Congratulations to the 2014 AAWA Scholarship and AAWA Recognition Award Recipients. These recipients were honored at our annual banquet on May 9, 2015 at the Milpitas Crowne Plaza Hotel.

2014 AAWA Scholarship Award Recipients

Irene Chen

Irene ChenIrene Chen earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences and her Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. After graduating from Cal, Irene joined Teach for America where she taught middle school science and health in the South Bronx in New York City. While teaching full-time during her corps commitment, Irene attended Fordham University where she received her Master of Science in Teaching in Biology.

Upon completion of her two-year commitment, Irene transitioned into a role with the New York City Department of Education working on educational policy surrounding implementation of the Common Core. As exciting as living in New York City was, she couldn’t resist the almost perfect weather that Southern California had to offer, and she recently moved back to Orange County to be closer to her family.

Irene continues to teach middle and high school students in math and science and plans to attend USC School of Pharmacy in Fall 2014. In her free time, Irene enjoys being outdoors, especially hiking new trails, playing tennis, spiking some volleyballs, and running. When she is not doing some outdoor activity, she enjoys reading a good book.

SiLin Huang

SiLin HuangSiLin Huang emigrated with her mother from China at age 8. However, she had her last two years of high school interrupted due to illness. After her two-year recovery, she had aged out of high school. Nevertheless, she never relinquished her dream of pursuing higher education. She completed two years of schoolwork in one year to earn both her GED and high school diploma at Castro Valley Adult and Career Education.

In fall 2014, she will enter Columbia University. Because it is unusual for an adult school student to aspire straight to a four-year university path, her story has made her a visible educational advocate. This year, she is inducted into Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, and invited to attend CAEAA-CCAE Legislated Day at the California State Capitol and speak at Building a GradNation Summit in Washington, District of Columbia.

Miki Rai

Miki RaiMiki Rai is a first generation Asian American immigrant raised in the Bay Area. Coming from multiple cultural backgrounds, Miki learned to speak and write Japanese, Chinese and English. As a young girl, she received the champion award for Impromptu Chinese Speaking as well as Chinese Recitation from the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools.

Outside of school, Miki is passionate about serving her community. She has been volunteering with the American Red Cross since the 6th grade, and is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Silicon Valley Red Cross Youth Executive Board, where she is in charge of over 1,500 youth in the chapter. In addition, she is a member of the Silicon Valley Red Cross Board of Directors, and a certified CPR and First Aid instructor. Alongside that, she participates in supporting Asian American movements and the science community. In the future, she hopes to become an Asian American leader in the medical field.

She is also involved in the entertainment industry, and is a contracted model with Microsoft Skype and Apple. Miki takes part in many international projects. Her media coverage, prints and commercials are being utilized across the world.

Miki would like to thank her friends and family for providing unconditional love and support. She is honored to be recognized by the Asian American Women’s Alliance and would also like to thank their generosity in granting this scholarship to help pursue her career goals.

Angela Ma

Angela MaAngela Ma is a current high school senior at The Harker School in San Jose, California. Her favorite subjects at school are Economics, Computer Science, and French, and she is planning to pursue a degree in Economics at either Harvard College or Stanford University next fall.

At school, she has been involved in French National Honor Society as President and Editor-in-Chief of the club newsletter. One of her favorite projects this past year was organizing a school-wide “French week” fundraiser and selling baked goods, macarons, and crêpes to raise money for the earthquake-ravaged Holy Trinity Music School in Haiti. Angela is also a Harker John Near research scholar and has had her research paper titled “The Role of Musicianship in George Balanchine’s Enduring Impact on American Contemporary Ballet” published by her school history department.

Outside of school, Angela devotes much of her time to ballet training and performances. She began dancing at the age of four and has since been fortunate to pursue her passion for ballet through scholarships, performances, community service, and competitions. In the past two years, she has performed the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and Arabian Coffee in the San Jose Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker production. This past year, she also danced the title role in the LaCademy Ballet School’s “Snow White & the Seven Dwarves” and trained at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School Summer Course in Seattle.

Angela would like to thank the Asian American Women’s Alliance for creating this wonderful scholarship opportunity and for supporting her university studies next fall. The AAWA scholarship is an important steppingstone in her educational journey, and she is very grateful for the foundation’s help.

2014 AAWA Recognition Award Recipients

The Santa Clara County Single Payer Healthcare Coalition

The Santa Clara County Single Payer Healthcare Coalition is made up of nurses, doctors, medical students, employers, workers, and community leaders. Every single person under our sky deserves comprehensive, affordable healthcare.   This will be possible when we see health care as a human need and a human right. Comprehensive, universal coverage would make our whole society healthier. It would improve disease prevention, build strong communities, inspire our young people, and make for a more humane health and human services system for all.

We organize events, show films, speak, and educate about the need to move beyond Obamacare to single payer healthcare, or what we call expanded and improved Medicare for All. We work with the statewide Campaign for a Healthy California to help make this a reality.  Medicare for All would allow doctors and patients to determine care, would be comprehensive, and more affordable for individuals and businesses. According to noted economist Gerald Friedman, a national single-payer system would control costs and save Americans $592 billion a year.

For five years our coalition has served thousands of people at our Free Family Health Fair at Andrew Hill High School, a medical magnet school, with the help of many wonderful students and community groups.  AAWA has assisted immeasurably by organizing, translating, and bringing in medical professionals to provide services.

We would be delighted to speak to your business or social group about the Medicare for All campaign.   Call Katherine (408) 599-4590 or Joan (408) 482-7243 if you are interested. We meet every third Tuesday night at 7 pm. at 525 W. Alma Ave., San Jose, 95125.  Please come and join us!

San Jose’s King Library

King LibraryCollaboration between San Jose State University Library and the San Jose Public Library system, has not only transformed the downtown San Jose landscape, but also become a community gathering place and an international model for joint projects between academia and city governments.

The university and the city recently celebrated the ten year anniversary of the joint King Library in the fall of 2013. Since the opening of the joint library, both the public library and the academic library organizations have benefited from the heightened visibility the iconic King Library building has brought to each. After 10 years of successful collaboration and during a period of significant and fast-paced technological change in public and academic libraries everywhere, the partnership continues to build upon its strong foundation as an innovative and trend setting joint library.

As a result of this innovative union of town and gown, San Jose’s King Library has received numerous awards such as the national Library of the Year award, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and grants from respected organizations such as National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications and Record Commission. A cultural mecca, the King Library develops and hosts numerous artistic and cultural exhibits and demonstrations. Some past exhibits include: Buddhist Artwork, several displays on the Japanese internment, Sacred Tibetan Art and creation of Sand Mandalas, the Growing Up Asian in America contest, Pioneering the Valley: The History of the Chinese in Santa Clara Valley and A Thousand Mile Journey from Yellow Mountain. Other events focus specifically on women’s history such as exhibits on Women’s Suffrage-100 Years in California, and San Jose’s reputation for being known as the Feminist Capitol of the World due to the number of women in elected office. In addition, the King Library is home to several wonderful historical collections of local archives such as Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the YWCA, the San Jose Women’s Club, the League of Women Voters, the National Organization of Women, and others. Literacy training, language instruction, free legal consultations, story times, online tutorials, and access to thousands of newspapers, books, and journals are just some of the services available at the library. Over 60,000 people a week visit the King Library and many more thousands of people visit virtually. This community treasure is a model for lifelong learning and will be a magnet for people of all ages.

The Santa Clara County Department of Alcohol and Drug Services (DADS)

Santa Clara Dept of Alcohol & Drugs ServicesThe Santa Clara County Department of Alcohol and Drug Services (DADS) Children, Family and Community Services Division provides substance use treatment and prevention for County youth and parents. Although there are several substance use issues facing communities today, Prevention is focused on addressing underage drinking, and teen marijuana and ecstasy use. Looking at County school data and conducting focus groups throughout the County, these three issues rose to the top as areas of great concern. The Prevention Department has chosen to address these concerns by offering 10-session classes in middle and high schools, parent workshops, and Friday Night Live, a leadership program for middle and high school students. The youth substance use prevention classes and parent workshops are offered throughout the county, and Friday Night Live is offered in primarily in East San Jose and includes many Asian youth.

Substance use is a problem in Asian communities, just as it is in all communities. San Jose has the highest Vietnamese population in the world outside Vietnam and in 2011, 69% of our county’s Vietnamese residents were born in Vietnam. The Prevention Division recognizes the need to address this large community’s need for substance use education and treatment for youth. In 2007 to 2009, 36% of Vietnamese households did not a have a family member age 14 or older who spoke English very well. In order to reach this significant segment of our County’s population, Prevention has initiated parent workshops in Vietnamese at local libraries, churches and temples on preventing youth substance use. We also provide parent education on substance use on two local Vietnamese radio stations.

A 26-page booklet on driving under the influence is available in Vietnamese, as well as a Fact Sheet on the consequences of marijuana use. The Vietnamese marijuana fact sheet has been distributed to the other counties in California to assist other counties in providing Vietnamese information on marijuana use. The County clinic for youth with substance use issues has a Vietnamese counselor that provides therapy for Vietnamese youth with substance abuse issues, and their families. Outpatient services are also available at a County non-profit agency in other Asian languages as well as Vietnamese.