VOLUME 28 NO. 10 | FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 6, 2009

Diversity Makes a Difference
Part 1

Last updated 2-26-09 at 3:36 p.m.
From left to right, top to bottom: Anson Chan, Lily Clifton, Laura D’Asaro, Emma Henderson, Gabriela Hirata, Yue Deng, Shirley Dullum, Alexander Ching, Andrea d’Aquino, and Jose Garibaldi.

By Staff
Northwest Asian Weekly

Every year, the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation gives five deserving high school students a $1,000 scholarship. Since 1994, Northwest Asian Weekly has sought out students who are champions of diversity and who take action to increase cross-cultural understanding and awareness in their communities.

All nominees will be recognized at a dinner ceremony at Jumbo Chinese Restaurant in Seattle on Friday, March 27. The following are some of the nominees, in no particular order.

Anson Chan
Senior, Bellarmine Preparatory School
Nominated by James Knudson

Anson Chan is on the executive board of the Diversity Club, where he helps organize a schoolwide used clothing drive. He is the chair of the annual Asian Summit, a program that unites students from Jesuit high schools in the province to talk about their experiences and to listen to motivational speakers. Chan also has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and he earned two first place finishes and one second place finish in the World Martial Arts Tournament. He is interested in learning about and spreading the cultural experiences of his Chinese and Japanese heritage. Chan is a strong and helpful student in his community.

Lily Clifton
Senior, Nathan Hale High School
Nominated by Brian Coon

Lily Clifton has helped out at many local events, including bimonthly blood drives and volunteering at local parks. She was honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award, which was sponsored by the City of Seattle and the Seattle Center. She was recognized for her work toward maintaining and promoting King’s philosophy of social justice. She has interned at the Seattle Public Library and the Mayor’s Youth Council. Clifton is currently working on a two-day “tree camp” for visually impaired elementary students so they can learn about the basics of horticulture.

Laura D’Asaro
Senior, Nathan Hale High School
Nominated by Kate Reynolds

Laura D’Asaro has consistently been an active member in the community by donating more than 1,500 hours of community service in the past three years. With a friend, she was able to raise $13,500 for a local neighborhood park that was in need of new equipment. D’Asaro is the founder of the ABC (Audio Books for Children) Organization, a program that has recorded more than 1,000 books for children. She raised $5,000 at the Relay for Life event, which also earned her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time to crawl a mile. She has worked with the Forgotten Children’s Fund and has collected more than 2,000 pounds of candy that were used to fill the stockings for children during Christmas.

Emma Henderson
Senior, Chief Sealth High School
Nominated by Jol Raymond and Courtney Velazquez

Emma Henderson has been involved in peer education with the King County Food and Fitness Initiative, where she is able to educate students about the benefits of having a healthy diet. She visits the High Point Neighborhood Center as a tutor for elementary students who need help in their math and reading skills. She was elected vice president of the Chief Sealth Filipino Club, and is working with various officers to plan social events. As the youth coordinator for the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in Delridge, she helps to connect students through arts and community programs.

Gabriela Hirata
Senior, Holy Names Academy
Nominated by Megan Diefenbach

Gabriela Hirata is the co-class president of her senior class. She is very involved in the Multicultural Student Union, specifically the Middle Eastern Students Association, where she holds the position of a leader. She is a dedicated student, taking advanced placement classes. Her teachers praise her strong work ethic and solid academic performance. She is known for being creative and charismatic.

Yue Deng
Senior, Garfield High School
Nominated by Chief S.K. Labi

Yue Deng is a diligent student who is taking honors classes to improve and challenge her understandings of the subjects. Deng is a tutor at the Bilingual Orientation Center, a center that provides intensive training and schooling for students with limited English proficiency. She has become a role model for the students that attend this center because she has successfully overcome the same language barriers that they are facing. She has also translated some chapters from math and history textbooks to Chinese.

Shirley Dullum
Senior, Nathan Hale High School
Nominated by Tony Renouard

Shirley Dullum is an outspoken advocate on issues of equity. She is currently working on the community’s Equity Summit, where her high school will be able to interact with members of the broader community to discuss and work on the issues of ethnicity and race. She has been involved in events at her school, such as producing the Martin Luther King Jr. assembly, The Bite of Hale, and the Anti-Bigotry program. In her junior year, she was the secretary of her student body, a position that is usually held by a faculty member.

Alexander Ching
Senior, Garfield High School
Nominated by Chief S.K. Labi

Alexander Ching is a student dedicated to his studies and his community. He plans to major in engineering or something related to science. He is taking several college level classes at the Seattle Central Community College through the Running Start program. Ching’s goal is to work with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). He has participated in the Washington Aerospace Scholars organization, where he had the opportunity to work for a summer at the Museum of Flight. He was in a group that designed a prototype for a mission to Mars, and the group spent a week building mini robots, rockets, and rovers. Ching has donated more than 430 hours of community service.

Andrea d’Aquino
Senior, Squalicum High School
Nominated by Mark Galvin

Andrea believes in the hands-on approach when participating and helping with the community. During her four years at her high school, she has been able to prepare hundreds of home-cooked meals to feed the homeless community. She is also involved in the “Shop with a Cop” program, which helps provide the lower income students with school supplies and support to succeed in school.

Jose Garibaldi
Senior, Olympia High School
Nominated by Matt Grant

Jose Garibaldi has received leadership training from the Institute for Community Leadership. He has worked with his peers on issues of immigration, and he allowed himself to be interviewed to share his experiences regarding the issue. Garibaldi takes part in the Rotary Interact Service Club and is a leader of the Climate and Culture committee at the school. Garibaldi has been committed to completing a mural project at Garfield Elementary School. He shares his passion for visual art with young students, and he also serves as a translator to the Latino community. Garibaldi has filmed a personal account of a peer’s grandfather during the Civil Rights era, a film which greatly affected the student body when it was shown. Jose regularly volunteers his time taking pictures of events for his school’s Web site. (end)

Another set of Diversity Makes a Difference nominees will run next week. Scholarship winners will be announced on March 27 at a dinner banquet held at Jumbo Chinese Restaurant.


2009 Diversity Scholarship Banquet


Friday, March 27


Jumbo Chinese Restaurant
4208 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118


Guests of nominees: $20
Others: $40


Northwest Asian Weekly
412 Maynard Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104

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