APIA Scholars      
July 2018

(From left to right) OCA National Chair Daphne Kwok, Tavae Samuelu of EPIC, Quyen Dinh of SEARAC, Christine Chen of APIAVote, APIA Scholars Board Member Wai-Ling Eng and OCA National President Sharon Wong.
APIASF Receives 
2018  OCA Community Advocate Award 

In recognition for 15 years of empowering and uplifting APIA communities, APIASF was awarded the OCA National Community Advocate Award. At the 2018 OCA National Convention Gala Awards on July 21st, APIASF was recognized for creating opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed while also developing future leaders. Fellow recipients of the award included Asian Pacific Islander Vote (APIAVote), Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), and Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC). APIA Scholars is proud to remain committed to this legacy and work alongside our peer organizations to continue supporting APIA communities in the coming years. 

Board Member Wai-Ling Eng received the award on behalf of APIA Scholars and in her remarks, noted the long history and close ties between the sister organizations. Also attending the gala was Board Member Kiyoshi Nakasaka, several APIASF/Coca-Cola Foundation and GMS Scholars, and diplomats from the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands who came out to support Pamela Rubon, a Marshallese Scholar. 
(From left to right) Tiffany Jones of Education Trust, Rita Pin Ahrens of APIA Scholars, Luis Maldonado of HACU, and Patrice Atine of American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

ASHE Council Panelists Discuss 
Public Policy in Higher Education

APIA Scholars attended a two-day forum hosted by the ASHE Council on Public Policy in Higher Education (CPPHE) to connect academia and policy players on the issue of college affordability at the American Council on Education from July 23rd-24th.  The panel session, titled, "The Link between Institutional Finance and Student Affordability at MSIs," focused on institutional finance and student affordability at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI) and included speakers from the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Education Trust, and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Our remarks touched on financial barriers for APIA students, AANAPISI dual designation issues, APIA data disaggregation, and APIA student loan adversity.
GMS Scholar Highlight

Xiong Her at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Xiong Her
2013 GMS Scholar
International Education Development, Master of Science in Education
University of Pennsylvania
Xiong Her recently completed his undergraduate degrees at Marquette University with a double major in Interdisciplinary International Affairs and Political Science. In the future, Xiong hopes to obtain a Ph.D in International Educational Development, and work with federal agencies or international organizations to improve educational systems in post-conflict environments.

"I am currently interning at the USDA-Foreign Agriculture Service, researching agricultural development strategies in Southeast Asia. This Fall, I will be starting graduate school where I will study International Education Development. It is interesting to mix up the two fields to understand the dynamic of how food security affects educational environments. Food is a significant factor for developing a successful educational environment for both children and adults. I am glad to learn and understand these countries' development objectives and strategies on how to improve civilians' living standards economically, socially, and educationally.
As a low-income and first-generation student, GMS means an educational opportunity of a lifetime for me. It helps lift my family's financial burden on assisting my college education, as well as graduate school. I am very thankful to be a GMS scholar."

APIA Scholar Highlight ScholarHighlight

Ke'olani Kahale
2017 The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholar
Major in Biological Sciences
Chapman University

"I would like to immediately start off by saying how utterly thankful I am to The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship.

I am classified as an independent student, meaning that preparing for college was exceptionally difficult for me financially. Being one of four children under my grandparents' legal guardianship was a struggle and forced my grandmother to put her career on hold to care for us, while my grandfather spent his days hard at work to ensure we had enough to live comfortably.  Not wanting to burden my grandparents with any additional costs, I took on three jobs while I was in high school so that I could care for any personal costs and begin to save for my future college education.  This scholarship serves as a strong sense of foundation for me and my goals because it motivates me to pursue my studying without having to worry about going into debt. 

Coming from a Native Hawaiian background, I would also like to work on giving back to my community. I would like to be able to utilize the knowledge that I learn about working with wildlife not only to educate but also to take care of my home's endemic species like the endangered monk seal, etc. Work like this is essential to ensure that these factors in our community are around for generations to come. Finally, I believe that it is extremely important for Asian and Pacific Islander American students to pursue higher education so that they may create better options for themselves and also experience critical exposure; they can share their unique cultures and diversity and celebrate its integration amongst the majority in the United States.

My family and I cannot thank you enough for granting me with this amazing scholarship. I hope to convey my appreciation through success in and out of school, so that I may represent not only Pacific Islanders but also this scholarship organization well. Mahalo."

Thank you, Bank of Hope!

Since 2013, Bank of Hope and Hope Scholarship Foundation have proven to be a dedicated supporter of APIA Scholars. Together, with over $800,000 in funding, we have provided nearly 300 scholarships to deserving students all across the nation. 

We are grateful for partners like Bank of Hope who continue to grow with us. Thank you!

APIA News & ReportsNews
APIA Scholars, formerly the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, is the nation's largest provider of college scholarships and resources for Asian & Pacific Islander Americans to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education.