Press Release: API Heroes in Our Community


Celebrating Asian/Pacific Islander Heroes in Our Community
NBC Bay Area to Host Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Honoree Luncheon

SAN JOSE, Calif. (May 10, 2018) — Student winners from the Asian Pacific Fund’s 23rd annual Growing Up Asian in America contest and honorees of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) will participate in NBC Bay Area’s annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month luncheon on Thursday, May 17 at 11:30am. The luncheon will honor local heroes and winners of this year’s contest.

The Growing Up Asian in America program celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by giving voice to the varied experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) youth throughout the Bay Area, and encouraging this next generation of leaders to take pride in their heritage through creative self-expression.

This year’s theme, “My Hope for the Future,” brought in nearly 1,000 entries from K-12th grade Bay Area students of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Students submitted art, essays and videos sharing their hopes and dreams for the future and the change or impact they wanted to see for themselves, their family, their community or the world.

Select youth from the group of 40 winners including Hannah Chan, Albert Chang-Yoo, Sachi Hannah, Oreli Horta Ho, Emma Y. Li, Allison Ngoc Van Nguyen and Thanhthanh Nguyen, will participate in this NBC Bay Area luncheon.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to engage students to examine and bring to light the issues that affect them and their communities,” said Audrey Yamamoto, President & Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Fund. “We are honored to provide an avenue for our youth—the leaders of tomorrow—to share their hopes for the future and celebrate their heritage.”

“The real heroes are these youth,” said NBC Bay Area’s Lance Lew. “NBC Bay Area is able to provide a platform for these young artists to share the stories of their families and communities, stories that need to be told and celebrated.”

Also to be honored are AACI’s four Asian Pacific American Community Heroes. These honorees represent the impact and dedication that diverse API communities bring to the Bay Area local community.

Among these honorees are Anna Wang, a long-time advocate for families of children with special needs, Caleb Jo, a rising Asian American filmmaker and actor, Connie Young Yu, a trail-blazing Chinese American writer, historian, and lecturer who was featured on NBC’s Bay Area Revelations: Asian American Pioneers, and Protima Pandey, a dedicated lawyer and leading voice for domestic violence survivor issues and gender justice.

“AACI is honored to recognize these inspirational leaders within our community. Their work gives voice to the diverse and often underrepresented communities and issues within the Asian American community.” said AACI President and CEO, Sarita Kohli.

The NBC Bay Area Asian Pacific American Heritage Month luncheon will take place at NBC Bay Area studios, 2450 North First Street, San Jose, CA 94107.

About Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
AACI is Santa Clara County’s largest community based organization focused on Asian Americans.  For over 40 years, our services have provided critical support to grow to provide culturally accessible services, not only for Asian Americans but for all.

About Asian Pacific Fund (APF)

The Asian Pacific Fund is a San Francisco-based community foundation dedicated to improving the lives of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the Bay Area. The Fund mobilizes philanthropic giving from donors, supports organizations that serve the most vulnerable and raises awareness about pressing community needs.



Edwin Tan

Pei-Un Yee