Growing Up Asian in America Awards

Growing Up Asian in America provides a unique platform for young people to creatively explore and celebrate being both Asian or Pacific Islander and American.

Every year, more than 500 Bay Area students from Kindergarten through 12 grades submit artwork, essays, poems and videos on a single theme, competing for over $20,000 in cash and prizes. We started our signature program in 1995 as one of the largest youth celebrations of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the nation. It encourages young Asian Americans to take pride in their identities, and helps others understand the varied experiences of our youth growing up in the Bay Area’s diverse communities.



The contest has closed.
Thank you for your submissions!

2017 Contest Theme: Letter to the Senator

The 2016 election saw victories for the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community. Especially exciting is the historic election of Kamala Harris as California’s new senator and the first Indian-American and second African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. On what issues do you want her to work, and how? What changes would you want to see happen? What advice do you have for helping your community, our country, and the world?


  • 3 ESSAY and 3 ART winners from each grade category will win $500 in cash and prizes.
  • Up to 3 VIDEO winners will win iPad minis and have their videos featured online.

For full contest guidelines, please click here 

If you have any questions, please email us at

Check out the winning entries from our 2016 contest!

Community & Corporate Partners

GUAA 2017 Corporate & Community Partners

Media Sponsors

We are grateful for the many teachers, parents and community members who encourage their youth to participate in Growing Up Asian in America. We are especially thankful for the guidance of our volunteer advisory committee of professionals in the media, public relations and marketing. We extend our thanks for their involvement and counsel.

Advisory Committee

Sally Carlson – Managing Partner, Carlson Beck

Garrett Kuramoto – Branch Manager, Portola Valley & Woodside Libraries

Lance J. Lew – Director of Community Marketing & Events, NBC Bay Area

Mina Li – Associate Director of Public Affairs, KTSF Television

Andrea Yamazaki Williamson – General Manager & Vice President, Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc.

Vicky Wong – Chief Executive Officer, DAE Advertising

Audrey Yamamoto – President & Executive Director, Asian Pacific Fund