2015 APIASF Scholar Profiles

For a full list of 2015 APIASF General Scholarship recipients click here, for the 2015 APIASF General Scholarship cohort demographics click here.

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Wai Kit Ho
2015-2016 APIASF/Anne Chow Scholarship
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
College: Northeastern University
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Education Level: Freshman

My parents worked hard to help me get to where I am today, and now, it is my turn to work hard to pursue our goals. Their goal was to send me and my sister to college, which they have successfully done. From there, my goal is to attain a Master's degree in mechanical engineering. With a mechanical engineering degree, I would like to take part in renewable energy or education. I am interested in renewable energy because of having participated in the LIHEAP Program (Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program) for many years. I know first-hand how many people need help paying their energy bills. I go every year with my dad to sign up, and there is always so many people. If enough renewable energy sources are implemented, we would not have to be so dependent on fossil fuels. This would lower the cost of energy. I am interested in education because of my current job as a math tutor at Northeastern. I love helping students with academics and can see myself doing it for a long time. If I were to pursue education, I would likely get a PhD and teach mechanical engineering or math at a university.

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Nhi Tran
2015-2016 APIASF/AT&T Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Orlando, FL
College: University of Central Florida
Major: Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies
Education Level: Freshman

The Vietnamese have a saying "Remember the source you have drank your water from, remember those who grow your tree." I always feel the urge to give back to the community and my family; and whenever I do, I feel like I am making a difference in the world, one act of kindness at a time. My plan for the future is to continue with my education - obtain a bachelor at the University of Central Florida and continue to medical school - until I am certified to become a medical doctor. I am aspired to continue my involvement around my community to help improves the health standards and hopefully inspires more individuals to join and spread to third world countries. My goal is to help the families who are living in poverty to have great medical care and medical needs whenever it is applicable. After obtaining my medical degree, I will open up a foundation that helps to fundraise money to pay for medical expenses for families in third world countries. It is heart breaking to hear and see the tragic stories when I came home to visit my homeland - Vietnam. Thus, I hope that the knowledge I gain from my education will transform me into a person who can make a difference in someone's life. I made a promise to myself that I will not allow myself live a meaningless life and I will make a difference in the world, one step at a time.

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Claire Bang
2015-2016 APIASF/BBCN Bank Scholarship
Hometown: San Jose, CA
College: University of California-Berkeley
Major: Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Education Level: Freshman

I was born in Suwon, the residential metropolis of the province surrounding South Korea's capital. The memories I retain from my brief time there are few, but they preserve my first encounters with music, art, and most importantly, my family. I moved to the United States when I was five years old. Although I started kindergarten with broken English, I soon caught up to and even surpassed my peers, reading chapter books and doing multiplication long before they did. After three years, my father suddenly announced that we were moving to Shanghai for his work. This transition was rougher, not only for me but for my entire family. But as my Mandarin improved and I explored more of the new atmosphere around me, I fell in love with Shanghai and cherished the short time I lived there. Just a few years after moving back to the United States in the fifth grade, my father was laid off from his job.

Gradually, I noticed a considerable decrease in spending and forgoing our previous luxuries as well as a shift in values: we became more ecologically friendly and monetarily practical, using everything to the fullest extent (and then some). Although I have not moved in seven years, I have continued this goal in my studies and all aspects of my life, ensuring that I, in a sense, am invincible through determination--it is the trait I am most proud of. My family's current financial situation has pushed me to give back to the community by providing resources to those who do not have them. In the past, I have done this by serving the homeless and caring for the mentally and physically ill. I desire to continue my commitment to service, and have incorporated that desire into my dream of becoming a medical researcher and traveling to countries in need of medical resources. Within my immediate community, I desire to research and search for cures of diseases such as cancer, which is prevalent in my family. But in a broader perspective, I want to be able to provide medical resources to all people, regardless of location or socioeconomic circumstances. Despite the obstacles, my past circumstances have been an impactful and motivating experience, and in some ways, a blessing.

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Pornpim Phorntavewat
2015-2016 APIASF/Darden Restaurants Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
College: Culinary Institute of America
Major: Culinary Arts
Education Level: Freshman

"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream" Martin Luther King Jr. once said. As a high school student I have developed a dream today. I didn't think this dream was the dream. The dream of becoming a chef in a high end restaurant. It all started when I was in the seventh grade. My mom bought a kitchen-aid mixer and all we did was bake cupcakes for her coworkers once a week. I remember I would look up YouTube videos of how to ice cupcakes in fun festive ways. I loved it so much that I wanted to become a chef.

Growing up, I experienced different things that could help or hurt me in the future. But high school was the phase where I became who I am today. Each year of high school had a different meaning but the year I will always remember is my junior year. My father became extremely ill and became a distraction to school. I fell behind on my school work and watched my grades drop. I stopped thinking about college and my future. The dream I created when I was in seventh grade disappeared. I did not know what to do. My father has gotten better, but he is not the same person he was before. Watching my dad work to overcome his disability has made me want to push myself to do more and go for my dreams. He became my motivation to strive for higher goals and to never give up.

With my dad motivating me more and more each day, I started to develop my goals for the future. My long term goals are to attend the culinary college of my dreams and graduate with a bachelor's degree in culinary arts, get married, have a family with three children, travel the world in places of Europe, Africa, and Asia, treat local communities to fresh home cooked meals with my chefs and help make a change in someone's life.

Finally, we all look to up to someone as a role model and we all face different challenges. Even in those times of trial and tribulation, keep looking up to that special someone. As we learn from our role models, never neglect to be that for someone else. You never know when those words of encouragement or that pat on the back is exactly what someone needed to succeed.

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Lay Paw
2015-2016 APIASF/FedEx Scholarship
Hometown: Maplewood, MN
College: St. Cloud State University
Major: Secondary Education and Teaching
Education Level: Freshman

My name is Lay Bay Paw. I was born in Burma, but in 1997 my family moved to a Thai refugee camp. I came to America in 2011. While growing up, I didn't think that I would have the opportunity to be successful in life. My parents didn't receive any education when they were young. Likewise, I also did not receive a formal education when I was in a refugee camp. Coming to America gave me hope and opportunity. I value my education more than ever before, hoping that one day I will grow up to be successful in life. There were many obstacles and challenges that I faced while growing up. My first day in America was so hard for me, because everything was new. But I have had a lot of opportunities for me to try hard. These opportunities have truly helped me overcome the struggles and have prepared me to succeed in college and life. Education is very powerful in today's world, because it can provide great opportunities that will help me to succeed in my future. So I want to go to college to complete my bachelor's degree and become a math teacher and after that I want to educate my poor Karen people. I never thought that I would have the opportunities to be successful in life, because I grew up in small village without good opportunities. I have realized that we cannot take things in life for granted. I have faced a lot of challenges but I lose no hope as I continue to strengthen myself from my difficulties. I will grow and work harder to reach my ultimate goal, which is to become a math teacher.

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Bill Zhang
2015-2016 APIASF/Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholarship
Hometown: Monterey Park, CA
College: University of California, Los Angeles
Major: Political Science
Education Level: Sophomore

In my life, there have been three unforgettable dates. In 2008, I came to the United States; this meant a new life was beginning where I could grow and develop. Thus, on June 5th 2015, when I got admitted to University of California, Los Angeles, I knew all my hard work was paying off. In addition, this meant that I could better achieve my dream: become a diplomat. Then, on May 28th 2015, I was very grateful and thankful to have received the APIASF/Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholarship; this scholarship was like a light that further illuminated my path of education. As many may know, university tuition is very expensive, especially for a student who comes from a low-income family such as myself. Therefore, when I received my letter of admission from UCLA, my family was very happy; however, my parents quickly started to plan on how to get enough money for my university tuition. My dreams of attending UCLA and looking forward to conducting research and learning how to apply it to my passion for Political Science were clouded with a shroud of debt and loans. However, when I received an email showing that the APIASF/Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholarship was awarded to me, I quickly showed my parents; we were very happy. I felt really thankful. Thank you APIASF and Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholarship for this great honor that will undoubtedly encourage my studies as much as it gave me hope.

I plan on using this scholarship to finance my education, which is very important to me and for my community. I feel more ease and can focus on my major—Political Science. I plan to use my education to help communities through local government. Through a career in politics, I can help local organization and promote development with my education. I came from the bottom, and I know many people at the bottom who need encouragement, which can be done with a little help, such as benefits, employment sources and other types of public services. I think that when people want to take action, they should know all about the enterprise they are considering. For example, I want to serve communities, so I need to talk to people and have conversations with them about what concerns they have for their community. I consider that the APIASF/Frances Sonn Nam Memorial Scholarship given to students, in the long run, is really an idea of community because as an APIASF recipient, I feel an obligation to help other people in the world. In some degree, APIASF is not only an organization helping students financially, but it also plays a role as a messenger in spreading and extending goodness.

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ChengCha Vang
2015-2016 APIASF/General Mills Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
College: Augsburg College
Major: Psychology
Education Level: Sophomore

The APIASF/General Mills Foundation Scholarship will help me achieve my education from both an educational and professional career and personal goals. By receiving this financial support, I can focus on my career instead of thinking about how I will repay loans. The APIASF/General Mills Foundation Scholarship allows me to go into business world that requires postgraduate training or to pursue careers in public service. By removing financial barriers, my education and career goals would be easier to obtain. 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 plan to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Management Information System and minor in Computer Science at Augsburg College (AC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I hope to be a part of the business team. I want to build a stronger workforce for our knowledge-based global economy.

For my personal goals, someday I want to create my own non-profit organization that helps students achieve and develop leadership skill, gain college experience, and develop to their fullest potential. I want to work in a career where my passions lie, a career that utilizes my strengths, and a career where I can directly impact the students of color. I enjoy working with people, especially young people, because I can relate and build rapport with them. In the fall of 2015, I will be a mentor who to provide free tutoring services for students at Trinity Lutheran Congregation (TLC), a tutoring program for Cedar-Riverside kids, primarily East African, and help students with homework after school during the regular school year. TLC a non-profit organization and also close to where I will be completing my undergraduate studies. I am looking forward to tutoring eighth graders at TLC. My plans for next year are to help eight graders in reading and mathematics, to prepare them for high school so they can be active at school by participating in community and school organizations, and to share my college experiences with them. I hope to inspire these low income children with my personal story to work hard and gain the opportunity to be successful. By awarding me the APIASF/General Mills Foundation Scholarship, I am able to concentrate on what is important for me, education.

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PaJou Thao
2015-2016 APIASF/Hong Kong Chapter Scholarship
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
College: College of Saint Benedict
Major: Business
Education Level: Freshman

I was captain of volleyball and badminton during my junior and senior year at Patrick Henry High School. Throughout high school, I would say that sports played a major role in who I am today. I am competitive, open-minded, and most importantly a leader that players and classmates look up to. Sports helped shape me into the character that I am today. As most students had to choose between sports and their education, being a student athlete is definitely the most difficult obstacle. Most students would choose one or the other, or both but either one or the other was not put with their best effort however I was able to still be on the honor roll in school. Sports shaped me to become independent, open-minded, a risk taker, a leader, organized, and know that managing your time well makes a huge difference in your future. I owe everything to my coaches and most importantly to me for not giving up knowing that there is still a better future to work towards.

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Jessica Ellis
2015-2016 APIASF Scholarship in Memory of Mary Imada
Hometown: Emmett, ID
College: University of Idaho
Major: Early Childhood Education
Education Level: Freshman

I am honored to have received the APIASF Scholarship in Memory of Mary Imada. I was so happy when I found out I got it. My family and community were also thrilled. This scholarship is getting me closer to my personal goals of going to college because the scholarship is helping me pay for college. I am very grateful for this scholarship. I want to major in Early Childhood Development and Education and minor in music. These things are important to me because being a teacher is helping the next generation and music is inspiring. I want to be a leader and a teacher and inspire people. I am excited to attend the University of Idaho and join a sorority. From the moment I stepped foot on the campus, I knew that was the place I needed to be. I think that it is important as a minority student to represent their family and race and live up to their full potential. I hope that when I get older, I can be like you and help people achieve their dreams.

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Dennis Woo
2015-2016 APIASF/Koret Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
College: University of Southern California
Major: Communications
Education Level: Freshman

I would like to thank and acknowledge the scholarship committee for selecting me as the recipient of this award and recognizing both my academic and extracurricular achievements. I will be studying at the University of Southern California, which values the importance of diversity and international perspectives. A profound understanding of the similarities and differences across political boundaries is essential to creating a healthier global community. As a result, I believe that multilingualism is essential. In addition to my native languages, Teochew and Hokkien, I picked up Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese before learning English. I plan to study abroad in China within the next few years to further enhance my fluency in Mandarin and apply it in the Sinophone world. More importantly, I intend to take this opportunity to learn about Sino-US relations, gaining greater insight in a global context.

My interest in polyglotism has encouraged me to expand my horizons by learning Arabic. In addition to its influence in the world and the art of its calligraphy, I am intrigued by the significance of the articulatory intricacies of Arabic. I want to attain a high level of proficiency in this language to help immigrants overcome language barriers. Upon bridging the gap between different cultures and languages, I am interested in studying abroad in the Arab-speaking world, particularly in Tel Aviv, Israel. I aim to develop my Arabic skills and explore Israel's role in the media sector. I also intend to use this opportunity to gain an understanding of its cultural contexts and Arab-American relations. A crucial factor to society's lack of unity is its challenge to accept multiculturalism. Despite the ethnically diverse regions in the world, there are unfortunately many areas that are not as open minded and accepting. Through global engagement, I aim to shape myself into a leading role model during my academic career and beyond. I strive to promote and apply the value of diversity into my academic and non-academic pursuits to create a more unified world.

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Rayvan Vares
2015-2016 APIASF/NBCUniversal Scholarship
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
College: Southern Oregon University
Major: Communications
Education Level: Sophomore

Born and raised in the humble outskirts of Waikīkī, Hawai'i, I have set educational goals to help shape my rapidly changing community. Being the first in my family to graduate from a rigorous private high school program, as well as the first to travel beyond the expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the continental U.S., these are goals that I thought were impossible. Currently a sophomore at Southern Oregon University, I am well on my path to acquire a bachelor's degree in communications in television and convergent media. I am a first generation college student that believes that education is the key for opportunities to see and experience the world. In challenging myself to achieve success, I have never looked at my obstacles as setbacks but more like motivation.

Growing up with a family of six, money was always tight in affording necessity expenses. For these reasons, I have never asked much of my parents and brothers. Through my education and goal oriented state of mind, I have come far from where and what I started with. The transition from Hawai'i to Oregon was a challenging experience that I took on by myself. The application process, transportation and flight accommodations, and financial aid were fully taken care of as I had a goal to meet. Even though my family verbally supported me, it was in my hands to make it possible. I am happy I took the initiative to work hard in getting me this far. By going through these experiences alone, it has only pushed myself beyond my limits in everything that I have put my heart into. My kumu (teacher) once said to me, "What lies behind us and what lies before us, is tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Within myself, I have a desire to work hard and connect my values, ethics, and goals to influence the lives around me for the better. As of next school year, I will be a junior and will be studying abroad at Tokyo International University. I am excited to take on this journey, as it will open up many new opportunities and experiences that I know will be influential in my career. Through studying abroad, I will be internationally aware of other cultures and expanding my experiences with news casting. I am pleased with the career that I have chosen and I intend to give back to Hawaii from what I received from my education. On my journey to graduation, I will continue to set goals and take advantage of all opportunities that come my way. I hope to promote positivity into our Hawaii community as a leader to inspire and enlighten future generations.

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Nathan Justin
2015-2016 APIASF/Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship
Hometown: Upland, CA
College: Harvey Mudd College
Major: Mathematics
Education Level: Freshman

When I discovered that I won this award, I was extremely joyous and honored. For my family, the scholarship money means less stress in paying for my college tuition. With the help of this financial award, I can pursue my dreams of completing a college education and even go to graduate school. My academic goal is to earn my B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Biology from Harvey Mudd College. With this education, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience. And with these degrees, I hope to better the lives of others by researching neurological disorders like Alzheimer's. That way, I can make a global impact and help solve an important problem that faces people today. I began to forge this goal at a very young age. With a love for mathematics throughout my school years, I began to be curious about how mathematics can impact the larger community, although I did not know how. That is, until I began to do research under a professor at Western University of Health Sciences and took a class at Harvey Mudd College with a professor who studied computational neuroscience. From my experiences with these two people, I began to form my goals of integrating math, computer science, and biology, setting my aspiration to study computational neuroscience. I cannot express how honored and grateful I am for APIASF / Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship's generosity. I hope that the scholarship continues to help people like me pursue their future aspirations and make a difference in the world.

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Md Tanveer Karim
2015-2016 APIASF/Sodexo Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Astoria, NY
College: University of Rochester
Major: Astronomy
Education Level: Junior

I am really excited to learn that I have been awarded the APIASF/Sodexo Foundation Scholarship for the academic year 2015-16. I am writing to thank you for your scholarship that will help me to continue my education. This generous scholarship will reduce the burden of cost of education for my family. As an astronomy major intending to go to graduate school, it is important that I take challenging courses and I get involved in research. While last year I had three jobs to bear my personal costs, this scholarship will help me to focus my energy on my education instead of looking for multiple jobs. This scholarship serves as a strong moral support for me as it gives me hope that I will be able to continue studying what I love without having to worry about money. I have been interested in astronomy since elementary school and my recent research experiences only strengthened my belief that this is what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. My family immigrated to the United States so that I may obtain quality education and realize my dream of becoming an astronomer. While the transition for my parents have been difficult, they are proud of my accomplishments so far and I want to keep making them proud. After I complete my education, I would like to make parents aware that there is more to science than just medicine and engineering.

Coming from a Bangladeshi background, I have seen that many Bangladeshi-American parents want their children to pursue careers in engineering or medicine. I would like to share my story and make everyone aware that science is more than just these. It has become more important for my community to understand the importance of other fields and allow their children to study whatever they enjoy. I would also like to work on translating English science books into Bengali to make the transition of Bangladeshi immigrants into the American education system easier. This will also help students back in Bangladesh who do not have access to quality science education books. It is becoming very important for Asian American and Pacific Islander students to pursue higher education because it provides a way to appreciate their culture and a path to integrate into the American society. Going to college has exposed to me different cultures that I was not aware of before. While I am grateful for the education I am getting from my university, I am more grateful for having the chance to know and become friends with people from different backgrounds. Asian American and Pacific Islander students should pursue higher education not only for a better career option, but also to celebrate the broad diversity and heritage they bring to the United States. I would like to thank you again for offering me this generous scholarship. This has lifted a huge burden from my parents' shoulder and we truly appreciate it.

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Hina Khawaja
2015-2016 APIASF/Target Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Fresh Meadows, NY
College: Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus
Major: Pharmacy
Education Level: Senior

I am a current senior at Hunter College, City University of New York where I am majoring in Biochemistry. I am genuinely and deeply appreciative of your support in order for me to continue my education in the fall of 2015 at Long Island University Pharmacy Program. Without this scholarship, there would be many students such as myself who would be unable to pursue their desired career. As a student I strive to pursue academic excellence in order to fulfill my goal to become a pharmacist. Be it volunteering at my local pharmacy or researching for Children Environment Research Group. I enjoy devoting my time for the betterment of society. As a first generation child of Pakistani immigrants, my parents have instilled in me the power of an education and how it allows one to achieve their goals no matter how high they are. Following their motto, I would one day like to open a local pharmacy in my community where I can serve my fellow community members, raising awareness about medicine and vaccination. By receiving this scholarship it will alleviate the burden of graduate studies, while allowing me to devote most of my hard work in pursing my dreams. I appreciate this token as a great gift that I will cherish, for it allowed me to become one step closer to my long term goal. Thank You again for your generosity and support in helping me fulfill my dream. I aspire one day to become donors like you who give back to students who have dreams, but with a little assistance those dreams can become a reality.

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Staphenie Leyarofebung
2015-2016 APIASF/Teach for America Scholarship
Hometown: Yap, FM
College: University of Hawaii at Hilo
Major: Education
Education Level: Freshman

I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be one of the winners of the APIASF/Teach for America scholarships this year. With this scholarship I will be able to pay some of my tuition at the college that I will be attending for the next four years of my life. I am very happy and will continue to be happy as long as I am able to receive this scholarship. I am majoring in education because I believe that education here in Yap needs improvement. My goal is to become the director of education so that I can improve our public schools for future generations. I find silent reading and mandatory study hall periods very helpful for learning. If I ever become the director of education I will institute these two periods as part of the normal school day. These two periods will enable students to become better readers and help students that have many chores at home to finish their homework at school before going home. Many students now in public schools are not able to finish their homework assignments because of the pressures of chores at home. With this scholarship I will be able to pay my tuition at the college that I will be attending. For the next four years I will be studying to get my degree in education so I can come back to Yap and improve the schools as I already mentioned. This scholarship relieves some of the pressure that my parents face having to pay my tuition for the rest of the year. I am thankful and grateful for the opportunity to be one of the winners this year.

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Darro Chea
2015-2016 APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: York, PA
College: Berklee College of Music
Major: Music Performance
Education Level: Junior

My family, friends and I were ecstatic to find out that I was awarded the APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship will contribute so much to my very costly education, and will help relieve some of the stress of taking out expensive loans. My dream is to become a world-class musician and teacher, and no amount of money would stop me from doing so, however, the APIASF Scholarship Program has given me hope that the odds are not as stacked against me as I believed. My parents came to this country after surviving a horrible war and built a life for us here. We struggled with finances growing up and I was unable to afford guitar lessons. I've worked so hard to get to where I am with little guidance, and I feel as though some of my work is finally paying off. We are so grateful to know that we are not in this alone, and that we have the support of wonderful people at the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation. I am a dual major student at Berklee College of Music, studying both Guitar Performance and Music Production & Engineering. These are two of the most time consuming majors at Berklee and they certainly don't make my life easy. However I wanted to get everything I could out of Berklee and I'm very passionate about both performing and recording music. Since my majors require so much time, and my student employment job can only give me so many hours, this scholarship truly takes a load off my shoulders. The future is scary because of the student loans I will have to pay back, but every bit helps. Not only does this scholarship help pay for tuition expenses, but it is a symbol of hope and a sign that I am doing the right thing. I can't wait to graduate and start helping others with the knowledge that I have gained at Berklee. I will start a music-teaching program that educates lessprivileged children in music. It will create an artistic foundation in the lives of kids and can help combat the absence of art from public schools due to budget cuts. It's a daunting task but I don't want others to have to work as hard as I did for my passion of music. With the help of the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Foundation, this goal is more reachable.

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Francesca Munsayac
2015-2016 APIASF/Toyota Scholarship
Hometown: Porter Ranch, CA
College: University of California-Berkeley
Major: Computer Science
Education Level: Freshman

On the same night I received the email announcing that I had won the scholarship, I was admitted into my dream school, University of California Berkeley, a few hours later. I was absolutely ecstatic and borderline hysterical at that point, and my family was too. It was as if the scholarship was the sign of good luck that I needed. I'm extremely excited to be attending college; In fact, I am also considering joining Berkeley's Summer Program to get a head start with the general classes and to truly get a feel for the campus. I was actually invited by the Pilipino Academic Student Services (PASS) to stay overnight for Cal's Senior Weekend. APIASF and PASS have opened my eyes to the importance of supporting minorities, which is why I want to help Schools on Wheels expand into the Bay Area. Areas such as Oakland, need organizations that will help inspire the younger generations to foster a love of learning. Within this objective, I hope to impact lives of young Asian Americans and other children of color because the biggest obstacle in achieving success is gaining the confidence to start in the first place. We live in a beautifully diverse country, and in my opinion, we need to acknowledge the importance of accepting other cultures if we are to advance as a society. In my own situation, this contribution will help to alleviate the financial burden on my family and also steer myself away from the danger of student loans because my stepfather still has to support my younger brother and sister, who are both in elementary school, Thank you so much for awarding me with the APIASF/Toyota Scholarship. The funds will help me obtain my degree in Computer Science and pursue my career as a programmer; I hope to one day create a product that can fundamentally change how we see and interact with the world and, again, I am thankful for the organization's contribution towards my dream.

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Radha Dahal
2015-2016 APIASF/United Health Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
College: Georgia State University
Major: Nursing
Education Level: Sophomore

I am studying to be a registered nurse. Right now, I am at the final stage of completing my prerequisites at Georgia Perimeter College, Clarkston GA. By the spring of 2016, I will be doing the major classes in nursing. I have always wanted to be a nurse and that is where I am heading to with the scholarship. When I graduate as a registered nurse I will be among the very first batch of nurses from our Bhutanese Community of Georgia. My community is very new to the US and we were in the refugee camps in Nepal for almost two decades deprived of good health, nutrition and other opportunities. I have been volunteering in the community but being a Registered Nurse will give me much more knowledge and skill to help my community. With my education I will be equipped to join those serve my community better. My community needs a lot of education on nutrition, health and hygiene. I want take that lead for the Bhutanese Community in Georgia. I am looking forward to making best use of my college life by excelling in my studies, participating in different voluntary opportunities and meeting teachers and friends who think the way I do.

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Ray Tuineau
2015-2016 APIASF/Wells Fargo Foundation Scholarship
Hometown: Ephraim, UT
College: Snow College
Major: Education
Education Level: Sophomore

Growing up in a less privileged family has not only offered financial and academic challenges, but has also helped me realize the value of a college education. I graduated twelve years ago and am now married with three children. Being a first generation college student, I am striving to do my best for my family. I want my children to see that anything is possible with hard work. My plans are to graduate from Snow College Spring 2016 and receive my Associates of Arts. After doing so, I plan to remain at Snow College to work on my Bachelor's degree at the Utah State Extension. I want to major in Education with a minor in Physical Education. I plan to give back by becoming a teacher. I believe there are far too many teachers that teach subjects and not the kids. Teachers have the ability to help change a child's life by offering them education. I enjoy working with the younger people because they are the ones that struggle the most with their identities as well as what to do, and they are they who will carry this country. With all the obstacles there are out there I want to help them see that getting an education brings strength to overcome many of those obstacles. I want to do what a few of my teachers and counselors have done for me growing up, give them hope for a bright future. In the Polynesian community, far too many of the children are living beneath their potential because they are scared of success. I hope to change that. I believe that APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship Foundation, as well as others; make it possible for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders all across the nation to become that change. My educational pursuits would not be possible without the generous support from scholarship sponsors like your organization. Thank you for enabling this opportunity! With the help of APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship Foundation, my financial burden has been lightened, which allows me to focus more on my pursuit to getting an education. I hope one day I will be able to give back what you have given me; generosity and help to achieve my goals.

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