"Instead of swimming for a medal like in the Summer Olympics, she swam for her freedom."  Carisa Eng, 5th Grade, San Jose

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
Check out 11th grader Angela Kim's winning video, "Mother's Love."


Watch 8th grader Christina Lin's winning video, "Gold Medal Winner."
Many thanks to Robert Handa and Lance Lew of NBC Bay Area for emceeing our Growing Up Asian in America awards ceremony, featuring the program on "Asian Pacific America" and hosting a special luncheon for our South Bay winners.
Read the first-ever Korean Needs Assessment for the Bay Area, produced by our affiliate Korean Community Center of the East Bay.  Among other findings, it revealed that Koreans have low health care utilization for diabetes, heart disease and mental health.
Congratulations to 2013 Chang-Lin Tien Award winner and our major donor Dr. Ellen N. Junn for her appointment as the new president of CSU Stanislaus! We look forward to her visionary leadership for this Central Valley campus.
The Asian Pacific Fund is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to strengthening the Bay Area's Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We help donors achieve their philanthropic goals, support organizations that serve our most vulnerable, and raise awareness about pressing community needs.

Copyright © 2016 Asian Pacific Fund. All rights reserved.
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