Growing Up Asian in America


Photo of Allison Quan, first place winner of the Growing Up Asian in America K-5 essay category.Created in 1995 by the Asian Pacific Fund, Growing Up Asian in America is the largest celebration of Asian heritage in the nation. Each year, approximately 1400 K-12 students from the Bay Area submit artwork, essays, and poems on a specific theme. This year’s theme asked children to reflect on the bridges in their life, whether they are real, physical bridges or symbolic bridges that help them through the challenges in life. Winners receive savings bonds for $1000 to $2000, with a total of $27,000 in prizes being awarded. Special exhibits displaying the winning artwork and essays go on tour during Asian Pacific Heritage Month, and they are hosted throughout the year by more than 50 public libraries all over the Bay Area.

Two Generations, Two Very Different Experiences on Angel Island

This year’s first place winner in the K-5 essay category is Allison Quan. Quan’s essay depicts the different experiences she and her grandfather had visiting Angel Island, but also highlights their shared feelings of hope. Check out this video to hear Allison read her essay (she does a great reading, too!).

More Winners

For a full list of the 2012 winners, including some really great illustrations, click here. To read more about past winners and exhibits in the library, check out Karen  Y's post about the exhibit at the Woodside Library , and Alejandro's post about Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Stay tuned to see if the exhibit will be visiting a library near you.

Interesting factoid

Before any real efforts had been made to preserve the immigration station on Angel Island, nine of the staff cottages were burned down while filming a scene for the Robert Redford movie The Candidate. You can read an excerpt about it here, or you can check out Branwell Fanning and William Wong’s Angel Island to learn more.


Author Bio:

Tommy M visited Angel Island on a field trip in his 3rd year of college. The immigration station holds a lot of memories and emotions and it’s a pretty powerful experience walking through there.

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