Congratulations to the 2010 AAWA Scholarship and AAWA Recognition Award Recipients. These recipients were honored at our annual banquet on April 24, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel in Santa Clara, California.
2010 AAWA Scholarship Award Recipients
The East Side Union High School District
The East Side Union High School District in San Jose is one of California’s largest high school districts (grades 9–12), with an enrollment of over 24,500 students, at 18 high schools: eleven comprehensive high schools (Andrew Hill, Evergreen Valley, Independence, James Lick Mt. Pleasant, Oak Grove, Piedmont Hills, Santa Teresa, Silver Creek, W.C. Overfelt, Yerba Buena) and seven alternative high schools/programs (Foothill, Phoenix, Pegasus, Apollo, Genesis, Accel).
As a child, Eugenia Kaw emigrated from Burma. Prior to becoming a teacher, she studied cultural anthropology. She holds a PhD. in cultural anthropology. As an undergraduate, she won a prize in medical anthropology for her field research on how racial stereotypes perpetuated by popular culture and some sectors of the medical establishment influenced many Asian American women to opt for double-eyelid cosmetic surgeries. Her articles have been published. As a doctoral student, she became literate in her home language, Burmese, and also studied the culture of Buddhist meditation in Burma and its relationship to education and society. As a teacher herself, now, she sees the importance of helping students learn about themselves from an early age, take pride in their culture(s), and also, develop as critical thinkers and effective communicators. Her master’s thesis in education examines a culturally responsive pedagogy for Asian American English language learners.
Minh-Chau Nguyen is a 3rd year law student at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). A native of San Jose, she received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in Public Health with a minor in Education. Her commitment to her community has found an outlet at Boalt Hall, where was Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and on the Board of the Women of Color Collective. Last summer, Minh-Chau worked for the Asian Law Alliance and served as Vietnamese interpreter. She is currently an extern for The Honorable Lucy Koh in the Superior Court of California and has worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. She thanks her wonderful family for their support through the years. She hopes to be able to serve the community as well as it has served her.
Hillary Nguyen Hoai Huong Le was born to Anh Vu Le and Anna Le on April 12, 1992. Growing up in a strict Vietnamese household, she obtained a firm grasp on the Vietnamese language and culture that would anchor her personal values. Currently, she is interested in health and nutrition and aims for a career in business. Her personal ambition is to become a writer, fulfilling a love for the written word that has remained with her from childhood. Family has always been central in her life – personal understanding has arisen from interactions with relatives and her younger brother, Andrew. A graduating senior from Evergreen Valley High School, she hopes to continue on her educational goals as a freshman at the University of California Berkeley.
2010 AAWA Recognition Award Recipients
Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
AACI’s mission is to improve the health, mental health, and well-being of individuals and their families by providing an array of human services. AACI empowers the Asian American community by working collaboratively for equality and social justice.
Founded in 1973, AACI is the largest community-based organization focused on the Asian American community in Santa Clara County. AACI’s Domestic Violence Program offers a range of culturally competent services to battered women, men, and their children. Services include the Asian Women’s Home, one of only a handful of Asian domestic violence shelters in the country. By providing direct services and collaborating with other service providers to develop creative solutions, AACI’s Domestic Violence Program creates a support network to help individuals and families escape violence.
Ms. Razelle Buenavista is the Youth Services Program Manager at Asian American Recovery Services (AARS), the largest substance abuse agency targeting Asian and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area. Razelle is also a member of the City of San Jose’s Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force Technical Team. For more than a decade, Razelle has served Asian/Pacific Islander communities as a social worker and youth advocate.
Most notably, she has been the Coordinator for the annual AARS event, Sister-to-Sister: Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander Women of Tomorrow Leadership Conference. Her work has led to the development of the Teens Teaching Teens Handbook, focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, gang awareness and substance abuse education. Razelle is the proud mother of her 5-year old son, Nathan Makai.
Anh Ngoc Nguyen, M.D.
Dr. Anh Ngoc Nguyen immigrated to the US in 1980 and received her B.S. at UC Davis and her M.D. in 1989 at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Since 1998, she has been a very active and influential member of Song Manh, a non-profit group of Northern California doctors who support volunteer community services such as organizing annual health fairs. Dr. Nguyen’s ability to educate through writing has also been apparent in numerous scientific articles, such as the American Journal of Ophthalmology, and Song Manh health magazine.
Besides supporting the Bay Area community in a myriad of ways, she provides very generous financial support to GLAANC’s philanthropic activities, such as fundraising dinners for charity organizations in USA and Viet Nam, for orphans in Viet Nam, for Vietnamese veterans, and for victims of natural disasters all over the world.
Hon. Erica Yew
Judge Erica Yew, appointed by Governor Gray Davis on October 2, 2001, is the first Asian-American female to serve the Santa Clara County Superior Court. Currently she is in the Juvenile Dependency division of the Court and presides over the Family Wellness Court, a $6.3 million project funded by the federal government and First 5 to serve children under the age of three years whose families are struggling with addiction, poverty, violence, and other issues.
Judge Yew is strongly committed to community service and has been recognized with many accolades for her volunteerism and leadership in areas such as family violence and diversity. Most recently, the San Jose Business Journal named Judge Yew a 2009 Women of Influence in the Silicon Valley. She also received an Opening Doors to Justice Award from the Public Interest Clearinghouse and an Unsung Heroes Award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association.