2013 APIASF Scholar Profiles

photo Cheng Cha Vang
APIASF/ AT&T Foundation Scholar
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
High School: North Senior High School
College: Augsburg College
Major: Psychology

This opportunity is life changing, not just for me, but also for my family. They have worked so hard and I will be the first in my family to go to college. Receiving the APIASF/AT&T scholarship will greatly assist me in the pursuit of my academic goal - to study Child Psychology at Augsburg College and become a school counselor. Someday, I hope to be a part of an academic team and help students achieve and develop to their fullest potential. This scholarship will allow me to work with scholars who share a similar vision for mental health, and together we will work to make a difference in the world. Your financial generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal and has inspired me to help others by giving back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goal just as you have helped me.

photo James Singian
APIASF/ BBCN Bank Scholar
Hometown: Hayward, CA
High School: Tennyson High School
Major: Psychology/ Pre-Medicine
College: San Francisco State University

When I read the email stating that I was a recipient of the APIASF/BBCN Bank scholarship, I felt extremely privileged and beyond delighted! I am the first in my family to attend college in America. Education is an enormous opportunity to pursue my dreams and help my family. This scholarship will ease my family's financial worries as I take the path to pursue higher education. My utmost gratitude goes to BBCN Bank for recognizing my hard work beyond academics. My club and community service advisors were ecstatic when I informed them because they have witnessed my hard work and they saw this as an opportunity that I deserved. Being that I am the first in my family to attend college in America, I have an enormous responsibility to thrive and be successful.

I will be attending San Francisco State University. I plan to major in Psychology, go on to medical school and become a neurologist. I want to become a neurologist because I have a brother with Epilepsy and he would have repeated seizures. Throughout my life, I never understood what caused this neurological disorder; therefore pursuing this career will enable me to understand the brain and help people. Higher education will enable me provide for my parents in the long run because they have worked so hard throughout their lives. One of my long-term goals is to go back to my province in the Philippines and open up a Health Center because they lack services that inspire people to leave healthy lives. Again, my utmost gratitude goes to APIASF and BBCN Bank; this scholarship will truly help me fulfill my goals and dreams.

photo Julius Inocencio
APIASF/ Coca-Cola Foundation Scholar
Hometown: Saipan, MP
High School: Saipan Southern High School
College: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Major: Medical Technology

Coming from the small island of Saipan, I didn't expect to receive the APIASF scholarship. When I found out that I was chosen out of many other individuals, receiving the scholarship was even more exciting. In the sixth grade, I was diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect – a hole in my heart – and had to partake in surgery a few months later. If it weren't for my surgeons, I would have been unable to continue living with my family. I've lived on the island for 17 years, and I am proud to call this place my home, but the main hospital lacks many professionals and staff employees. My goal is to become a heart surgeon myself and service the community that helped shape the person I am today. I will be attending Fairleigh Dickinson University at New Jersey with a major in Medical Technology. The APIASF scholarship program will definitely be an asset to my education and career goals. I am forever thankful to this program!

photo Kevin Ng
APIASF/ FedEx Scholar
Hometown: Coral Springs, FL
High School: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Immigrants to the United States, neither my father nor my mother had the opportunity to attend college. As a first-generation, Chinese American student, I began public school in the ESOL program to improve my English. This year I am taking 7 Advanced Placement classes, one of them being AP English Literature. Despite my struggles and hardships assimilating, it has always been my dream to attend a prestigious university like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – my greatest, seemingly unobtainable goal. I will use this scholarship to begin my studies at MIT, where I intend on pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering and/or Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You have helped make this dream come true.

photo Betty Tran
APIASF/ Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholar
Hometown: El Cerrito, CA
High School: The College Preparatory School
College: University of Southern California
Major: American Studies

My passion to be a leader comes from being an insider, truly understanding the struggles of a low-income community of color. As an American Studies and Ethnicity major and McNair research scholar at the University of Southern California, I am learning about all communities of color in this country, especially the Vietnamese population. I apply my knowledge to my participation in the USC Vietnamese Student Association, interacting with my fellow Vietnamese and Asian American peers to brainstorm ways to impact the community around us, and put our plans into motion. My current academic and extracurricular work at USC is focused on developing innovative ways to access more equal rights for the disadvantaged APIA community. My hope is to strengthen the support network between the APIA community and other communities of color. I am drawn to the promise that I can put my love into my work for the community, and recycle its culture of resistance, courage, and pride. I am grateful to APIASF and the Frances Sonn Nam Memorial scholarship fund, for their generosity and compassion, and for wholeheartedly believing in me. The scholarship is a vindication that the collaboration of perseverance, faith, and community support does in fact create positive change, and move a community forward. I am blessed for this opportunity to pursue my dreams of becoming an educator, social activist, leader, and role model.

photo Anrea Goolian
APIASF/ Hilton Scholar
Hometown: Colonia Yap, FM
High School: Yap High School
College: Guam Community College
Major: Tourism and Travel

Thank you APIASF/Hilton, thank you very much. I want to take this time to let you know that I am grateful for your help. My college education is very important to me. My community is so proud of my accomplishment. I will be the first among my siblings to go to college and I want to set a good example. When I go to Guam Community College in the fall, I will be majoring in Tourism (Traveling and Management). I want to bring in more people to Yap. After getting my degree in Tourism, I plan to become a hotel manager. I want to make my family proud. I want to return and help my country. Without this award, achieving my dream would not be possible.

photo Erin Mullins
APIASF/ NBCUniversal Scholar
Hometown: Burlington, KY
High School: Lawrence North High School
College: Northern Kentucky University
Major: Journalism

In addition to being full-time students, my husband and I are also full-time parents. We will celebrate our thirteenth wedding anniversary this fall and we have five children. After being out of school for nearly ten years, our children were our inspiration to return to college. Our oldest asked why he was expected to go to college if we never did – we didn't have a good enough answer. After my husband lost his job due to the economic recession, we decided it was time to return to school and it has made an enormous difference in our lives already. I am majoring in Journalism with a minor in both Creative Writing and Communication Studies. I thank you again for your confidence in me and your support for APIASF.

photo Vicki Tran
APIASF/ Sara Lee Foundation Scholar
Hometown: Smyrna, GA
High School: Campbell High School
College: Georgia State University
Major: Chemistry

I come from a low-income family where education was emphasized throughout my life. By becoming a recipient of the APIASF Scholarship, I recognize how my hard work has paid off. I am wholeheartedly honored to be an APIASF Scholar. I plan on pursuing a career as a pharmacist. At Georgia State University, I will major in Chemistry on a Pre-Pharmacy track. After attaining a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, I will start working at a local drugstore with hopes of becoming a positive influence for others to seek higher education. Thanks to you, I am closer to achieving my goal! The APIASF/Sara Lee Foundation scholarship has inspired me not only to concentrate on my studies, but also to extend a helping hand to my community. I desire for a bright future that is full of opportunities so I can one day return the generosity that was bestowed upon me.

photo Jessica Chang
APIASF/ Southern California Edison Scholar
Hometown: Claremont, CA
High School: Claremont High School
College: University of California – Berkeley
Major: Computer Science

I would like to offer my sincerest thank you to APIASF and Southern California Edison for awarding me with this scholarship. This scholarship will help me relieve financial burdens as I head to University of California – Berkeley for Computer Science. I feel that not enough Asian American women are in this field, let alone women of all races. Diversity in Computer Science has become more important for the exchange of perspectives and opinions. I hope to represent my community, and this scholarship will help me to do so.

In college, I look forward to continuing the interests I've developed in high school. As president of my high school's math and science club, I hope to join organizations and clubs in relation to math and science in college. As a freelance graphic designer, I hope to minor in Graphic Design. As an athlete, I hope to play intramural basketball. I want to break away from the stereotype that all that computer scientists do is stare at a computer 24 hours a day, one of the main reasons Asian American women tend to stay away from the field. Upon graduation, I hope to work for a company like Google, and more importantly become a speaker for an organization such as Society of Women Engineers.

photo Chhabi Sharma
APIASF/ Sodexo Foundation Scholar
Hometown: Dallas, TX
College: Richland College
Major: Computer Engineering

Thanks to your confidence in me, you reaffirm that my dreams are possible. I was born in Bhutan, but spent my childhood and teens in Nepal as a Bhutanese refugee. I attended high school in the same refugee camp where I grew up. I celebrated my 26th birthday in the United States of America without the presence of my parents. From the first day I stepped onto U.S. soil, I made up my mind to help children in bad situations due to the absence of adult supervision or by political matters. When I found out I had received the APIASF/ Sodexo Foundation scholarship, I was thankful that the foundation trusted me. Once again, I sincerely thank you for believing in me.

photo Xiuyu Zhang
APIASF/ Target Foundation Scholar
Hometown: St. Helens, OR
High School: St. Helens High School
College: Oregon State University
Major: Pharmacy

This scholarship will allow me to ease the burden I have as I strive to obtain a degree in Pharmacy. My family immigrated to the U.S. a little over five years ago. My parents are very pleased that I am doing this as neither one of them attended college. Even though my parents want me to succeed in this endeavor, they are unable to help me financially. Throughout my high school years I have assisted my parents and others in my community who had little or no English knowledge. With this degree it is my desire to help all people who come to me for their prescriptions. I am fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, and English so I am able to answer questions and assist the non-English speaking Chinese. I wish to thank you for granting me the APIASF/Target scholarship award which I gratefully accept.

photo Alan Nguyen
APIASF/ Toyota Scholar
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA
High School: Saddleback High School
College: University of California – Irvine
Major: Mathematics and Education

I would like to thank Toyota for contributing to APIASF. This scholarship means a lot to me because now I feel less worried about paying for my college education. I never wanted to pay loans just to go to college because it will be a struggle for me to pay it off. However, with this scholarship, I can pay for my tuition.

My major will be Mathematics and Education. What I hope to accomplish in college is to maintain a good GPA and graduate on time. My future career plans are to get a job as a Math Teacher and also a Transformational Speaker/Workshop Facilitator. When I found out that I was selected as a recipient of the APIASF/ Toyota Scholarship, I was extremely ecstatic and proud that all my hard work and effort in school actually paid off. My family is extremely happy that their stress of paying my college tuition has lessened with this scholarship. My school is proud that I represent my community and the school well. I believe that it is important for Asian American and Pacific Islander students to pursue higher education because we are all believers and aim to pursue our ultimate dream. We all have the capability to do anything to achieve our goals. I would like to thank Toyota for funding APIASF and changing so many Scholars' lives by helping them financially in their journey through college.

photo Fatima Ahmad
APIASF/ United Health Foundation Scholar
Hometown: Garland, TX
High School: Richland Collegiate High School of Math Science Engineering
College: University of Texas, Dallas
Major: Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies

Upon receiving the notification that I was chosen as a recipient of the APIASF/United Health Foundation scholarship, I was at a loss for words. I am humbled to represent the population of females in Pakistan who, even today, struggle to claim an education and live independently due to societal prejudices. In the fall of 2013, I will attend the University of Texas at Dallas in hopes of earning my Bachelor's Degree in both Healthcare Studies and Child Learning and Development. Ultimately, I aspire to become a pediatrician because in addition to professional experience, I have a personal connection to the medical field. My mother is a chronically ill heart patient who relies on an oxygen concentrator to breathe, and my father is a Stage 4 Prostate Cancer victim. Having witnessed how disease devastates the lives of patients and their families, I have made it my personal responsibility to inhibit and reduce illnesses from attacking the lives of as many innocent children as I can. I will always remember the substantial role you have played in helping me achieve my goals, and will always strive to give back to my community in a similar manner.

photo Jason Lewis
APIASF/ Verizon Foundation Scholar
Hometown: Long Beach, MS
College: Georgia Institute of Technology – Main Campus
Major: Computer Science

Thank you so very much for this incredible honor. This scholarship could not have come at a better time for me and my family. In the fall, I will enter my senior year as a Computer Science undergraduate at Georgia Institute of Technology, an out-of-state university, and keeping up with my tuition and other expenses these last three years has been an uphill battle. This scholarship will be a tremendous help for us as I complete my final year of undergraduate study with hopes of moving on to graduate school. My plan is to settle into a career in which I develop software that can improve people's lives through scientific computing. I sincerely thank APIASF, Verizon, and their donors for allowing me the incredible honor of becoming an APIASF scholar. My education is very important to me. Your efforts have made the path ahead far more manageable.

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