NEW YORK, November 3, 2011 – More than 500 outstanding Asian Pacific American high school and college students were awarded scholarships November 1 at the APIASF annual benefit at the Hilton New York. Scholarships ranged from $2,500 to $8,000 individually. More than half of the awardees come from families that live at or below the poverty level, and other recipients are otherwise of low-socioeconomic status. Many of the scholars are the first in their family to attend college.
“Thanks to the APIASF scholarship program, my dream to attend college has become a reality,” said Rakhi Agrawal, a sophomore attending Columbia University. “I am grateful to organizations like Wells Fargo that make the APIASF scholarship program possible and encourage deserving students like myself to realize our fullest potential.”
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) has donated more than $300,000 in scholarship funding in 2011 to South Asian and Chinese American high school students in need. Wells Fargo is a founding member of APIASF, and with the latest pledge of an additional $25,000, has donated more than $1.5 million since 2003.
“In addition to funding, this year Wells Fargo has donated human capital to APIASF as well. Thirty four of our team members spent more than 300 hours of their personal time reading over some 900 scholarship applications,” said Nancy Wong, Asian Segment Manager at Wells Fargo.
The 6th Annual APIASF Scholarship Benefit brought together leading educators, community representatives, and business leaders who are committed to making higher education more affordable and accessible to those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. As part of the event, APIASF also hosted a free career development workshop for students and young professionals in the area.
In addition to representing 43 states, Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and American Samoa, scholarship recipients also belong to one of the 48 different racial categories (U.S. Census Bureau) within the AAPI community including Bangladeshi, Cambodian, Chamorro, Chinese, Filipino, Native Hawaiian, Hmong, Indian, Korean, Laotian, Samoan, Vietnamese, and Yapese.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Since 2003, APIASF has provided a critical bridge to higher education for APIA students across the country by distributing more than $50 million in scholarships to students. APIASF manages two scholarship programs: APIASF’s general scholarship and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.