AACI announced the student winners from the 26th annual Growing Up Asian in America Contest as part of this year’s celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Every year, AACI hosts the Growing Up Asian in America program in partnership with NBC Bay Area. The contest celebrates AAPI Heritage Month by giving voice to the varied experiences of AAPI youth throughout the Bay Area and encourage the next generation of leaders to take pride in their heritage through creative self-expression.
The contest is supported by sponsors and community partners Bank of America, Microsoft, Connie Young Yu, Raul Gorospe, Comcast, Asian Pacific Fund, Farrington Foundation, HomeLight, and Asian Art Museum.
This year’s theme, “This is My Time,” brought in over 600 entries from K-12th grade Bay Area students of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Students submitted art, essays and videos sharing the challenges they and their family and community have faced over the last year and their dreams for a post-pandemic future. This year’s best in class and honorable mention winners include remarkable students of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese and other ethnic backgrounds. Each Best in Class winner shared their thoughts and inspirations about their winning entry below.
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Lance Lew Grand Prize Winner: Yanni Zhong, Best in Class, Art 9-12
Best in Class Winners:
- James Kim, Best in Class Winner for 9-12 Video
- Elena Stevens, Best in Class Winner for 9-12 Essay
- Kailee Lock, Best in Class Winner for 6-8 Art
- Vivian Tran, Best in Class Winner for 6-8 Essay
- Ryan Chou, Best in Class Winner for 6-8 Video
- Yunfei Wang, Best in Class Winner for 3-5 Art
- Yuji Hong, Best in Class Winner for 3-5 Essay
- Claire Li, Best in Class Winner for K-2 Art
- Eleanor Yu, Best in Class Winner for K-2 Essay
Honorable Mention Winners
- Emily Gao, 9-12 Art
- Grace Wong, 9-12 Essay
- Maithreyi Bharathi, 9-12 Video
- Yiling Wu, 6-8 Art
- Emma Tran, 6-8 Essay
- Julianne Yang, 6-8 Video
- Isabella Zeng, 3-5 Art
- Sophie Yang, 3-5 Essay
- Blair Wang, K-2 Art
- Celine Liu, K-2 Essay