May 7: Favorite AANHPI Athlete
By Christine Vo, APIASF/GMS Scholar
As you all know, Michelle Kwan is an AMAZING figure ice skater. Michelle was born on July 7, 1980 in Torrance, California. She is the daughter of Hong Kong immigrants. In her early age, Kwan watched her older brother play ice hockey and that inspired her to step foot on the ice, which illuminates inspiration in her eyes. She began skating when she was five, entering and winning her first figure skating competition a year later. Continuing on her amazing streak, Kwan went on to capture the world title in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003.
Michelle Kwan is my favorite Asian American athlete because her motivation and dedication is impeccable. She has been able to disregard the trials of injury and/or media pressure, and continue on. I believe that is true perseverance. Michelle Kwan sets a prime example for current and future athletes. Ever since I was young, I dreamed of becoming an ice skater, just like Michelle Kwan. Although my ice skating ability has decreased over the years, I still hold on to my love for the sport. Much gratitude to Michelle Kwan!
Photo from RealClearSports.

May 7: Favorite AANHPI Athlete

By Christine Vo, APIASF/GMS Scholar

As you all know, Michelle Kwan is an AMAZING figure ice skater. Michelle was born on July 7, 1980 in Torrance, California. She is the daughter of Hong Kong immigrants. In her early age, Kwan watched her older brother play ice hockey and that inspired her to step foot on the ice, which illuminates inspiration in her eyes. She began skating when she was five, entering and winning her first figure skating competition a year later. Continuing on her amazing streak, Kwan went on to capture the world title in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2003.

Michelle Kwan is my favorite Asian American athlete because her motivation and dedication is impeccable. She has been able to disregard the trials of injury and/or media pressure, and continue on. I believe that is true perseverance. Michelle Kwan sets a prime example for current and future athletes. Ever since I was young, I dreamed of becoming an ice skater, just like Michelle Kwan. Although my ice skating ability has decreased over the years, I still hold on to my love for the sport. Much gratitude to Michelle Kwan!

Photo from RealClearSports.

may 07/ favorite AANHPI athlete
By Nicole Alonzo, APIASF Staff
"There’s a lot of perceptions and stereotypes of Asian-Americans that are out there today, and the fact that I’m Asian-American makes it harder to believe, even crazier, more unexpected…I’m going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it, because I’m Asian. And that’s just the reality of it." – Jeremy Lin
A year after “Linsanity” began, Jeremy Lin continues to be one of my favorite AANHPI athletes. His presence in the sport gives all AANHPIs someone whom they can identify with and maybe even aspire to be. In writing this post, it was difficult to choose a favorite AANHPI athlete, because the sad truth is that there are not many AANHPI athletes today. However, just because we do not have a large presence in basketball should not deter any of us from aspiring to be a successful NBA point guard or any other type of athlete. We can all take notes out of Jeremy Lin’s playbook and keep dribbling along.
Photo from GQ.
Who is your favorite AANHPI athlete?

may 07/ favorite AANHPI athlete

By Nicole Alonzo, APIASF Staff

"There’s a lot of perceptions and stereotypes of Asian-Americans that are out there today, and the fact that I’m Asian-American makes it harder to believe, even crazier, more unexpected…I’m going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it, because I’m Asian. And that’s just the reality of it." – Jeremy Lin

A year after “Linsanity” began, Jeremy Lin continues to be one of my favorite AANHPI athletes. His presence in the sport gives all AANHPIs someone whom they can identify with and maybe even aspire to be. In writing this post, it was difficult to choose a favorite AANHPI athlete, because the sad truth is that there are not many AANHPI athletes today. However, just because we do not have a large presence in basketball should not deter any of us from aspiring to be a successful NBA point guard or any other type of athlete. We can all take notes out of Jeremy Lin’s playbook and keep dribbling along.

Photo from GQ.

Who is your favorite AANHPI athlete?

"It takes a village to raise a child"

By Inoke Hafoka, APIASF/GMS Scholar

I am a part of a unique community in Salt Lake City, Utah in an urban neighborhood called Glendale. There is a large population of Polynesians here in my community, most of whom are Tongan (that includes me). Outside of the western U.S. states, people might not know what a Polynesian is, let alone what a Tongan is. Polynesians come from the South Pacific. Some of the more predominantly known islands of Polynesia are Hawai’i, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, and Tahiti. If you’re familiar with the NFL, you might have heard of Troy Polumalu (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Haloti Ngata (Baltimore Ravens). They are both Polynesians; Troy is Samoan and Haloti is Tongan.

In Tonga, the word kolo is translated in English to mean village or community. The kolo's in Tonga are tight-knit and everyone knows all the families within their kolo. No one is a stranger, even visitors. Once visitors come into a kolo, everyone knows the visitor is present and he/she is treated as a guest anywhere they might visit within the kolo.

Although, the surroundings here in Glendale are different from that of Tonga, I still feel that sense of unity within my community. I did not get to where I am today without the teachings, influence, support, guidance, and LOVE my community has given me throughout my life. From the time I was born, to little league football and fast forwarding to continuing my education in graduate school, my community has always been there pushing me along.

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Salt Lake City: Outreach Experience

By Inoke Hafoka, APIASF/GMS Scholar

I’ve been wanting to write about the Outreach program coming to Salt Lake City and it’s taken me about 3 months to finally write a post about it, but better late than never. (If you’re guessing that my semester and finals are over…you guessed right.)

Being a part of the GMS/APIASF family here in Utah has been an honor, but I (as well as most of the other Scholars here in Utah) have not felt the sense of connection to the program until recently. Certainly this was no fault of the program, but just a misunderstanding and not grasping the information that has been sent to us over the years.

This past September, I was excited to receive notice that APIASF was coming to Salt Lake City. I jumped on it and responded back to the APIASF Program Specialist for Outreach and Community Relations, Phong Luu, about being of service. Phong was awesome and he conducted the Outreach program here wonderfully! I contacted some other Scholars to come and help out, and the experience we all had together was great and changed our perspective of what is needed to be done to reach out more to our communities. We talked to many high school students mainly about the APIASF and GMS scholarships and completing the long, but worthy process. We also had the opportunity to share about our experience preparing for the scholarships.

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By Jamie Peng, APIASF Scholar
Hi everyone! My name is Jamie Peng and I received the 2012 APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship. 
I was born and raised in sunny Southern California and I am currently a freshman at Colorado College. I graduated from high school in 2011, but ended up taking a gap year. In my year off from school, I volunteered at a food bank for low-income and homeless families and also wrote for my city newspaper. Although I have yet to declare a major, I am interested in history and investigative journalism, as well as foreign languages. Outside of academics, I run for my school’s cross country team and work at the library circulation desk.
In my free time, I like reading, enjoying a cup of black coffee or tea, journaling, writing to my pen pals, knitting, and running.

By Jamie Peng, APIASF Scholar

Hi everyone! My name is Jamie Peng and I received the 2012 APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation Scholarship. 

I was born and raised in sunny Southern California and I am currently a freshman at Colorado College. I graduated from high school in 2011, but ended up taking a gap year. In my year off from school, I volunteered at a food bank for low-income and homeless families and also wrote for my city newspaper. Although I have yet to declare a major, I am interested in history and investigative journalism, as well as foreign languages. Outside of academics, I run for my school’s cross country team and work at the library circulation desk.

In my free time, I like reading, enjoying a cup of black coffee or tea, journaling, writing to my pen pals, knitting, and running.

A Little About Me

By Abhi Sharma, APIASF Scholar

Hello all! My name is Abhinav Sharma; I go by Abhi for short. I’m a junior at Emory University and I’m set to graduate in 2014 with a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. After college, I plan to pursue MD and PhD degrees, to combine my passion for science and my fascination with the human body.

I was born in Houston, TX, and currently reside in the sweetest city on Earth, Sugar Land, TX. I LOVE sports, and most of my hobbies involve watching or participating in athletics. In high school, I played baseball and football, and I currently enjoy being a part of several intramural teams in college. 

I’m incredibly grateful for having been named a 2012 APIASF/Sodexo Scholar. This award is not only a very significant achievement for me, but also a substantial blessing for my entire family. Thanks, once again, to everyone at APIASF and Sodexo for believing in me!

Bye for now!

By Rakhi Agrawal, APIASF Scholar
Hi everyone! My name is Rakhi and I’m a student at Barnard College of Columbia University in the City of New York! I’m from West Hartford, CT, but now live in NYC! My hobbies and interests are multifarious — there is very little that I’m not interested in! Philosophy, psychology, music (I play the flute and sing), sports, lacrosse, human rights, traveling, bartending — just to name a few!

By Rakhi Agrawal, APIASF Scholar

Hi everyone! My name is Rakhi and I’m a student at Barnard College of Columbia University in the City of New York! I’m from West Hartford, CT, but now live in NYC! My hobbies and interests are multifarious — there is very little that I’m not interested in! Philosophy, psychology, music (I play the flute and sing), sports, lacrosse, human rights, traveling, bartending — just to name a few!

By Samantha Birmingham-Babauta, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Hafa Adai as we say in the Northern Mariana Islands! I’m Sami Birmingham-Babauta & I’m a “chamaole” (Chamorro & Haole) from the beautiful island of Saipan. I’ve been blessed to be raised on an island where it’s the moments shared that are valued over the ownership of material things. In the Chamorro culture, we treasure our family & pride ourselves on the respect we give to ourselves, our family, & our peers.
In 2011 I was named a GMS Scholar, one of the first in years. In 4 days I will be moving to California to attend Cal State Northridge & majoring in Kinesiology. I’m a fitness guru. I play soccer for my island’s national team, I do crossfit, MMA, outrigger, & I am a licensed Zumba Fitness Instructor.
I live in paradise & although I never want to leave, I’ve been blessed to become a GMS Scholar & I am working hard to return home & pay these blessings forward! :]

By Samantha Birmingham-Babauta, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Hafa Adai as we say in the Northern Mariana Islands! I’m Sami Birmingham-Babauta & I’m a “chamaole” (Chamorro & Haole) from the beautiful island of Saipan. I’ve been blessed to be raised on an island where it’s the moments shared that are valued over the ownership of material things. In the Chamorro culture, we treasure our family & pride ourselves on the respect we give to ourselves, our family, & our peers.

In 2011 I was named a GMS Scholar, one of the first in years. In 4 days I will be moving to California to attend Cal State Northridge & majoring in Kinesiology. I’m a fitness guru. I play soccer for my island’s national team, I do crossfit, MMA, outrigger, & I am a licensed Zumba Fitness Instructor.

I live in paradise & although I never want to leave, I’ve been blessed to become a GMS Scholar & I am working hard to return home & pay these blessings forward! :]

Go for the Gold, Part I Response

By Pauline Dong, APIASF/GMS Scholar

I must admit that I am not the most up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of sports and have never really been. However, due to extensive coverage on Jeremy Lin and an Asian American Studies class that I took last quarter and am taking this quarter, I’ve only just begun to look more closely into the history of Asian American presence in sports.

I’m pretty sure that everyone would agree that we don’t see many Asian Americans participating in sports on a national level or at least, being recognized on a national level. So when Asian American athletes pop up and seem to have the potential to make it big, the media swarms around that person to make a hype. So why and how did “Linsanity” happen?

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/May 22/ Go for the Gold, Part I.

Happy 30th birthday, Apolo Anton Ohno! From the gold medal Duke Kahanamoku earned the U.S. in the 1912 Olympics for the 100 m freestyle, to the 8 medals that Ohno has won in men’s short track speed skating, AANHPIs have a rich history in the sports (& Olympic) world. In recent months, Jeremy Lin’s success with the New York Knicks lit up the blogosphere as everyone chimed in with their opinions on biases, stereotypes and ability. — What are your thoughts on AANHPI athletes and any obstacles they may or may not face?

Crazy, awesome fun with the APIASF staff at this year’s Dragon Boat Festival in Washington, DC!

By Tydus Thai, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Ready Oar Not 2012

My first thought when I arrived in Washington, DC was that I HAD to visit the staff at APIASF. Somehow, a nice, simple reunion led to an exhilarating, action-packed weekend full of dragon boat racing!!!

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