Asian American Heritage Council of Central Florida recognizes Asian American students for their hard work and dedication to the community

AAHC Asian American Student Achiever Awards Ceremony 2015
Preservation award: Nao Fukuhara - Preservation of Japanese culture, Erik G. Seigel - Preservation of Indonesia Language, Corey Hsiao - Preservation of Asian culture, Caitlin Anderson - Preservation of Chinese culture, Samantha Valeros - Preservation of Filipino Language, Vrinda Madan - Preservation of Indian culture, Anthony Chung - Preservation of Asian Culture, Hubert Zhao - Preservation of Chinese Language, Heejae Cherven - Preservation of Korean language, Vu Nguyen - Preservation of Vietnamese Culture.

On November 7, 2015, the Asian American Heritage Council (AAHC) held its annual Asian American Student Achievers Awards at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall. Although I had participated in the past years as a student applicant, this year, I had the honor to be a co-emcee of this event as well. The Student Achiever Awards recognizes Asian American students who show exemplary achievement and excellence in academia, extracurricular activities, leadership and community service. There are applicants from all over Central Florida who applied making this even more competitive each year. There are two categories which you can apply for, the Scholastic Achievement and Preservation of Ethic Culture and Language. For the Scholastic Achievement Award there are usually three winner for each grade, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. This award focuses on your academics, community service, and leadership. The Preservation of Ethnic Culture and Language has one winner from each organization and it focuses on how one contributes to their Asian community.

Photos: Vu Nguyen and C.K. Lau (To view the photo album, visit

This is a great opportunity for Asian-American students to be rewarded for their hard work and to showcase their dedication to our community. I believe that by applying for this scholarship you will become closer to your Asian heritage and also it is a motivation for you to do well in school and to do more community service.

While the scholarship process may seem stressful at times, but it does pay off. Even if one does not win an award, the process of applying allows one to know how to apply for college and jobs in the future. Personally, I realized that years of applying for this scholarship helps me be more prepared for the future. I believe applying to the Student Achiever Awards will benefit students of all ages.

AAHC Asian American Student Achiever Awards Ceremony 2015If you share this belief, I invite you to participate next year or spread the word, so more students can benefit from these awards. To find out more about this scholarship and the mission of the Asian American Heritage Council, please visit

AAHC Asian American Student Achiever Awards Ceremony 2015
AAHC Board of Directors: Leilani Fontanilla, Thomas Nguyen, Val Dagani Jr., Shally Wong, Pauline Ho, Babuji Ambikapathy, Youshan Zhao, Jhayne Santucci, Prayong Deeying, Retno Kusumoputri, Tim Madhanagopal, and Agnes Chau.

On the behalf of all the student applicants of this year, I would like to thank all our sponsors and Orlando Fashion Square Mall for hosting this event. REACH of central Florida, one of the organizations who help plan this event, are having a toy drive for Harbor House and Frontline. The purpose is to be able to make a child happy on Christmas. So, if you are willing to donate toys, please drop it off at the YESS center in the Fashion Square mall by December 15, Thank you!

Julie Ng
REACH – President Elect
University High School – IB student, junior year

AAHC Asian American Student Achiever Awards Ceremony 2015
Emcees: Amy LiKawWa, Leilani Fontanilla and Julie Ng

This was my first time having such a responsibility to a co-emcee for the annual AAHC scholarship ceremony. The week of the ceremony I learned about carefully pronouncing words phonetically as well as learning how to present and keep the flow of a ceremony going with Leilani Fontanilla as my mentor. The day of the ceremony, Julie Ng and I led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and Julie Ng, Leilani Fontanilla, and I announced the participants and winners. The experience was one of the many ways to represent my culture, as I was wearing a beautiful Chinese dress and was a co-emcee for a prestigious awards ceremony. The next REACH sponsored event is the REACH Toy Drive. Its deadline is December 15, and generous people can drop off toys at the YESS Center in the Orlando Fashion Square mall. Proceeds benefit the Harbor House of Central Florida and the Frontline Outreach Center.

Amy LiKawWa
REACH – Vice President External
Winter Park High School –IB student, senior year