Boston, MA (February 2, 2010) – Asian Sisters Participating In Reaching Excellence announced that Rashmi Jasrasaria is the grand prize winner of its second ASPIRE Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.
The award (www.girlsaspire.org) celebrates female high school or college students of Asian American decent that are proven leaders with the initiative and determination that make changes in their community.
Jasrasaria was formally awarded at the 2009 ASPIRE Asian American Women in Leadership Conference on October 3, 2009 at Boston University. This year’s keynote speakers included Carmen Van Kerckhove, Co-Founder and President, New Demographic and Rosie Abriam, President and CEO, The Center for Asian Pacific American Women.
Jasrasaria is a volunteer with Support for International Change, a non-governmental organization in Tanzania that raises awareness about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention in rural areas. Since 2007, she has dedicated her time to teaching SIC’s HIV curriculum in village primary schools as well as leading teaching sessions for the village locals, athletes, and religious communities.
Originally from Boxborough, Massachusetts, Jasrasaria is currently a senior at Harvard University, where she also acts as the SIC on-campus coordinator through recruiting, interviewing, and training SIC volunteers.
“Receiving this award motivates me to continue along an independent path in global health, community development, and social justice work,” says Jasrasaria. “I am grateful to ASPIRE and SIC for supporting and encouraging me in my endeavors.”
Vienne Cheung, Interim Executive Director, ASPIRE, said that as an organization that focuses on career and leadership development, one of the fundamental things ASPIRE encourages girls to do is build confidence and to be comfortable with whom they are.
“Rashmi’s courageous and altruistic act in tackling and bringing awareness to this global issue aligns with ASPIRE’s vision,” said Cheung. “Her passion for the cause will inspire girls to gain new experiences and make the world a better place.”
As the Grand Prize Winner, Jasrasaria attended the AAWIL Conference where she was honored with an award, the opportunity to spend a day with an Asian American female mentor of her choice from ASPIRE’s network, and a featured profile on ASPIRE’s website and other media.
The other finalists include Lori Phanachone of Storm Lake, Iowa, who won First Runner Up for her Asian Pacific American community activism.
The Second Runner Up is Huong Nguyen of New Orleans, for Asian American youth activism.
Honorable Mention went to Sarasi Jayaratne of Potomac Falls, Virginia, for her work on English Literacy in Sri Lanka.
A second Honorable Mention went to Oyland Dong of Cambridge, Massachussetts for her work on HIV/AIDS activism in Panama.