Cancer Survivor: A True Gold Medalist by Marina Niland
"The moment my mom told me she had breast cancer hit me like a lightning bolt. With her chemo, we couldn't visit Japan like we normally do, so I wanted to do something to bring Japan to her." Marina Niland, 5th Grade, Danville
Give Someone a Gold Medal
21st Annual Growing Up Asian in America Program
In celebration of the 2016 Olympics, students participating in this year’s Growing Up Asian in America program were asked to think about one person in their life they would honor with a gold medal. Marina dedicated her medal to her mother.
More than 600 art, essay and video entries explored the personal heroes in students’ lives. Many students awarded their gold medals to individuals who have helped shape them, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings. Others honored members of their communities, including teachers, mentors, coaches and classmates.
Khin Su Hlaing, a 7th grader from Oakland, wrote, "My parents are the anchors that keep me from drifting away from the waters that are my nationality but still allowing me to reach the blue skies of opportunities in the land of America and for that I honor them with gold medals."
The winners include remarkable young writers and artists who self-identified as having Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arakanese, Cambodian, Laotian, Taiwanese and other diverse cultural heritages.
We celebrated our top 50 winners at an exclusive awards ceremony at the Asian Art Museum. In addition, a collage representing the winning entries was distributed to more than 200 Bay Area libraries in May as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
This year’s Growing Up Asian in America program was made possible through the generous support of our presenting sponsor, the Coca Cola Company, and our major sponsors, Sugar Bowl Bakery and Bank of America.