This week, APIASF is in Charlotte, North Carolina! Joy Yoo, our Senior Manager for Outreach & Community Relations, will be presenting in several locations around Charlotte to talk about our college scholarship programs. If you’re in the area and would like to attend a presentation, please email Joy ASAP at outreach@apiasf.org!
Monday, September 15 East Mecklenburg High SchoolCharlotte, NC
Tuesday, September 16 Garinger High School Charlotte, NC
Wednesday, September 17Independence High School Charlotte, NC

This week, APIASF is in Charlotte, North Carolina! Joy Yoo, our Senior Manager for Outreach & Community Relations, will be presenting in several locations around Charlotte to talk about our college scholarship programs. If you’re in the area and would like to attend a presentation, please email Joy ASAP at outreach@apiasf.org!

  • Monday, September 15 
    East Mecklenburg High School

    Charlotte, NC
  • Tuesday, September 16 
    Garinger High School 

    Charlotte, NC
  • Wednesday, September 17
    Independence High School 

    Charlotte, NC
re/present blogger and May 2014 /present Voice Shanawaj (Roy) Khair was recently selected to be a part of the GMS/ACS Cancer Action Network Delegation Team! Roy, and his fellow Scholars, will meet with members of Congress to discuss making cancer resources and research a top national priority.
For more information on the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association’s partnership with the American Cancer Society, and how other Gates Scholars can get involved visit: gmsacsadvocacy.

re/present blogger and May 2014 /present Voice Shanawaj (Roy) Khair was recently selected to be a part of the GMS/ACS Cancer Action Network Delegation Team! Roy, and his fellow Scholars, will meet with members of Congress to discuss making cancer resources and research a top national priority.

For more information on the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association’s partnership with the American Cancer Society, and how other Gates Scholars can get involved visit: gmsacsadvocacy.

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
On 9/11 each year, we have discussions in class about this day. It is a touchy subject but we all feel we have a safe space and are able to have open discussions about it. We’ve dialogued about how this day shaped George W. Bush’s presidency or how it drastically changed a country’s perspective on religion. This day motivates me to take advantage of every day as if it was my last and to be open minded about everything.
 

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

On 9/11 each year, we have discussions in class about this day. It is a touchy subject but we all feel we have a safe space and are able to have open discussions about it. We’ve dialogued about how this day shaped George W. Bush’s presidency or how it drastically changed a country’s perspective on religion. This day motivates me to take advantage of every day as if it was my last and to be open minded about everything.

 

Honor September 11

On this day thirteen years ago, our nation was shaken by the violent attacks of 9/11. No matter what age you were when it happened, that day has probably had a major impact on your life and possibly how you view the world. What discussions are you having surrounding 9/11 and how does this day motivate you to affect change?

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
To commit to something that is familiar to you, you have to be able to be open minded in looking from all types of perspectives. When you can see something from a new outlook, there are drastic and influential changes you can make as a leader in the community and also towards issues that need to be discussed. When I see the world from a new vantage point, I get excited because there are endless opportunities and chances for me to change it for the better.
 

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

To commit to something that is familiar to you, you have to be able to be open minded in looking from all types of perspectives. When you can see something from a new outlook, there are drastic and influential changes you can make as a leader in the community and also towards issues that need to be discussed. When I see the world from a new vantage point, I get excited because there are endless opportunities and chances for me to change it for the better.

 

See something from a new perspective.

Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, says in the movie Dead Poets Society,

I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.

As leaders, we must view an issue, a solution, or a community in a different in order for real change to occur - especially if these are issues and communities we see and interact with day in and day out. How can you commit to seeing something that is familiar to you, from a new perspective? What happens when you can do that?

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar
To me, words and pictures on my life map mean that I have accomplished some of my goals but there is always room for growth and improvement. The ones who are not able to speak up for themselves is what inspires me to speak up for my community. I want to branch out and be able to advocate what my community wants here at The College of Wooster. My life map is just one demonstration of who I am.

By Brenda Khor, APIASF/GMS Scholar

To me, words and pictures on my life map mean that I have accomplished some of my goals but there is always room for growth and improvement. The ones who are not able to speak up for themselves is what inspires me to speak up for my community. I want to branch out and be able to advocate what my community wants here at The College of Wooster. My life map is just one demonstration of who I am.

By Simone Jacobson, APIASF Staff

“Power largely consists in the ability to make others inhabit your story of their reality.” -Philip Gourevitch

If your parents are anything like mine, they taught you two basic skills for succeeding in life. Number one: work hard. Number two: be nice. Many Asian American children are taught this mantra—Work hard. Be nice.—and it is a useful one. We also learn to honor our families, practice discipline, and remain proud of who we are and where we come from. Our larger society believes that these values (instilled during our formative years as children) are the “magic keys” that unlock our potential, enabling us to achieving more than other ethnic groups. Though it is true that some AAPIs do very well, our AAPI communities also include some of the least educated and poorest in the nation today. In fact, AAPIs have the fastest growing poverty population of any racial or ethnic group. Where you come from, how your family came to the United States, and what English language skills your parents have (or lack) are just some of the factors that influence how long it takes us to thrive in American society.
Because of this folklore, our AAPI stories remain invisible. The “model minority myth” perpetuates the idea that all AAPIs are successful. It keeps getting told and retold until it is accepted as fact. The truth is that each AAPI story is unique, though we may share common experiences. So I challenge you to consider this: It is our collective responsibility (yours and mine, not some magical future unicorn who is braver than we think we are) to tell these stories. But why should we tell our own stories? Because they matter. Because if we don’t, someone else will. And because we never know who might be listening to us. I have learned that the person who hears my story could be someone influential. She could also be my future mentor, or someone simply relieved that I spoke up when she feared she lacked the strength.
My AAPI story starts with my mother. My mom came to the United States from Burma—a country with nearly 60 million people bordered by Laos, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, and India—in the 1960s. She was 16, and she was only allowed to take one suitcase with her. I’ve often wondered if I had to make that difficult decision at age 16, what items would I take, and which ones would I leave behind?  As you navigate your own difficult decisions, I encourage you to work hard and be nice like our parents taught us. But I also invite you to listen to that voice inside you that knows what is best for you. I believe that each of us must shut out the noise of others telling us what is “best” and instead ask ourselves, “What is best … for me?”
Sharing our unique stories is both a responsibility and a privilege, so I am counting on all of you to speak up and speak often. Every day, we have an opportunity to make an impact. Our kind thoughts lead to kind words. These kind words lead to meaningful actions. These meaningful actions become excellent habits. These excellent habits shape our strong characters. And this strong character enables us to fulfill our destiny. Today, I have shared just one tiny part of my AAPI story with you. But I have dedicated my life to writing, performing, and teaching about my experiences because I don’t know any other Burmese American writers. That makes me feel even more pressured (and more honored) to do this work. It took me awhile to value my own voice, but I know now that I don’t write for myself. I write for my ancestors. I write for you. I write for all of us.
What’s your story?
Pictured above: Simone (center) telling stories with G Yamazawa, Gowri K, Beau Sia, Adriel Luis, Michell Myers, and Sahra Nguyen at the AAPI LAPP Fest, Kennedy Center (2013).

By Simone Jacobson, APIASF Staff

Power largely consists in the ability to make others inhabit your story of their reality.” 
-Philip 
Gourevitch

If your parents are anything like mine, they taught you two basic skills for succeeding in life. Number one: work hard. Number two: be nice. Many Asian American children are taught this mantra—Work hard. Be nice.—and it is a useful one. We also learn to honor our families, practice discipline, and remain proud of who we are and where we come from. Our larger society believes that these values (instilled during our formative years as children) are the “magic keys” that unlock our potential, enabling us to achieving more than other ethnic groups. Though it is true that some AAPIs do very well, our AAPI communities also include some of the least educated and poorest in the nation today. In fact, AAPIs have the fastest growing poverty population of any racial or ethnic group. Where you come from, how your family came to the United States, and what English language skills your parents have (or lack) are just some of the factors that influence how long it takes us to thrive in American society.

Because of this folklore, our AAPI stories remain invisible. The “model minority myth” perpetuates the idea that all AAPIs are successful. It keeps getting told and retold until it is accepted as fact. The truth is that each AAPI story is unique, though we may share common experiences. So I challenge you to consider this: It is our collective responsibility (yours and mine, not some magical future unicorn who is braver than we think we are) to tell these stories. But why should we tell our own stories? Because they matter. Because if we don’t, someone else will. And because we never know who might be listening to us. I have learned that the person who hears my story could be someone influential. She could also be my future mentor, or someone simply relieved that I spoke up when she feared she lacked the strength.

My AAPI story starts with my mother. My mom came to the United States from Burma—a country with nearly 60 million people bordered by Laos, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, and India—in the 1960s. She was 16, and she was only allowed to take one suitcase with her. I’ve often wondered if I had to make that difficult decision at age 16, what items would I take, and which ones would I leave behind?  As you navigate your own difficult decisions, I encourage you to work hard and be nice like our parents taught us. But I also invite you to listen to that voice inside you that knows what is best for you. I believe that each of us must shut out the noise of others telling us what is “best” and instead ask ourselves, “What is best … for me?”

Sharing our unique stories is both a responsibility and a privilege, so I am counting on all of you to speak up and speak often. Every day, we have an opportunity to make an impact. Our kind thoughts lead to kind words. These kind words lead to meaningful actions. These meaningful actions become excellent habits. These excellent habits shape our strong characters. And this strong character enables us to fulfill our destiny. Today, I have shared just one tiny part of my AAPI story with you. But I have dedicated my life to writing, performing, and teaching about my experiences because I don’t know any other Burmese American writers. That makes me feel even more pressured (and more honored) to do this work. It took me awhile to value my own voice, but I know now that I don’t write for myself. I write for my ancestors. I write for you. I write for all of us.

What’s your story?

Pictured above: Simone (center) telling stories with G Yamazawa, Gowri K, Beau Sia, Adriel Luis, Michell Myers, and Sahra Nguyen at the AAPI LAPP Fest, Kennedy Center (2013).

reflect on how you’ve changed

Paulo Freire once said, “Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.” In our busy world, we sometimes get wrapped up in the “doing” and forget to take a moment to think and breathe. Take a moment to engage in reflection on how you’ve changed over time. What have you learned about yourself?

Next up for APIASF is Southern California! Joy Yoo, our Senior Manager for Outreach & Community Relations, will be presenting in several locations around LA County and Orange County to talk about our college scholarship programs. If you’re in the area and would like to attend a presentation, please email Joy ASAP at outreach@apiasf.org!
Wednesday, September 3 Rosemead High School Rosemead, CA
Thursday, September 4 Gabrielino High School San Gabriel, CA
Friday, September 5 Arroyo High School El Monte, CA

Next up for APIASF is Southern California! Joy Yoo, our Senior Manager for Outreach & Community Relations, will be presenting in several locations around LA County and Orange County to talk about our college scholarship programs. If you’re in the area and would like to attend a presentation, please email Joy ASAP at outreach@apiasf.org!

  • Wednesday, September 3 
    Rosemead High School 

    Rosemead, CA
  • Thursday, September 4 
    Gabrielino High School 

    San Gabriel, CA
  • Friday, September 5 
    Arroyo High School 

    El Monte, CA
The APIASF General Scholarship is available for students who are currently enrolled or will be enrolling in a US-accredited college or university for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Award Amount: $2,500 - $15,000Due Date: Friday, January 9, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST
If you have questions about the application or eligibility, please email applicant@apiasf.org. For application requirements, click here. CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

The APIASF General Scholarship is available for students who are currently enrolled or will be enrolling in a US-accredited college or university for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Award Amount: $2,500 - $15,000
Due Date: Friday, January 9, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST

If you have questions about the application or eligibility, please email applicant@apiasf.org. For application requirements, click here. CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

Create a life map.

Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know the story of your birth? The stories of our personal lives may play a large part of why we do what we do. What do the words and images on your life map mean to you? What on your life map inspires you to speak up for your community?

/present Voice of the Month: Sam Lim

Every month, we feature a different member of our blog team as a /present Voice to formally recognize the value of his/her voice and their commitment to the blog.

This September, we are pleased to announce Sam Lim is our /present Voice of the Month! Since the launch of re/present in 2012, Sam has been an passionate blogger. His studious perspective and considerate nature have made re/present an inclusive space for our Scholars and readers alike. If you haven’t read his previous posts, we encourage you to do so! But first, here’s Sam in his own words—

Tell us about yourself.

Most folks know that I started Scholarship Junkies in 2006 and have become an ardent advocate for higher education access and affordability issues. But what most folks don’t know is that I’ve actually always had a bit of an entrepreneurial streak mixed with a social justice mission. As a kid, I enjoyed sketching and was actually pretty good at it. In the second grade, I sketched cartoon animals, mounted them on construction paper, and sold them for something like 25 to 50 cents a piece. Some of my classmates caught wind of my idea and asked to join the efforts. I said sure. When people asked what I was going to do with the money though, seven-year-old me actually felt bad for collecting all that money (which was never more than $2 total, but to a seven year old with no allowance, $2 was a lot of money), so I told them we’d give the money to a homeless shelter. When my classmates realized they weren’t going to earn any money for their efforts, they quit.

So, I suppose that, in actually successfully recruiting a team of dedicated student volunteers to help run Scholarship Junkies years later, you could say my powers of persuasion have improved dramatically since my little art venture in the second grade that fizzled after a week or two. Undoubtedly, though, my sense of social justice has only grown stronger as I have gotten older — as a direct result of working and serving in my community.

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