Apiasf Scholarship Essay Contests

TheDreamUS Scholarship provides college scholarships to DREAMers who would like to get a college education but cannot afford it. Deadlines vary.
http://www.thedream.us/scholarships/

JANUARY

The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity offers a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to a student whose work of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, or other creative written expression (lyrics, plays, scripts, etc.) best reflects the originality, artistry, and dynamism embodied in Broadway's play, Hamilton. Due January 1, 2018
http://www.wesleyan.edu/admission/apply/hamiltonprize.html

Profiles in Courage Essay Contest is open to High School students in grades 9-12. Students must describe and analyze an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917. First place winner will receive $10,000, second place receives $1,000, 5 finalists receive $500. Due January 4, 2018
https://www.jfklibrary.org/Education/Profile-in-Courage-Essay-Contest.aspx

GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program is open to high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship. This program provides college-bound students with $10,000 renewable scholarships - up to $40,000. Due January 4, 2018
https://www.reaganfoundation.org/education/scholarship-programs/ge-reagan-foundation-scholarship-program/

Ron Brown Scholar Program offers scholarships in the amount of $40,000  to African American college bound high school seniors. Due January 9, 2018
https://www.ronbrown.org/

APIASF General Scholarship (The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund) offers applicants scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Due January 17, 2017
http://www.apiasf.org/scholarship_apiasf.html

UFT / Albert Shanker College Scholarship Fund is open to  graduating NYC public school students. Students may be eligible for a $5,000 award (spread over 4 years). Due January 15, 2017
http://www.uft.org/parents/scholarship-fund

Princeton Prize in Race Relations recognizes and rewards students who have had a significant positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities through their volunteer efforts. Award is $1,000. Due January 31, 2018
https://pprize.princeton.edu/

FEBRUARY

Scholarship Plus offers students a college scholarship of up to $8,000 a year plus individualized support. Each scholarship is renewable for up to four years of study. Includes paid internships, academic counseling, summer job support, career advice, mentoring, and personal guidance. Due February 1, 2018
https://www.scholarshipplus.org/splus/program/apply/

Jackie Robinson's Foundation Scholarship Program provides scholarships of up to $28,000 to minority high school students showing leadership potential and demonstrating financial need. Due February 1, 2018
https://www.jackierobinson.org/apply/

WACE Scholarship provides a co-op scholarship to high school senior who apply to at least one of the nine WACE partner institutions (Clarkson University, Drexel University, Merrimack College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Oswego, University of Toledo, University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. Due February 15, 2017
http://www.waceinc.org/scholarship/

LULAC National Scholarship Fund rewards students of Hispanic descent who are planning to enroll in accredited colleges or universities with $2,000. Application opens February 2018
https://www.lnesc.org/lnsf

Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship rewards scholarship money to graduating high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and communities. First prize winner will receive $10,000 and two runner-ups will receive $5,000. Due February 20, 2018
http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm

MARCH

Gallery Collection Scholarship rewards $10,000 to the student who wins this contest. Students submit original photo, artwork or computer graphics for the front of a greeting card. Due March 1, 2018
https://www.gallerycollection.com/greeting-cards-scholarship.htm

 Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships awards a $5,000 scholarship (renewable for up to four years) to 2 high school seniors of African descent who plan to attend a four-year college or university in the fall of the year following graduation. You must major in technology to be considered. Due March 1, 2018
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/blacks-scholarships.aspx

BP Community Scholarship Program awards $2000 scholarships to senior who plan to attend a two or four-year college in the fall of 2018. Due March 16, 2018
http://bpscholarships.com/

APRIL

Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship provides financial assistance to students who are pursuing a degree in the visual arts - architecture, ceramics, drawing, fashion, graphic design, illustration, interior design, painting, photography, sketching, video production, etc. Selected applicants will be qualified African-American or black students. Award is $3000. Due April 20, 2018
https://www.cbcfinc.org/scholarships/

Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship provides financial assistance to students who are pursuing a degree in the performing arts - theater, drama, comedy, music, dance, opera, marching bands, etc. Selected applicants will be qualified African-American or black students. Award is $3000. Due April 20, 2018
https://www.cbcfinc.org/scholarships/

Student-View Scholarship Program is offering $11,000 worth of scholarships to high school seniors who plan to attend a four-year college, community/junior college or career school. A 15-20 minute application / survey must be completed. Scholarship is awarded via a random drawing. Due April 22, 2018
http://www.student-view.com/

Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) Scholarship Fund was founded on the belief that any motivated individual in need should have the opportunity to further his or her education. Applicants must pursue studies at a vocational or trade school and be between the ages of 18-25. Due April 30, 2018
https://www.shawncartersf.com/scholarship-fund/

MAY

Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity provides a 4-year scholarship of up to $20,000 to students who demonstrate they are unusually innovative and creative problem-solvers. Due May 1, 2018
http://www.rbffoundation.org/

 Fountainhead Essay Contest awards a $10,000 first prize, 5 second prizes of $2,000, 10 third prizes of $1,000, 45 finalists of $100, and 175 semi-finalists of $50. Students must write a 800-1,600 word essay. Due May 15, 2018
https://www.aynrand.org/students/essay-contests

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest awards a $10,000 first prize, 5 second prizes of $2,000, 10 third prizes of $1,000, 45 finalists of $100, and 175 semi-finalists of $50. Students must write a 800-1,600 word essay. Due May 15, 2018
https://www.aynrand.org/students/essay-contests

 Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Education Scholarship awards scholarships to academically talented and highly motivated students of all majors who intend to pursue full-time undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees. Selected applicants will be qualified African-American or black students. Award ranges from $500-$8.700. Due May 18, 2018
https://www.cbcfinc.org/scholarships/

2008 APIASF Scholarship Recipient Profiles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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