There is only one week left for high school and currently enrolled college students to apply for the APIASF scholarship program. The APIASF scholarship provides an opportunity for Asian American and Pacific Islander students to earn up to $10,000 for college. For additional information and the complete list of eligibility requirements, please click here.

Be sure to check out some of our application tips!

Applications must be submitted by Friday, January 11 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Writing Process

Writing your story for scholarships is scary! I remember not knowing what to say and how to say it. The best thing I can tell you, is to write from the bottom of your heart. Tell your story the way you want to tell them. Always have someone look over your essay. They can give you a new perspective and help fix things that are unclear. Most importantly, make sure you take the time to reflect on your experiences. It will make the writing process so much easier! Think about all the things you have done and how they have impacted your life or others.

Good luck!

Gaow
GMS 2010

Ps. The Scholarship Night went super well! I hope I motivated the students!

not all schools are created equal; until education equity steps in.

This month I am attending the APIASF Higher Education Summit. I’m incredibly excited and can’t wait to see what I learn to apply to my communities! I’ve always thought about education, and I’ve realized that I’m somewhat obsessed with the idea of the matter. Education is the part of my life that has allowed my parents to support my family for so many years, and that will now allow me to achieve many of my dreams to change lives and communities for the better. 

As I think about education, I realize that my angle is from the one of access, equity, and diversity. From seeing it in different communities and within my own family, I’ve realized that I am incredibly fortunate that I grew up with a school system that encouraged students and offered many opportunities to strive for the best. Looking back and comparing my high school experience to my peers in college, I know that I had high access to a great education. 

What I notice now is that because it was a high quality and well-ranked school system, many of my classmates felt just used to having one-on-one help from teachers after school, and just simply registering for AP classes. It felt as if we were conditioned into thinking these resources would always be available. It definitely influenced my choice to pick Babson, since they have similar resources for their students in a one-on-one-like environment. But would I even have been accepted to Babson if I didn’t have these assets to help me through my high school years? 

All high schools are not created equal. It’s different at every school. It was surprising to hear from one of my friends who transferred into our school system that her previous high school never heard of these “AP classes”. One of my friends in Pennsylvania didn’t know how to use the common app to apply for college while my high school had integrated a semester long program to teach about such skills and topics. A friend in California told me that in his high school of 1500, they had only one counselor to deal with class registration, academic woes, and how to apply for college. My high school had about eight counselors for the same amount of students, and each one wrote hundreds of individualized recommendations for their students if they needed them. My classmate in New York went to a high school that had economics and finance in the name, but couldn’t offer the AP Macroeconomics or AP Microeconomics course. Both were offered at my high school, yet the students in my class complain and wish they didn’t take the course. 

Hearing these different stories amongst many made me truly see how many resources we just had available. Those who didn’t use them or didn’t appreciate them made me feel sickened that they didn’t. Because I used them, I became qualified for highly competitive high school programs. I became qualified and competitive for great colleges and even for scholarships. 

Without many of these resources, I would’ve had a completely different experience applying for colleges. I’m grateful that during high school, I was able to experience everything from participating in clubs, to winning scholarships to travel abroad, to challenging myself in 8 out of 21 Advanced Placement courses my school had to offer. These resources and more provided me with content and anecdotes for eight essay questions that won me the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Not every school is lucky to have these for their students; I certainly couldn’t have done it without access to a great education.  

I’ve gotten so far because of my quality secondary education and access to a diverse and opportunistic learning environment. So I just know within my heart that my passion is along the lines of seeing others succeed as well. I love being a GMS Ambassador and encouraging students to hopefully change their lives with this scholarship. I keep connected with my high school and encourage students to use their resources and to not take their education for granted. I want to pay forward how enriching my education was. That is why my intended business administration degree from Babson is going to be applied for advocate for education equity and access. As I talked about this with one of my mentors, he heard it in my voice that finding a way to advocate for education for all is indeed my passion. 

Give Yourself Some Experience! A How-to on Finding and Interviewing for Lab Positions

By Tracy Ly, APIASF Scholar

Some of you may be in college or starting college and are interested in going to professional school after your undergraduate years. A great way to make yourself competitive and expose yourself to innovative research that applies the concepts you learn in college is through undergraduate research. This idea may seem a little far-fetched so let’s go through the steps on how to get a position!

  1. Research Your Interests 
    This isn’t the most profound idea that’s ever been presented, but some people don’t realize how important it is to thoroughly research. At most universities, there are a plethora of research opportunities that are available for students but not every opportunity is created equal. So research your interests, read a few professional articles, and go through your university research database to find out what is available for you.
  2. Make a Lab Resume and a Professional Cover Letter 
    Many students usually create a resume/curriculum vitae and cover letter during high school but don’t really keep up with it. It’s time to dust off the cobwebs and start working on them. Include your college achievements, job, volunteer work, and prior experience that you think may help you get this position. APIASF has great resources for students who are interested in making a professional resume and cover letter so take advantage of this service! 
  3. Email Professors and Principal Investigators (PI) 
    Once you find a professor/ PI that is doing research that you might be interested in, make sure you email them a copy of your resume, a cover letter, and a fantastic description of why you are interested in their research and how you can help them. It’s all about how you can advance their research!! 
  4. Waiting Game 
    Once you’ve done all these steps, you just have to wait it out. During this time, continue to research on what your lab focuses on and their primary goals. 
  5. INTERVIEW TIME? 
    Fortunately, by now you’ve received a few invitations to interview with a lab. Congratulations! If not, repeat the process until you do. To prepare for the interview, make sure you know what you want to gain from the experience, why you’re interested in their research and what you can contribute to the lab. Be friendly and approachable as well. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t have a great attitude.  Make sure you print out your cover letter and resume for your interviewer to show that you are well prepared. Other than that, dress for success and just relax!
  6. During the Interview 
    Understand that the interview is not strictly for the lab to get facts about you. It is also a fantastic experience for the interviewee to gain some insight on the position, the work you will be doing, and whom you will be working with. Don’t simply take a position because you think it will look good on a resume. This attitude doesn’t travel very far in the professional world. If you’re thoroughly interested in the research, you will gain so much more from this experience.

Undergraduate research is a great way to expose yourself to new concepts within your field of interest. Don’t be discouraged if you need to go through multiple interviews to get the position you want. The process of finding a lab position is similar to finding a job in the real world so it will take some time. Keep your head up and happy hunting!

By April D. Rongero, APIASF Staff

I #repOpportunity by always looking for the silver lining.

Sometimes a change in perspective is all it takes to turn an obstacle into an opportunity. I’ve learned to embrace the idea that “[a]dventure is but a collection of detours” (Andrew X. Pham, Catfish and Mandala), and I know that looking on the bright side has helped me navigate the more challenging moments in my life.

This just in! If you’re looking for a great internship opportunity, here is one from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program! Click the link above for additional information and the deadlines for summer and fall internships with them, as well.

The Smithsonian APA Program announces internship opportunities for Spring 2013. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 26, 2012. Smithsonian internships are designed to increase the education and professional skills of undergraduate and graduate students, and other individuals contemplating careers, in the professions, academic disciplines, and administrative functions represented at the Smithsonian.

2014 Wells Fargo Summer Financial Analyst Diversity Forum

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On November 18-20, 2014, Wells Fargo will host the Wells Fargo Summer Financial Analyst Diversity Forum. This summit will increase  your understanding of financial services and learn about the various businesses and career paths at Wells Fargo. 

This three-day summit will be held in Wells Fargo’s Headquarters in San Francisco, California. Travel and lodging will be covered by Wells Fargo. Participants will be given the opportunity to network Wells Fargo professionals, find out more about Wells Fargo’s unique culture. interview with hiring managers for summer internships prior to the recruiting season and meet other high achieving diverse students from across the country.

For more information, click here. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2014!

A Sense of Empowerment

By Tiffany Vang, APIASF/GMS Scholar

The mentality that I could achieve anything if I put my mind to it was not ingrained in me by my family; it was developed through my own experiences of success and failure. I grew up in Saint Paul in the Mount Airy housing projects, where gang violence and poverty was rampant, with my six siblings in a single mother household. Most of the people in my neighborhood, including my parents, never went to college or finished high school, so the whole process of getting into college was hard for me.

During my senior year, because of the encouragement of my Admission Possible Coach, I applied for the Gates Millennium Scholarship. When I received a large envelope from APIASF for the Gates Millennium Scholarship, two thoughts were running through my head: 1. This must be the largest and longest rejection letter in the world, or 2. I am going to be a Gates Scholar. When I opened the envelope, and realized that I was awarded the scholarship, I was shocked. To tell the truth, I don’t think I understood what it meant to be a Gates Scholar at that time or how much it would impact my life.

Fast forward to now, and I am a Senior in college. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In the past four years, I’ve been able to do amazing things that I would never have thought possible. I am a student leader on my campus where I founded the Hmong Americans Involving Students (HAIS) club, presented my own research at the Notre Dame Peace Conference, worked for a development social enterprise in India, created my own urban youth program for my community, and now am currently planning an international student conference in South Korea. By being a Gates Scholar, everyone’s expectation of me, as well as my own, rose. It was this expectation that changed my own mindset about myself. I wanted to be a better person and improve as a leader.

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By Jennifer Huynh, APIASF/GMS Scholar

I will always remember the afternoon the big envelope reached my mailbox. I was about to go out with my friends and was in the process of applying for more scholarships. I had known for the majority of my life that scholarships and financial aid were the only way I’d be able to afford a higher education. On top of that day’s mail was a large envelope marked “Gates Millennium Scholars”. I ran inside and yelled to my dad, “Oh my gosh. It’s here, it’s here. This is it.” Opening the envelope and revealing a large folder with a certificate marked “Congratulations!” inside made me tear up. My dad sat there and smiled, realizing that he didn’t have to worry anymore. For me, it had been this overall feeling of everything coming together. The late nights, the challenges and obstacles of high school, the mental stress associated with “what if I can’t pay for it”; everything had paid off. I became a Gates Scholar.

Now that the financial stress of paying for a higher education was virtually gone, it is time for me to pay it forward. I consider myself an opportunity enthusiast. With every opportunity I’ve been able to earn, I’ve always been driven to pay it forward. The Gates Millennium Scholars award is not just a scholarship, it’s also a leadership and development program. I’ve grown my leadership skills through outreach as a Gates Millennium Scholars Ambassador. I’ve done presentations for my high school and mentored prospective applicants. It’s allowed me to not only pay it forward and hopefully open the opportunity to someone who truly wants it, but also reflect and feel humbled for what the scholarship offers. It’s inspired me to do more outreach and mentoring, and even conduct outreach for a larger area. In addition, I’ve been active in establishing closer bonds and friendships through event planning and a task force with fellow Scholars in the Greater Boston area.

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For October 2013, re/present will be exploring opportunity — whether that means being prepared when an opportunity arises, making the most of a situation, or proactively seeking opportunities for growth.

We invite you to participate by printing any of the above images, filling in the blank, taking a pic, and telling us how/why YOU #repOpportunity!

Submit your photos here!

APIASF staff will also be sharing how they #repOpportunity throughout the month, so stay tuned!

Living in a Dream

By Jamie Peng, APIASF Scholar

I am happier than I’ve ever been. I love my college. I am learning and growing every day. I am blessed with the company of new friends, as well as the love and support of my family and friends at home. Most of all, I am struck by the realization that I have so many opportunities and have so much potential.

If it weren’t for the APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation scholarship, I wonder if I could say with this much confidence that I am living in a dream. Not only did the scholarship ensure that I am going to college without financial burden, it also made me feel like I had the ability to make a difference. It’s a powerful feeling when people I have never met believe in me enough to offer me that much money for school.

Every day I go to class - discussing Russian literature, analyzing late imperial Chinese law codes, peering through a microscope at plant cross sections - and I am immersed in a world of knowledge. I learn to think, to question the material, to question my questions, to write, to record and to analyze, to deal effectively with life’s changes. This experience is rigorous, at times overwhelming, but I know that it will take away my ignorance, open my eyes, temper my faults and flaws, and reveal my true abilities. I hope I will be ready to help others, just as the APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation scholarship helped me, after this journey is over.

One day, I want to be part of the reason why someone else is as happy as I am now.

By Anne Y. Kim, APIASF/GMS Scholar

GMS/APIASF allowed me to develop the breadth of knowledge and cultivate my analytic skills in preparation for a moment like this. After a summer of scanning and memo writing, here I am with the policy team in Senator Feinstein’s office. They gave me a chance to grow and learn what it takes to make a Senate office run and how to create a bill for Congress. The financial security of our scholarship to pursue degrees in spite of the continuing struggles at home - giving us one less problem in the constrained pool of worries - is what makes it possible to soar in the clear, blue sky of opportunity.

Know Your Audience.

As you reflect on your own experiences and goals, it is important to understand what company/institution/entity you are applying to - what is their mission? How do you see your experiences and skills being transferable to the opportunity you are applying for? What would you gain from getting this opportunity? How do you see yourself giving back to a community of choice? That said, how are your goals relevant to the mission of the opportunity you are seeking?

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