in college and my career.

On May 30, 2008 at 2:00 pm, my last day of school, I walked out of Central High School. I made it through with the support of many people. I am attending the College of Saint Benedict, MN in this fall. I am going to graduate from college as I did high school, with the help of supporters like APIASF, who help make it possible for me to go to college. Again, thank you APIASF for supporting me and other recipients and making all our dreams comes true.

Chee Xiong
Saint Paul, MN

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My family migrated from Thailand to California during the time of the Vietnam War. It was one of the scariest moments in their lives. Struggling to survive was one of the most difficult situations for them. Waking up every morning and falling asleep every night with the sound of roaring gun shots was very frightening for my family. As they crossed the river to the other side to come to California in search for a better life, my dad lost one of his brothers. Once they arrived in California, thinking that life would be a lot easier, a lack of education made life difficult. Finding a job to support a family of ten was a huge responsibility for just one person. My dad went back to school, so that he would be able to find a job. Even so, my parents were never able to make enough money to pay all the bills and give each and every single one of us the things that we wanted as a child. Even though my childhood was a hard struggle, watching my parents struggle motivated me to work hard in school and become successful.

My parents taught me that every dollar is important and that education is the way to success. I applied to as many scholarships as I could. I was excited to receive a letter stating that I was selected as a 2008 APIASF Scholar. When I received this information, I was very excited. I ran to the living room and told my whole family. My parents were very proud of me. My parents said that with the help from my scholarship, I should just focus on my education rather than worry about money.

I want to major in the medical field. I'm the type of person that loves to help others out. It makes me happy to know that I can help someone out. I also love babies and that is why my professional career goal is to become a pediatrician. I know that I will reach my goal if I work hard towards it and never give up.

Lastly, I would like to thank a couple of people in my life who have helped me get this far. I want to give a special thanks to my mom because she is one of the strongest ladies I have ever known. She's my hero. After everything we've been through, she's still pushing everyday to stay alive just for my family and me. I love her for all the things she's done. I also want to thank my dad for working so hard to keep the family going. Lastly I want to thank APIASF for giving me this opportunity to look forward to college.

Kao Nou Xiong
Visalia, CA

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"Congratulations!" There are no words imaginable to describe how I felt when I first read this. I was anxious, but tentative to read the rest of the letter as it may disappoint me once more as many scholarships had before. I scanned quickly through the letter and it sunk in that the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund would be helping me pay for college. There was no crazy shouting and jumping around, instead I turned to my sister who was at the time watching TV next to me and I hugged her tight and I just let out a sigh of relief that my hard work had finally been rewarded.

Growing up, my parents have always pushed my siblings and I to get a good education. I never understood their notion, since they themselves don't have any educational background. I was born in Thailand and at five, my family migrated to the United States and I began school shortly after. It was very difficult for me in school because there was no one to really guide me, as I was the second child of seven. I had trouble with my English which therefore made academics challenging. Since the third grade, however I've been able to speak fluent English and have learned a lot academically.

My future goals are to go to college and obtain a degree in nursing with which I will be able to help out people around me. During high school I discovered that I greatly enjoy the subject of Biology and learning about how the body functions. I know and see that many people in the community are ill and get sick so I would like to be an asset to them, so that I can help them recover from their illnesses and get better. My long term goals are also to go to other places in the world, like Africa, that lack proper health care and help out the people that need medical assistance.

I would like to thank Wal-Mart and APIASF from the bottom of my heart for awarding me with this scholarship. Knowing that I've won this scholarship has already made a world of difference to me as I know now that I can focus more on my education in college rather than the finances that come with it. Thank you once again.

Mai See Xiong
St. Paul, MN

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Since my father left us, my family has struggled financially and mentally. There was no one to help my mom and there was no one the children could turn to in time of hardship. Our mom is everything to us. She is half mom and half dad. She has supported us through everything. We didn't have a lot of money, but it was enough for us to get by. My mom told us to never find excuses to not do well in school and to achieve our goals. Even though I do not have as many things as other people, I never use it as an excuse to not do well. I remember this when I struggle and it helps me get through some hard times. No matter what the living arrangement is like or what our financial situation is, I never let it affect my education and my performance at school. Everyday for the past 14 years, Ive tried not to let the absence of my father and the money problems affect me. During those years, I learned how to turn these negatives into positives and use it to motivate me in my education and goals.

Now I am done with high school and going to college. I am so excited and can not wait for my college journey to officially start. Once in college I plan to major in East Asian Studies and Education, because I like these two subjects very much and would like a career in teaching in the future. Later I would like to continue to graduate school. I would like to use my studies to help me with one of my biggest goals: teaching abroad. I never considered being a teacher as a career when I was younger, but it is a path I feel passionate about today. There are so many kids in the world who are denied an education, and I would like to be one of the many people who change that. Everyone deserves an education no matter what.

When I saw the APISAF envelope in my mail box I was so nervous, because earlier in the week I received two rejection letters from two different scholarships. I took the envelope and tore the seal off and saw "CONGRATULATIONS". I lost it. I was jumping and screaming and my mom came out and looked at me as if I was crazy. I told her and my sister and they were proud of me. I was so excited that I called my "Admission Possible" coach and told her and then the next day at school I told my friends. I was so happy and thankful. There are no other words to express my feelings except thank you so much. I am truly, from the bottom of my heart, thankful.

Malinda Xiong
Saint Paul, MN

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Thank you for selecting me as one of the recipients of this prestigious scholarship! When my family found out that I had been selected as a winner, we were ecstatic because it showed that our hard work had paid off. My family and I are forever grateful to Sodexo and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund; it is because of opportunities like these that we are able to succeed in this great land of opportunity.

Growing up in an impoverished community, I had first hand experiences with poverty, racial discrimination, and political misrepresentation. These experiences and observations have shaped me to be the political person I am today. I have become a passionate leader who seeks to bring about positive social and economic changes to the world. I want to build a strong network with socially and politically active students from around the world to fight for progressive changes in our society. I am especially interested in promoting political awareness and activism in the Asian American community and to all groups that have been historically disenfranchised from the American political arena.

This fall I will be attending Stanford University where I plan to pursue degrees in Political Science and Sociology. I want to develop a better understanding of the world in which we live so that I can effectively bring about positive changes to it. In the future, I hope to enter a career in public policy where I will be in between policies and citizens so that politicians do not neglect the people whom they govern.

I'd like to thank Sodexo for making this great opportunity possible to students like me. Please continue helping students from around the country who lack the necessary opportunities to succeed and so that we may all one day prosper in this great country. Thank you for your support.

Vang Xiong
Marysville, CA

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I am the daughter of Zhu San Yang and Yu Qin Jiang. I am a first generation American and come from a Chinese-speaking family. I have suffered language barriers and low-income struggles due to my family's immigration to the U.S. I am the only one in my entire family who is fluent in English; therefore, I have had to shoulder many adult responsibilities at a young age. I was in charge of reading and translating letters to my family, making all the necessary phone calls to realtors, doctors, teachers, etc., and I had to handle problems when doing these duties because I was not eighteen years of age. All my life, I have been adjusting to my surroundings and keeping my family "in tune" with today's society and I still am. But, these experiences have helped me tremendously because I now know all the procedures of owning a business, selling a house, etc. I have also learned from my obstacles to use all of my abilities to benefit my family, others, and myself. I have learned to make the best out of a situation and to be very flexible. From my parents, I have learned to work hard, to dedicate myself, and to use my intelligence to reach my goals in life.

I will be attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey in the fall. My major will be either Chemistry or Biochemistry. I plan to pursue an occupation in the medical field; therefore, majoring in a science will help prepare me for medical school. I plan to attend John Hopkins Medical School in the future. I have decided to become either an OB-GYN or a pediatrician. My passion for helping others, my experiences in life, and my scholastic ability in the classroom have contributed to my decision. I have always loved to help others, and I have always been amazed with the "circle of life." I have had a passion for helping people ever since I was a little girl, especially with young children. To witness the joy and happiness on a child's face was my reward for helping. Not only do I want to help children, but also I want to help men and women in general. I want to be able to answer any of their questions concerning their loved ones or their own health. Women experience difficulties during childbirth; therefore, I want to comfort the mother in her time of need by making a positive difference in her life.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Target and APIASF for all the support that they have given me. Words cannot express the gratitude, respect, and love that I have for you. I am honored to be a recipient of an APIASF/Target scholarship. I wholeheartedly thank you for all your support in my future endeavors, and it is because of you that I am now one step closer to achieving my goals in life.

Annie Yang
Laurel, MS

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Greeting! I am so honored to be a recipient of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship. As a future freshman at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) I will be majoring in elementary education/counseling and minoring in Mandarin Chinese. I hope to accomplish great things in college, from learning more about the world, to meeting new people, visiting new places, to much more. Above all, I want to make my mother proud of me and set a good example for my younger siblings to follow. My future career plans are to become a teacher/school guidance counselor and to teach Mandarin Chinese. Yes, I would like to teach Mandarin Chinese even though I am Hmong and not Chinese!

When I found out that I won, my family and I were so thrilled! I am at a loss of words to express my gratitude and joy! But truly, I am so joyful and thankful for this award. On behalf of myself, my family and church community I would like to thank all the individual donors, corporations, and foundations who made this award possible. Please know that your generosity is greatly appreciated. Once more, thank you.

Bee Yang
St. Paul, MN

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At first I really didn't think I was going to get the scholarship because this was a national scholarship and there were so many young, intelligent people out there. Then I got an e-mail saying that I made it to the second round of the scholarship process; I was thrilled to even make it this far. I didn't know what to expect when I first got the APIASF letter in the mail on prom day. I was so excited and happy when I read the Congratulations letter that I couldn't wait to share the wonderful news with my family and friends.

I will attend Concordia St. Paul University and work towards becoming an Elementary Teacher. Being a teacher fits my personality very well: I love running around, being busy, planning games, doing different things daily and being around children, teaching them and helping them grow into strong and responsible adults in the future.

With the wonderful help of APIASF I have gained more confidence, motivation and many great opportunities for me to look forward to in the future. This has helped me pursue my dreams and for me to take education to a higher level. I will never forget this great opportunity that APIASF has offered me. You are truly appreciated, thank you.

Hlee Yang
Crystal, MN

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In college, I plan on taking many science courses in college such as biology, physics, and chemistry. These science courses will help me become a surgical doctor. I plan on majoring in the science field and studying at least one year abroad. I would like to study aboard in France because it would give me a different perceptive of life outside the United States. I have been learning French since 7th grade, and the abroad experience will finally allow me to practice my French.

My future goal is to become an orthopedic surgeon. Therefore, completing college and medical school are my mini- goals that will build up to that goal. I want to become a surgeon because the benefits of that career are unlimited. I can save lives with my surgical skills and earn a decent living. I want to give back to my community by offering money to future doctors. Being a surgeon will provide me with the means to do that. The salary, experience, knowledge, and reputation of surgeons are the reasons that I want to achieve this goal.

I want to take this time to say "THANK YOU VERY MUCH" from the deepest part of my soul, to all the staff at APIASF for offering this once in a lifetime opportunity to all these great students. From the very bottom of my heart, I just need to say "Thank a billion" to all the people that make this scholarship possible. I know deep within myself that my thanks are not enough to describe the feelings that I have. There are no words to say or nothing else that I can do to describe how thankful I am to be given this scholarship. So again, I really need to say it, "Thank you so much for this!!! Thank you for your generosity, your time, your opportunity!!! Thank you!!!"

Jackie Yang
St. Paul, MN

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I would like to thank APIASF for choosing me as one of their scholarship recipients. I'm from northern California and plan to attend the University of California, Davis this fall with a major in Hydrology and a minor in Applied Mathematics. I live in a rural city and the rate of students going out of the area and being successful is very low. Being in a lower class Asian family has an even lower success rate. I hope that with the help of APIASF and support from family and friends I will be able to be part of a success story for others to follow. I want to let the other Asian and especially Hmong students know that even though we're a minority and many people look down upon us, we can still become whatever we want if we put our hearts to it.

When I received the letter in the mail, I thought that it would just be another letter declining me, like the other scholarships I applied for. But the words "Congratulations" in bold letters caught my eyes and already I felt so relieved and thrilled. I quickly explained the scholarship I received to my parents and they were ecstatic about it too. My parents never had the chance for a higher education so for me to get a chance is extremely exciting. I'm also in a class called AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) which is a college prep class that has given me many necessary skills to be successful in my future.

My teacher was very proud of me for finally receiving a scholarship. I have worked hard all my school years to get to this point. Now I'm heading off to a new world. College is a big step for me and I'm definitely looking forward to being independent and working to become a better person. I'm determined to find out what the world has to offer me and I know I will never give up on my dreams and goals. My parents and I would like to thank APIASF and Sodexo for giving a girl like me this opportunity for success and a better life. I will always remember those who have helped me get to where I am today. I truly appreciate all the help. Once again, THANK YOU!

Jenna Yang
Crescent City, CA

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My name is Lucy Lou Yang and I am attending my last year at Robbinsdale Cooper High School, in New Hope, Minnesota. For the past couple of months, my family, friends and I, all had one thing in mind - college. It gave me great pleasure to know that I would be going to college to further my education and to be able to help my family in the future. But what worried my family and I the most was tuition, room and board, and other costs and fees. With that in mind, I applied to as many scholarships as I could find and worked hard on everything so that my family would not have to stress about the financial burden.

Watching all my friends receive scholarships and financial aid made me even more worried that I was not going to get any of the help that I needed and wanted. What was so wrong with me that I was not able to receive anything? When all hope was down, I saw this thick sealed enveloped lying across the dinner table. It was from the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). Heart-pounding, I ripped the envelope hastly and skimmed the letter to find bolded words saying: CONGRATULATIONS. This was the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. To know that I wouldn't have to stress as much anymore about how I was going to pay for college and to know that someone really wanted to help me is great. My family and I are so grateful that we found help.

I am so happy that I have received this scholarship. I will be using it to help pay my tuition at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota where I will be majoring in Biology. I know that with this scholarship, it will give me great motivation to work hard and the push to do everything that I can. Thank you to all who have supported APIASF, without you I would not have gotten this chance.

Lucy L Yang
Robbinsdale, MN

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My name is Mai Kou Yang and I am glad to announce that I am one of many recipients of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship. Growing up as a student of color, education is important. My parents never received a chance to continue their education. They only learned Basic English because they had to get a stable job to support the family. They encouraged us to go to college in order to have an easier and better life than theirs. They want us to be successful. It is through their encouragement that I want to educate students and teach them the importance of education.

My career plan is to become a teacher and go abroad to Asia or Africa to teach. I want to give students in developing countries a chance to have an education. Women are treated differently and forced stay home while the men go off to school. I want to give women an equal chance to learn. I believe people of all ages and economic backgrounds should have the opportunity to learn.

I will be attending the College of St. Benedict. What I hope to accomplish at St. Benedict is to learn and gain experience on being the best teacher. I want to study abroad, experience a new culture and language and learn from that. I want to learn the best strategies to help students learn.

When I found out that I was a recipient of this scholarship, I was so excited. I thought to myself, "Wow! Finally, all that hard work was not a waste." I was really proud of myself that I had succeeded. My parents are very proud of me. I would like to thank the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for giving me this opportunity to make college possible. I would also like to thank the foundations and donors who have support the scholarship fund. And last but not least I want to thank my family for giving me moral support and my Admission Possible coach Anna Farrell for encouraging and guiding me through. Thank you.

Mai Kou Yang
Saint Paul, MN

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In the fall of 2008, I will be attending the College of St. Benedict where I will be majoring in Biology, and from there, I will continue on to medical school to become a pediatrician. Ever since I can remember, I have always been working with children and had a strong passion to provide them their medical needs.

At St. Benedict, I hope to learn more about myself in order to understand others fully. I also hope that being away from home, I will learn to stand on my own feet and freely see the world through my own perspective while keeping an open mind. At St. Benedict, I will definitely be engulfed with people of different cultures and religions. I am excited to meet new students and build close relationships with my professors. In addition, I know that St. Benedict will have many opportunities and challenges ahead, but they will only strengthen me and prepare me to face the real world.

My family consists of eleven members with my father as the breadwinner. My mother, who has shaped and nurtured me, is a housewife. Since I already have two older sisters attending St. Olaf College and my twin sister and I will be attending St. Benedict this fall, money is going to be tight. So the moment I read the words "CONGRATUALATIONS," I was shocked because the APIASF award is the first scholarship that I have received. I was so happy and screamed with delight as I immediately explained to my family. I felt like some of my burden, especially financial worries, were lifted.

I want to thank all of the founders for making this scholarship possible because it means a lot to me and my family. There are no words that can describe how big my gratitude is to all those who made this scholarship possible. I can not say thank you enough to all of those for this opportunity and I will not let you down, I will work hard and that is a promise.

Mai Nhia Yang
Saint Paul, MN

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I was born into a Hmong family of thirteen. Because of the many stomachs that needed to be fed, my family, especially my parents, struggled much. My family's struggles have motivated me to study hard to become a family physician. I am determined in becoming a family physician to lift my family out of poverty. I know that in becoming a family physician, I will be able to educate my parents and other Hmong elders about certain medications. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with Biochemistry as my intended major and English as my minor.

In addition, I will be able to go serve as a doctor overseas and work with families and orphans in developing countries. I know and understand that there are many sacrifices that I will have to make, but I know that others will be able to smile each day with hope, love and life.

APIASF has reminded me to love and give as I have been given. This scholarship is truly a blessing in my life, and I know that it will help me financially as I continue on to college. It will be an encouragement, inspiration, and motivation for me to pursuer my ambitions.

"Praise God" were the first words that came out of my mouth and my family's mouths when we discovered that I received the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship. Once again thank you for your contribution and support, APIASF! It has truly given me more encouragement to study hard and to give as I have been given. Thank you!

Paj Nra Yang
Onalaska, WI

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My dream is to be a biomedical researcher. Shortly before I immigrated to the United States from China, an infectious disease, SARS, broke out in Southern part of China. Mass death tolls were reported; among them were doctors and nurses. When I turned on the TV, what I saw was the painful suffering SARS patients had to go through before death. Every night in my dreams, I could smell the reeking body fluid, hear the shortened breaths, and see the disease-twisted faces of the SARS patients. Then I discovered that the human history has long been stained by the blood of victims killed by disease. At that moment, I could feel the pain, the suffering patients have to endure, and the fear of imminent death. I want to work to find solutions to cure diseases and pursue the dream of doing biomedical research to make new and affordable medication to cure illnesses.

To pursue this dream, I will double major in bioengineering/molecular cell biology and business at the university that I am attending next year - UC Berkeley. I want to start my own pharmaceutical company.

The APIASF Scholarship will support my path towards my career goal. When I found out about this scholarship, I was delighted and shocked by the joy of winning such a prestigious award. This award also motivates me to further pursue my dream and to achieve the impossible.

Yang Yang
San Francisco, CA

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My parents abandoned their native country to plant a seed. Their sacrifices and investments instill in me a hunger. My parents' only seed, I can, must, and will cross the stage to accept my, our college degree. That degree symbolizes the strength that against all odds, this first generation student fought through the debris for a breath of fresh air. Before my parents lean wholly on me, I will be the steady beam that prevents them from ever stooping again.

To test the expanse of my wit and to exceed all expectations from my parents, my mentors, and myself, those are reaching goals I will accomplish. Yet, they are only a few of the many I carry and will continue to carry through high school, college, and life in general.

My love for numbers propels me towards the mastering of this universal language. This language breaches the barriers self-imposed by society, and by becoming fluent, I will communicate with the ends of the world. My passions, not only for numbers, but also for culture and humanity, evoke in me a responsibility beyond the microcosms of a house and a cubicle. My influences will sail across the seas to both developed and developing countries. If I do not succeed in changing the world, a nation, a community, at least one person will have benefited. I will have succeeded; I will succeed.

This fall, I will attend Yale. Although I was very skeptical, the shock of admittance quickly collapsed under the panic of affordability. Sharing a heavy financial burden with my parents had me ill at ease; I knew I had to do something, anything. So I began by applying to APIASF. Before long, the letter bearing its decision waited patiently before me. My fingers trembled as I struggled to open the sealed envelope, and my eyes scanned what words it could find before my hands could unfold the papers. Then I saw it. In bold and capitals was the word CONGRATULATIONS! I blinked, rubbed my eyes, and looked again. It still bore the same message.

The rest was a frenzy. "Mom! Mom!" I shouted as I sprinted to the kitchen. "Mom! It says congratulations! Congratulations!" She was very confused. Between gasps of breath, I elaborated on APIASF and the scholarship. As soon as her giant smile revealed her understanding, I rushed to the phone to tell Dad the great news. I could see his smile through the phone, and I saw it when he returned home from work that day.

My parents praised me for being such a considerate daughter, for giving the time and effort to complete the application. I quickly corrected their perspective. Receiving the scholarship is a blessing, but it would not exist without the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. It would not exist without the generosity of the many donors. Thus, on behalf of my parents, as well as myself, I offer my sincere gratitude to APIASF and the driving forces behind the amazing organization.

Bonnie Yn
Covina, CA

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As a Korean in the United States, my life was shaped by fusing two different cultures together. It amazes me how this fusion of two different cultures has shaped my life; therefore, it is an honor to equally share and gain knowledge from both my Korean and American cultures. The United States of America is the land of opportunity, freedom, and different cultures. There are many language barriers for immigrants. Some immigrants prepare to study the English language or rely on others to help them. As of now, some Korean immigrants rely on me. When my parents came to America they did not speak any English, but they made sure my siblings and I learned. Due to the sacrifices of my parents, I am thankful that I can speak two languages. My ability to break down the barrier between the two cultures helped me to be a better person.

My pride in being a Korean-American has made my community and friends want to learn about our culture. Because of the diversity in my town, we have the opportunity to learn from one another. For example, I have been selected to be the Board of Education Student Representative. I have shared my ideas on how to attract community members to vote for the school budget. One of my ideas was to have more translated letters instead of the common English and Spanish. Speaking in Korean and in English is such an advantage to me, and I want others to have this same advantage.

I believe all cultures are not perfect and everyone has positive and negative experiences in life. Because of my Korean heritage, I understand the true meaning of sacrifice that my parents had to make in order for my sister, brother, and I to have a great future. Having two different cultures and sharing and learning with others is a great experience. With this idea, I hope to keep on sharing and spreading my culture to others. In doing so, my wish has been granted to attend the United States Naval Academy. I will be attending their NAPS program for a year and then transfer over to the Academy. I will be double majoring in Chemistry and Political Science with a minor in Japanese. The person I look up to is Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations and my future plan is to work in the United Nations as an ambassador. I want to thank APIASF for taking the time to consider my application and I look forward to the chance to serve my country and to grow into a better and more equipped leader.

Hannah Yun
Maple Shade, NJ

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I would like to express my thanks to the foundations, corporations, and individual supporters of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. When I found out I was selected as a scholarship recipient, my parents and I were both excited to have received such an honor and relieved that some of my college educational expenses would be covered. My community, family, and I are very grateful to those involved with the APIASF, who continually give and emphasize the importance of an affordable education for college-bound students like myself.

From learning in a new environment to meeting people from diverse backgrounds, I am excited to encounter a new set of experiences in college at Harvard University in the fall. I hope to major in economics, government, or mathematics. In particular, I am interested in international relations and how the world functions through both environmental and social links. I aim to participate in a study abroad program in college to further my horizons.

During a recent service trip to China, we taught English to middle school students in rural Baojing in the Hunan province of China. There I saw firsthand the effects of acting upon the simple interconnectedness between people from different parts of the world. I returned to America with a newfound motivation to improve international relations through educational means. I want to discover ways to bring the two goals closer together, that improving education within a society equates to improving the relationships between societies as well. Ultimately, I hope to combine my interests to possibly pursue a career in the United Nations.

A few years ago, the president of our school, Dr. James Scott, spoke to our class and reminded us that, "to whom much is given, much is expected." He referred to our education at our school, but to me personally, he referred to each of the many opportunities that I have had in my life. One of these opportunities has been the APIASF scholarship, and I hope to give back to society in incredible ways.

Linda Zhang
Honolulu, HI

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I received the mail a day before my graduation. It was the best present I could ever get. I want to thank the Coca-Cola Foundation and APIASF for making this possible. This scholarship means so much to me and my family. It will help me pay for my tuition and relieve the financial pressure to pay for college. When I opened the mailbox and saw the letter from APIASF, I thought it was just another rejection letter. I told myself, "I will read it all the way through, I will be fine if it rejects me." I felt my heart beat so fast that I could not catch my breath. I was jumping around and screaming. It was the best thing to ever happen to me. I was overjoyed. I called my parents at work. I also decided to call my family in China because I could not wait to share the good news with them.

Growing up as a first generation Chinese-American, I strongly believe education can change a person's life completely. I was a student who came to the United States with no knowledge of English 4 years ago. Yet, with courage and passion, I moved forward into a regular English class within a year. For me, education not only means better job opportunities, it also means fulfilling my parents' biggest dream. I am a high school senior with many goals. I will major in Pharmacy. One of my biggest goals is to give back to the Asian community. Many in the Chinese community often experience poor health due to unhealthy lifestyles and limited health care. A few years from now, I hope to see myself as a successful pharmacist living a better life than my parents do. As a healthcare professional, I wish to educate patients about the importance of taking the right medication and providing the best service to everyone. Thank you once more for awarding me and many other recipients with this great opportunity for a bright future.

Yan Zhang
Bartonville, IL

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In college I hope to meet new people and make new friends. I also wish to study and learn about new subjects of my interest. I hope to obtain a bachelor's degree. In the future, I may advance to pursue a master's degree.

As of right now, I'm not exactly sure what my major will be. It is undecided. However, I am thinking about getting into healthcare, computer engineering, or accounting.

My future career plan is to obtain a well paying job so that I can support myself financially. Besides supporting myself, I would also like to save the extra income that I make for vacations or retirement. I don't know what my career will be, but I know that I must obtain one that I will enjoy.

When I found out that I had been selected to receive a $2500 scholarship from APIASF, I was overjoyed and excited. I was happy that I received a scholarship that will aid me in my upcoming education endeavor. My family is proud of my accomplishment and they are also delighted to hear the great news. My community also congratulated me for my accomplishment. They wish me luck in my future endeavors. My friends are happy to hear of my success as well.

I would like to thank the individual donors, corporations, and foundations that helped and contributed to APIASF. Without you, fewer recipients would receive the APIASF Scholarship. I would also like to thank Wal-Mart, Inc. who made my award possible.

Xin Zheng
Princess Anne, MD

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First and foremost, I want to thank my mother, who sacrificed so much in her life to give me the opportunities I have today. She has had a meaningful impact on my life and has helped shape me into the Asian American young woman that I am today. I would also like to thank Target and APIASF for giving me this great opportunity. Educational scholarships given by generous donors allow students like me to get a strong education and ultimately give back to the community. As I progress in my college and professional endeavors, I will always remember the generous assistance I have received from APIASF and Target.

When I got home from school on May 7, I saw a small envelope from APIASF sitting on my kitchen table. My heart immediately started racing. I initially thought it was a rejection letter because it was quite thin. However, when I opened it, I saw the word "congratulations." I began to cry as I truly felt that all my hard work had paid off. My family and friends were extremely excited for my achievement.

I plan on majoring in education at Northeastern and ultimately pursuing a teaching career, as I believe I can make a significant positive impact on the lives of my future students. I came to the U.S. from China eight years ago not knowing any English. My experience adapting to a new culture and learning a new language allowed me to recognize the importance of education. I truly believe that receiving a proper education will enable younger generations to have a brighter future. In college, I hope to develop the lifelong skill sets needed to be a successful teacher. I am excited at the idea of taking classes that will enhance my ability to work effectively with students.

I am extremely fortunate to have been accepted to Northeastern University and have been selected as a recipient of the APIASF/Target scholarship. As I enter this next crucial chapter in my life, I will never lose sight of the opportunities and support given to me.

Yan Zheng
Roxbury, MA

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Enrolling as undecided at the University of California, Berkeley, I plan to explore the variety of academic disciplines the university has to offer before applying for the Haas School of Business during my sophomore year. In college, I hope to interact with fellow classmates of different interests while experiencing the multicultural social life and learning through hands on experience and extensive research. The knowledge I hope to gain through lectures and experiences will be applied towards my future career goal of becoming a human resources manager. When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I was thankful and promised myself that I would put the money to great use by excelling in my studies. My parents were delighted that my financial burden was lessened. I am grateful to the individual donors, corporations, foundations, and especially to Wells Fargo for graciously funding a part of my education. This award will further encourage me to give back and fund worthy students when I am a successful adult.

Xuemin Zhong
Gardena, CA

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