Photo: Justin Chu (To view the photo album, visit

On November 15, 2014, the Asian American Heritage Council (AAHC) held its annual Asian American Student Achievers Awards at the Orange County Public Library in Downtown Orlando. 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. This year, over 55 applicants from all over Central Florida applied, and as a result, 35 students from 3rd to 12th grade were awarded in either the category of Scholastic Achievement, Preservation of Ethic Culture and Language, or Special Recognition. This is a wonderful opportunity for Asian-American students to be rewarded for their hard work and to showcase their dedication to our community. These students may be the future teachers, engineers, doctors or legislators, but most importantly, they are going to be the future leaders of their communities, and these awards will motivate them to become more aware and closer to their heritage.

The application for AAHC scholarship is available in September of each year. The information is posted on the AAHC website, and a scholarship information session for prospective applicants is held to explain the judging criteria. Then, the applicant has roughly a month to send in his or her application. While the scholarship process may seem stressful at times, in the end the effort does pay off. Even if one does not win an award, the process of applying provides valuable insight and practice on how to apply for future scholarships, college, or jobs. Personally, I realized that years of applying for this scholarship help make the college process more familiar and less intimidating. Win or lose, I believe applying to the Student Achiever Awards will benefit students of all ages.

If you share this belief, I invite you to participate next year or spread the word, so more students can benefit from these awards. As a tip, check out the past application so you can start collecting the information, do your community services, and be ready when the application time comes. Good Luck.

To find out more about this scholarship and the mission of the Asian American Heritage Council, please visit

On the behalf of all the student applicants of this year, I would like to thank our sponsors for their support of this event and of the community: Orlando Fashion Square Mall, Payas Payas Payas Attorneys at Law, 1st Spring Supermarket, Brighthouse Networks, Suntrust Bank, Gateway Insurance, and Asia Trend. I would also like to thank the Asian American Heritage Council for providing this wonderful scholarship opportunity for Asian American Students across Central Florida.

Photos: Justin Chu