Students Win $27,000 in Bay Area Art and Essay Contest

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From right: Winners Erina Nashimoto, Alisa Snow, Miya Martinez and Kadi Miura with a Target sponsor representative.

SAN FRANCISCO — The Asian Pacific Fund has announced the winners of the annual Growing Up Asian in America contest.

The winning essays and art were chosen from entries submitted by Bay Area students in grades kindergarten through 12. Student winners shared more than $27,000 in savings bond and merchandise awards, and accepted their prizes at an awards ceremony on May 1 in San Francisco. The event at the Asian Art Museum also celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The Asian Pacific Fund selected “Lost and Found” as the 2011 theme of the contest. Young Asian Americans submitted entries about losing people, places and things, and finding new ideas and new identities as a result. The group of winners includes outstanding young writers and artists from Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Tibetan, and many mixed backgrounds.

"Obon with My Pichan" by Miya Martinez.

The six first-place winners in the three grade categories (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) received $2,000 each. The second- and third-place awards are $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. Each of the 17 honorable-mention winners this year received merchandise gifts worth $175.

The winners include:

• Miya Morimoto Martinez of Fairfield, Rolling Hills Elementary School, K-5 Art, second place

• Kadi Nanase Miura of San Francisco, Star of the Sea School, K-5 Essay, honorable mention

• Alisa Kitazawa Snow of San Leandro, The Principled Academy, Grade 6-8 Essay, second place

• Erina Nashimoto of San Jose, Leland High School, Grades 9-12 Art, second place

"Past Memory" by Erina Nashimoto.

The fund also unveiled exhibits of the winning entries at the awards ceremony. These exhibits will travel to 50 public libraries throughout the Bay Area between May and January, reaching over 1 million library patrons in nine counties.

The Asian Pacific Fund created this program as an educational resource and to help people of all backgrounds better understand their Asian neighbors and the ethnic diversity of the Bay Area. Growing Up Asian in America encourages the creative expression of student ideas and shares the experiences of young Asian Americans with the larger community.

The program is co-sponsored by NBC11 and the presenting sponsor is Target. Major sponsors are Safeway Foundation, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo. Additional sponsors are the Bay Area News Group, the Asian Art Museum, ABS-CBN International, India Currents, KEST AM 1450 & KSJX AM 1500, KTSF26, Nichi Bei Weekly, Philippine News, and V Times.

The Asian Pacific Fund is a community foundation established to improve the health and well-being of all Asians in the Bay Area. Through support of individual donors, the fund makes grants to local Asian organizations, sponsors projects to raise awareness about Asian needs, and helps donors pursue their charitable goals with customized programs. The fund has distributed nearly $5 million in grants, scholarships and awards.

Winning entries are posted at www.asianpacificfund.org/growing-up-asian-in-america.

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