Growing Up Asian in America, a signature program of the Asian Pacific Fund, is one the largest youth celebrations of Asian heritage in the nation. The program provides a unique forum for youth to explore their ideas and to celebrate being both Asian and American. It serves as an important community resource, helping people better understand the experiences of young Asian Americans and learn more about life in a place as diverse as the San Francisco Bay Area.
Growing Up Asian in America begins in January with an annual essay, art and video competition for students in grades kindergarten through 12. Over 1,000 Bay Area students compete for $20,000 in cash awards and other prizes. Finalists are honored at an awards ceremony at the Asian Art Museum in May. The winning entries are featured on our website, as well as in traveling exhibits shown at Bay Area museums, city halls and public libraries between May and February.
Growing Up Asian in America was launched in 1995, in collaboration with local media, public relations and community leaders, as a Bay Area celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Supported by corporate sponsors and supplemented by the Asian Pacific Fund, Growing Up Asian in America has become an important resource for parents, educators and communities. Themes over the years include:
What is Community? (1998)
Tell Me a Story (1999)
My Time (2000)
My Favorite Thing (2001)
Being Brave & Showing Courage (2002)
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Thinking About the Elderly and the Environment (2003)
On Friendship (2004)
Discovery and Achieving Balance (2005)
On My Street & In My Neighborhood (2006)
Winning and Losing, Competition and Teamwork (2008)
Change; If You Could Change One Thing to Make the World a Better Place, What Would That Be? (2009)
Expectations: To be & do what you feel in your heart (2010)
Lost and Found (2011)
If I Were President (2013)
Behind the Scenes
Growing Up Asian in America is a community enterprise that is made possible each year with volunteer help and the financial support of major corporations.
The Asian Pacific Fund enlists the help of several organizations and many individuals in publicizing and operating Growing Up Asian in America. On average, more than 100 volunteers give 400 hours of their time - just one reflection of how popular this forum is for Bay Area Asians of all ages. Our Advisory Committee, composed of professionals from the media, business and non-profit communities, guides the program and helps us promote Growing Up Asian in America. Several media sponsors, including co-sponsor NBC11, also assist in publicizing the program to local students and teachers.