2018 Scholarship Recipients

Jingru Lin

With the awareness of the low turnout rate in Chinese American communities due to language difficulty, I joined a local Get Out to Vote campaign under a nonprofit organization called Asian Americans United. Because of my active participation, I was promoted to the position as a youth leader in the Chinatown Vote project. I organize volunteers to engage and help Chinese American citizens in terms of language translation and transportation services, so that more potential voters can exercise their rights to vote. Through our efforts, we have registered over 500 new voters. In this project, I enjoy playing a leadership role, and I learned that true leadership is to motivate and to inspire people to actually take action. In Villanova University, I will continue to develop my leadership skills, and thus build my abilities to contribute to the community.

Yash Shah

Yash Shah attends Penn State University as a part of the PMM Accelerated Medical Program. Yash graduated from Spring-Ford Senior High School as Valedictorian and was actively involved as President of Model United Nations, Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, and Co-President of Future Business Leaders of America. Passionate about the mission of each group, he worked to expand club membership, improve their activities, and develop club members’ skills. Yash also enjoyed playing tennis for Spring-Ford. Outside of school, he has been working with an international healthcare nonprofit to lead fundraisers, serve patients, and expand public health initiatives. Furthermore, Yash routinely volunteers at local hospitals, nursing homes, and community organizations. He became interested in medicine through his service and biomedical research experiences. In his free time, Yash roots for the Philadelphia Eagles, follows politics, and enjoys reading. In the future, he plans to attend Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College and eventually hopes to work as a clinician who improves lives while advancing healthcare systemically.

Priya Ahmad

Priya Ahmad is a graduate of the William Penn Charter School with high honors and will be attending Occidental College (Class of 2022) in Los Angeles in the Fall. She is planning to major in Political Science. Her interests and hobbies include politics, martial arts, music, and community service. She led her school’s social justice club, sat on the school’s diversity council, and created an all-school event called Movies that Matter, which shows movies to spark discussion about challenging topics in today’s world. Her most meaningful internship was with the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement, where she helped lead their Playstreet Book Club Initiative to give free books to youth all over the city so they can keep reading throughout the summer. She is immensely grateful for the support from the NAAAP.

Amy Le

Amy Le (aka “Bunny”) graduated from Central High School and will attend Drexel University. At Central High School, Bunny was the 277th Graduating Class’ Speaker At Large, choreographer for American Students of Asian Origin (A.S.A.O.)’s International Day performance, secretary for Philadelphia Diversity Conference (P.D.C.), and photographer for Central’s Yearbook Committee. As a proud Vietnamese American, she ardently volunteers at St. Helena’s Parish, where she volunteers at church events and choreographs many Vietnamese traditional performances. Bunny is honored to receive support from leadership development organizations such as NAAAP, and is excited to work with hundreds of talented Asian American leaders. As a huge advocate for social and personal development, Bunny is always found reading, volunteering at church, and attending leadership conferences.

2017 Scholarship Recipients

Sarika Ram

Bio: I graduated Upper Merion Area High School this year as Valedictorian, Student Council Treasurer, and Interact Service Club President. My interests and hobbies include writing, politics, dance, and tennis. I will be attending Boston University this Fall to pursue a Dual Degree in Journalism and Political Science as a part of the Kilachand Honors Program. I aspire to work as an investigative journalist or political analyst in the future. I am immensely grateful for this scholarship recognition that NAAAP has graciously given to me.

Lin Jia Chen

Bio: Lin Jia Chen is a graduate of Nazareth Academy High School, where she is the president of the Community Service Club and founder of the Cooking Club. She graduated with Distinguished Honors and will be attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall. As one of the first members of the family to attend college, Lin Jia is very grateful for the support from organizations such as NAAAP. Lin Jia intend on double majoring in Economics and Biological Basis of Behaviour. Although she is still uncertain about her future career path, Lin Jia knows that it is through her college education that she will be able to help more people in need.

Apoorva Sudini

Bio: An incoming freshman in Temple University’s 7 year BS/MD (combined bachelor’s in science/medical degree) program, class of 2024, Apoorva Sudini will be double majoring in public health and cellular & molecular neuroscience. Apoorva takes pride in her Indian culture, studying Kuchipudi, a form of Indian classical dance, learning Carnatic Music (Indian Classical Singing) and co-organizing local fundraisers and charity events that target rural education systems and champion female empowerment. In her free time, Apoorva co-hosts a student blog squaredayz where she writes about her passions for spirituality, her Indian heritage, and her discoveries during the college experience. In the future, she aims to work in pediatrics and advance the healthcare systems of underdeveloped nations.

Neary Narom

Bio: Neary Narom is a student who currently works as a Youth Apprentice/Lead at a grassroots organization called VietLead which aims to help aid the Vietnamese/Southeast-Asian community in mental, emotional, and physical aspects while also promoting social justice among broader communities of color. Aside from being involved in various extracurricular activities such as the National Honors Society, Red Cross Club, Concert Choir and Advanced Orchestra inside of school at Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), she has also worked outside of school to help plan and facilitate workshops for VietLead’s school year program in order to enrich youth leadership and advocacy among other high school students as well. Currently over the summer, she has also continued to work with VietLead through the summer program (SumOurRoots) as an intern in which she was able to strengthen her skills as a facilitator and lead supporter in helping other youths grow as critical thinkers who can learn to look at the world through a social justice lens as South/Southeast Asian students. In the fall, Neary will be attending the Community College of Philadelphia in which she will be studying liberal arts in order to lay a foundation for her studies in political science in the future.

Previous Years Recipients

2010 Recipient – Janice Dow

After graduating from Penn in 2011 with a double-major in English and Communication, I worked as a paralegal in New York City, then worked as market research associate in Los Angeles, am now finishing up law school at UC Berkeley, and will join a law firm in San Francisco upon graduation this May. I was honored and grateful to receive the NAAAP Philly scholarship in 2010 and am excited to see that the program has continued to thrive.

2010 Recipient – Lan Nguyen

Lan Nguyen is a fundraiser at Australian Red Cross, and has been for more than 3 years. It took her a long way to get here. Lan moved to Philadelphia from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She studied marketing and international business at Drexel University. While still at school, Lan worked in Corporate Giving campaigns at J.P Morgan & Chase, Nike, and ACE Group. Wanting to do more good with her marketing skills, Lan started working for charities after moving to Australia and has been with Red Cross ever since. What’s better than having a work life balance while knowing that your hard work today will help others tomorrow through any emergencies? Having lived in Vietnam, U.S., China and Australia, Lan loves travelling to more places with her husband Richard using hotel/frequent flyer miles and points. Lan and her hubby also run a blog about it, writing review on their first class experience without spending a fortune.

2011 Recipient – Brenda Nguyen

Brenda Nguyen is a graduate of Central High School (270) and received her B.A. in Communications and Consumer Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. During her time in college, she was an MBA & Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Wharton Marketing Department and studied abroad in Spain and Hong Kong. As an ardent Philly native, she returned to Philadelphia where she now works as a Commercial & Investment Real Estate Agent with MPN Realty in Center City. Fueled by people, connections, and space, she hopes to work with and connect the many different individuals and communities in Greater Philadelphia. In her spare time, she volunteers and participates in organizations such The Philadelphia Suns, Philadelphia Starlings, Pennsylvania Dragon Boat Club, The Walnut Club, and The Worlds Affairs Council.

2012 Recipient – Dylan Eiger

Dylan Eiger grew up in North Wales, Pennsylvania and graduated from North Penn Senior High School in 2012. He was actively involved inside and outside of the classroom serving as the Student Government Association President and Varsity Soccer Team Captain. He attended Duke University for his undergraduate education, majoring in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry as well as earning a minor in Biology. Dylan was actively engaged in campus activities by serving as the Head Tour Guide for the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Philanthropy Chair of his Fraternity, President of the Greek Honor Society, and a staff member of a research focused pre-orientation program for incoming freshman. He spent most of his time working in the chemistry lab of Dr. Stephen Craig, where he studied the mechanical reactivity of molecules in a field called Polymer Mechanochemistry. Additionally, he travelled to Manila, Philippines for two months during the summer of 2014 to conduct an education based research project that looked to evaluate the academic curriculum of an orphanage for street children. Dylan graduated in 2016 and decided to stay at Duke University to become a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program to pursue his MD/PhD. He is currently unsure of his clinical interests but plans to pursue his PhD in the field of Biochemistry as he is interested in structural biology and drug development.

2014 Recipient – Zilong Zhao

Zilong Zhao (aka “Z”) is an actuary at Cigna, also serving as the PA Regional Lead for Cigna Asian/South Asian Colleague Resource Group. Outside work, he is the Director of Collegiate Relations for NAAAP National & Philly. Z is a 2016 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Temple University with a BBA in actuarial science and minor in computer science. Z was an active student leader on campus: he was an officer at five different student organizations, including serving as the president of Asian Students Association and founding president of NAAAP Temple. Has a huge passion for professional and personal development, he is always seeking opportunities to help himself and others to grow. Not a big fan of idle time, he loves reading, working out, and blogging (recently launched WeZBest.com).

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