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Meet Our 2018 ATG Heritage and Culture Camp Scholarship Contest Winners!

SEAPI Heritage Camp: (L to R)  Mai Miller, Carol Nguyen, Alex Jantzen, Jennifer Devany and Hue Pederson

 

ATG is Proud to Announce our 2018 ATG Heritage and Culture Camp Scholarship Contest Winners!

Alex Thanh Jantzen, 11

Overland Park, Kansas

What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?

It has several meanings. One of them is standing up for what you believe in – no matters what the others may think. Also, standing up for what is right. When you sand or saw wood, you can go against the grain. It’s OK to be different from others.

 

How do I go ‘Against The Grain’?

In my family, I stand out because I look different. Some kids who don’t know my family don’t realize that my sister and I are actual siblings – because I’m adopted.  Not following the crowd when they laugh at another kid is another example of going against the grain. Standing for what’s right.

 

 

Mai Miller, 17

Longmont, Colorado

 What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?

To me, ‘Against The Grain’ means not letting others stop you from being yourself. This includes standing up for what you believe in and not being afraid to be different.

 

How do I go ‘Against The Grain’?
I go ‘Against The Grain’ by embracing my Vietnamese heritage. I am very proud to have been adopted from Vietnam and am always eager to share Vietnamese culture with others. Additionally,  I go ‘Against The Grain’ by not letting the opinions of others affect what I enjoy doing. I feel comfortable with being myself and will continue to be who I am without worrying about following trends.

 

 

 

Samuel Dieu Schlumpf Butler, 10

Chicago, Illinois

What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?

What “against the grain” means to me is feeling and being free to love myself without any urge to follow the crowd ; a feeling of freedom and happiness of who and what I am inside and to express the true “me”. It means that I am the only person that I truly want to be.

How do I go ‘Against The Grain’?

I can be, and am going against the grain by being myself and being happy and proud of what I think of myself instead of what others think of me. I can be who I want to and stick to it by being happy of myself. Then, I will make long lasting friendships with people who respect and appreciate who I am.

For example, a kid who used to think that I was “nerdy” and “weird” ended up actually rethinking and wanting to be my friend after I started dressing goofy because it tends to make me happy and comfortable throughout the day. The next day, he walked up to me and asked if I wanted to play with him and his friends at recess. I was amazed at what being myself could change other’s perspectives and feelings about me and how wonderful it felt to be myself. In conclusion, these long lasting friends over time can help others find themselves as well. So I guess I can say that being against the grain has changed my life and how I view myself.

ATG to Honor Groundbreakers at 2018 Fashion for a Passion

Dallas, TX — Against The Grain Productions is proud to introduce its inaugural ‘Groundbreaker Awards,’ created to honor those who embody the spirit of ATG. These individuals were chosen for excellence in his/her chosen career path, leadership to pave the way for others, having a a servant’s heart to help and improve the lives of those around us and sharing ATG’s vision of “One Voice. Many Stories.” These awards will be presented at ATG’s 10th (and final) Fashion for a Passion charity event, which will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at sixty five hundred in Dallas, Texas.

Against The Grain Productions functions as a traditional 501(c)(3) nonprofit but with a twist. In the true spirit of its name, ATG finds unconventional, innovative and entertaining ways to promote leadership, positive identity, unity and artistry in the Asian American community; promote awareness of Asian American culture; give a platform to emerging Asian American artists; and provide inspiration to the community around us to think and act “outside the box.” Over the past decade, the organization has raised hundreds of thousands for orphanages/underprivileged children, scholarships for Asian American student artists/leaders, produced an award-winning documentary (Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam) and become a platform for artists and leaders through its events. Groundbreakers Speak, a signature event, was a panel which brought together Asian American leaders from diverse disciplines together to share their inspiring journey and path to success.  “As ATG enters its next decade, we wanted to evolve and find a way to continue inspiring the community. The creation of these ‘Groundbreaker Awards’ allow us to honor shining examples of those who have bravely and selflessly served while passionately trailblazing a way in their own career,” said ATG President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “You can love what you do, work hard to be successful and still remember to give back to others. That’s the ATG spirit of what we want to inspire.”

The 2018 ATG Groundbreaker Award Honorees are:

Quynh Chau Stone

Quynh Chau Stone, known to many as “QC,” is a mother, educator, entrepreneur and advocate. She is the President and Founder of The Source of Hope, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with more than seven years of service to Dallas-Ft. Worth underprivileged communities. Under Quynh Chau’s direction and leadership, The Source of Hope collects, distributes and donates food and groceries to those in need and starting over through a network of charitable organizations. The Source of Hope delivered over 1000 meals monthly to the homeless, veterans, first responders, and at risk families and actively works with partner organizations to serve the most vulnerable in the Dallas – Ft. Worth communities.

As a Vietnamese woman who has lived the majority of her life in American, Quynh Chau experienced extreme trauma and loss in Vietnam which shaped her world view.  At the age of twelve, Quynh Chau bravely escaped Vietnam with her four brothers. They were rescued and placed in a refugee camp in Malaysia after 13 days at sea. With the help of faith organizations and philanthropies working together, Quynh Chau was reunited with her father, who had already been sponsored to the United States. Quynh Chau’s unthinkable experience as a child strengthened her faith and cemented her lifelong commitment to truly give back to the country and people that helped her so much.

As an entrepreneur, Quynh Chau is a skin care rain-maker and has been working with different platforms to educate and implement skincare practices for over 20 years.  She received her formal training from international institutes such as the Matis Paris Institute in Paris, France and exclusive aesthetic skin care clinics in New York, Chicago and Dallas. Quynh Chau also manufactured a line of exclusive skincare products sold to boutique skincare clinics internationally. Through her training and certification, she continues to support and promotes new cosmetologists entering the aesthetic profession and require guidance, training and experience, frequently publishing insights and training content for professionals internationally and has helped to set up over 1000+ salons.

Quynh Chau is a media darling for the Vietnamese American community, regularly directing and producing her local television and radio show, “The Quynh Chau Show,” which covers resources for the community, political views, life skills for minorities, health & beauty insights and entrepreneurship.

Quynh Chau has won numerous awards each year for her work with the community and including
 the 2016 Women that Soar Award plus over 100+ additional recognitions for her philanthropic work with the city of Garland, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Dallas and Ft. Worth.
 She was featured in a book written by Mirela Sula titled 50 Inspiring Voices of Migrant Women from Struggle to Success in a chapter written by Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk
.  She and The Source of Hope were celebrated at the event “Heroes of Houston,” where other organizations and individuals were recognized for the work they did in service of Hurricane Harvey.

Quynh Chau Stone is dedicated to the mission of inspiring others and serving those in need with dignity, wisdom and a generous heart. She relies on her faith and generosity of others to grow the community, sharing her story and hoping to inspire others to soar above. 


“To me, ‘Going Against The Grain’ means to not take the easy path that others have already made but to go in the direction that the Lord has chosen for me, though it may be rough and uncertain at first.”

“God has created me to be a leader. Through the trials I have faced along side my family and my friends, I have always wanted one thing, to be able to teach my girls and young men and women across the world, that to be a leader, is to help another in need of your guidance. I am honored to receive this award, as a young girl I didn’t ever think I would be “first” at anything. It always felt as if I were last, last to eat, last to learn, last to escape the life I thought I had been burdened with. But as I continued to grow, as I moved on to my life here in the US, where I got to obtain skills, and help others, I realized that I am lucky to have the life God has BLESSED me with. In receiving this award, I hope to only grow more, and to show people that no matter where they come from or who they are, they can be a leader and accomplish anything.”

Daniel Eng

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas as a Chinese American, Daniel Eng’s Chinese roots date from his great-grandfather immigrating to the U.S. in the late 1800s to build railroads in the United States. Daniel’s father, T.K. Eng., moved from Hong Kong in the mid 1950s, where he later established the real estate foundation for the Eng family.

Daniel graduated in 2001 from Franklin College Switzerland (now Franklin University Switzerland) with a B.A. in International Banking and Finance and started his career and passion in Commercial Real Estate. He has served on the Board of Trustees for his college for three years and is still active on the college’s Alumni Association. He has served as 2016 President for the AREAA DFW Chapter (Asian Real Estate Association of America), the Director for Dallas CCIM Cultural Diversity Chapter in 2011 (Certified Commercial Investment Member), the IREM Dallas Chapter Board for IYP in 2012 (Institute of Real Estate Management ), served on the City of Richardson’s Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors in 2011-2014, 2013 National Association of Asian American Professional DFW Chapter Senior Advisory Council and is an active member at Grace Chinese Baptist Church in Plano.  Daniel maintains an office at the Offices of Legacy Chase Oaks in Plano and manages an extensive Commercial Real Estate portfolio of over 50 properties around the DFW area with about 1 million square feet of rentable space. 

Growing up watching and learning from his father, Daniel gained an interest in community service at an early age. Daniel would say that his father inspired him to “Go Against The Grain.”  Giving back to the Asian American community has always been in Daniel‘s heart. Receiving this award is an honor but he believes there are so many others that deserve this award. “I look forward to continuing to serve and inspire the next generation to ‘Go Against The Grain’ and ‘Be the Cause’ with the ATG team.” Daniel has two daughters and one son. His eldest daughter attends a faith-based private school in the DFW Area, and he hopes she will one day take over the family business and learn to serve others in need.

Nha Khanh Nguyen

Khanh Nguyen, co-founder and the Creative Director of the Nha Khanh label, has been surrounded by fashion and art throughout her life. Khanh attended the University of North Texas and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Fashion Design where she received numerous awards. In January 2010, the Nha Khanh label was established producing seasonal Ready-to-Wear lines, as well as, custom Atelier service to the public. Designs and manufacturing are 100% based in Dallas, Texas, while the sales and marketing PR are based in New York City. The Nha Khanh line can be found in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Stanley Karshak, Rent-the-Runway and many others around the United States. Nha Khanh’s designs have been worn by Kim Kardashian, Brooklyn Decker, Guliana Rancic, and Kelly Osbourne, to name a few. Nha Khanh has been recognized through various awards and articles written by organizations such as FGI Rising Star, D Magazine Best Woman Custom Design, Harper’s Bazaar, People, Vogue, Teen Magazine, US Weekly, Glamour, InStyle, ENews and Style Network. The company takes pride in exceptionally well-made garments and strives to push the envelope on innovation and creative, elegant designs.Nha Khanh’s designs focus on modern glamour; they are inspired by art, architecture and, most importantly, nature. The designs are ethereal, meticulously constructed and host an ease about them that allows for an effortless sensibility. The company offers seasonal “advanced contemporary” Ready-to-Wear, a custom Atelier collection (which hosts one-of-a-kind custom pieces) and a bridal line.

The Nha Khanh mission is to empower women with inner-strength through their clothing while focusing on “feminine elegance with a modern edge.” “Nha”, in Vietnamese, is a feminine word implying‘ light and elegance’, whereas “Khanh” is a masculine word, meaning ‘victory and celebration’. The fusion of the words creates a balance of unison between feminine and masculine. The collection joins lightness and softness of silhouette and fabrication with the celebration ofconstruction and classic forms. This is the fundamental philosophy and creative driving force behind the Nha Khanh label.

For Khanh, “Going Against The Grain” is “taking the road less traveled and stubbornly refusing to fit in and live life on your own terms.” When asked what receiving this award means to her, she said she is humbled, grateful and honored.  “I am humbled that I boldly followed my heart and took the road less traveled, grateful to be able to live life on my own terms and very honored to be recognized among my peers and community for this wonderful award. “

Tickets for Fashion for a Passion go on sale in August.

For sponsorship details, please contact Fundraising@againstthegrainproductions.com

For more information on the event, please visit: www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com.

 

 

Apply Today for the 2018 ATG Culture/Heritage Camp Scholarship

The 2018 Against The Grain Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Camp Scholarship application process is officially open! Following our support of orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, Against The Grain also provides scholarships here at home to ten young Asian American adoptees each year to attend culture camps such as Catalyst Foundation’s Vietnamese Culture Camp and Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families SEAPI (Southeast Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Camp). Last year, we raised $1,000, allowing ten youths to spend a few days in the summer connecting with their heritage, bonding with new friends and participating in enriching activities for this year’s Heritage and Culture Camps.

 

Eligibility: Proof of camp registration with Catalyst Foundation’s Vietnamese Culture Camp and HCAF SEAPI Heritage Camp. Sorry, past recipients are not eligible for this year’s scholarship.

Due Date: Saturday, July 1, 2018

Application: Simply submit the following in an email to outreach@againstthegrainproductions.com.

  1. Name of Applicant
  2. Age of Applicant
  3. City and State
  4. Photo of Applicant
  5. Question 1: What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me?
  6. Question 2: How do I go ‘Against The Grain’?

 

 

2017 Underprivileged Children and Orphanage Aid Fall Update: Thailand

Many thanks to our Aid Advisor (Thailand) Lisa Tran and our volunteer Nong Sasinapa, ATG was able to deliver an aid mission with heart and “vision” to aid many underprivileged children in Phob Phra district, Tak province of Thailand. Through Nong’s research and assistance, we purchased 49,350 BAHT (approx. USD $1,495) for 141 eye-glass frames for 141 children.
Phob Phra Hospital estimates that approximately 10% of children in Phob Phra District have vision problems. This district is far from the city and most people are minorities without Thai citizenship, hindering them access to government facilities and social welfare. Due to the lack of accessibility for parents to provide glasses for their children, those with vision problems cannot live and learn properly. Many of them are reportedly to be intellectually underdeveloped. Most students in the Thoo Mhew Khee Learning Center are Burmese refugees who stay in Prob Phra District without proper civil registration. Many students with vision problems do not have eyeglasses, and this mission provided eyeglasses to enable these students with eye or vision problems to have a better quality of life.

For the 2017–2018 academic year, a total of 141 students received vision checks and eye glasses. The glass frames were purchased by ATG. The lenses and technical support (Optometrist, optician and eye examination devices) were provided free of charge by Thai Glass Center and the Thai Health Promotion Center.

It is with your support that we can continue to improve the lives of underprivileged children and give them hope of a brighter future. Please continue to support our cause by donating.

Join the 2018 ATG Tribe

Professional. Committed. Passionate. Great Time Management. Excellent follow through. Mature. Resourceful. Creative. ATG Attitude. #beCAUSE

Are you looking to make a difference? Want to get more involved with the community? Want to make amazing friends, have life changing experiences and feed your soul? As we gear up for an important year ahead and a return to our production roots with a new documentary, ATG is currently recruiting skilled, enthusiastic, dedicated, disciplined and experienced leaders who have the necessary time to join our 2018 ATG Tribe and Host Committee of 2018 Fashion for a Passion X!

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15th!

DOWNLOAD THE 2018 ATG TRIBE APPLICATION

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Announcing the 2017 Fashion for a Passion Artist Lineup

Dallas-based non-profit ATG Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce its 9th Annual Fashion for a Passion Exhibiting Artists. The roster of talented Asian American artists who practice a variety of media, includes a mix of emerging, established and 2017 Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship finalists. Fashion for a Passion, which serves the organization’s mission to support and provide a platform for emerging Asian American artists, will take place Saturday, Nov. 11, at new venue sixty five hundred near Love Field Airport.

Guests of Fashion for a Passion will have the opportunity to bid on each artist’s work through a silent auction. Proceeds from the silent auction and tickets to the event will benefit ATG’s supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, artistic and leadership scholarship fund and community outreach programs.

This year’s Fashion for a Passion emcees include veteran Ben Smithee (CEO of The Smithee Group and past panelist for Against The Grain’s leadership-focused event Groundbreakers Speak) and Hillary Kennedy (Emmy Award winning Host and style blogger).

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Meet Our 2017 Fashion for a Passion Performers

Dallas-based nonprofit Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce the lineup of performers for their eighth annual Fashion for a Passion charity event on Saturday, November 11, at sixty five hundred near Love Field Airport. This year’s show will feature a wide variety of Asian American talent, and we are extremely excited to present these talented individuals to you all.

This year’s Fashion for a Passion emcees include veteran Ben Smithee (CEO of The Smithee Group) and Hillary Kennedy (Emmy Award winning Host and style blogger). The evening includes a fashion show with live auction, raffle, art exhibit, tasty bites and sips and will again conclude with an extended wrap party for guests, artists and volunteers to mix and mingle until midnight.

Proceeds from the evening’s ticket sales, art and lives auctions as well as generous sponsors benefit ATG’s supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, scholarships for student artists and leaders and community outreach programs in the U.S. to inspire, educate and entertain the community.

General Admission and VIP Reserved Tickets range from $50 to $125 and are on sale at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com/events/ffap.

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2017 Underprivileged Children and Orphanage Aid Fall Update: Vietnam


Going Against The Grain came from the idea that what you are born into doesn’t dictate the rest of your life. This aid expedition marked 10 years since Against The Grain’s first aid expedition. During that trip, we visited 3 orphanages and realized how little it takes to make a significant impact and change in a child’s life. Since that first trip, we have since grown to help support multiple orphanages and several underprivileged facilities across several countries. And the impact of our donations continues to help and encourage each child no matter which country they’re from.

During this Vietnam aid expedition trip, we helped over 300 underprivileged children across 21 different schools, and over 200 orphans and handicapped children. We were able to provide a year’s worth of school supplies and several months food with just $6,500 USD. $5,000 was used to cover for back-to-school needs (uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, milk) and $1,500 for the 3 orphanages we visited. With the additional help and donations from our ATG Founding Board Member/Ambassador Aivy Nguyen’s company Golin PR, she along with our much appreciated volunteers were able to spend the week with the different schools and orphanages and get to know how they’ve all progressed in the past few years since ATG’s first visit.

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2017 Underprivileged Children and Orphanage Aid Update: Cambodia

Thanks to our country advisor, Thear Suzuki, her parents and family in Cambodia, ATG was able to disburse aid to 164 orphans, each child receiving fish sauce, soy sauce, sardines, noodles and 11.42 kg of rice.

Thear reported:

Dear Tammy and ATG Team,

I appreciate the hard work of the ATG team and volunteers to raise funds to assist orphans in Southeast Asia. It is without a doubt a labor of love. In 2017, ATG’s budget of $3,000 enabled our on the ground volunteers to distribute food items to 164 children across 16 small churches in 5 different provinces and remote villages. Every year, for the past 3 years, we have been able to assist more children. These children live with grandparents and relatives. They have very little means, lacking basic needs such as food, school supplies and clothes. Aid from ATG is the only source of support for these children. To date, we have only provided food supplies. In the future, it would be helpful to also provide them with school supplies and clothes. The support we are able to provide means the world to them. The children very happy and grateful to receive help from ATG. Because of ATG they experience kindness from strangers.

I am reminded of Luke 12:48, “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” It is clear that members of the ATG community live by this teaching…using your talents, time and wealth to benefit others. Furthermore, you are spreading this message through your actions, both in the US and across the world. We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the leadership of the ATG Board, volunteers and donors for giving so generously of time, energy and financial resources without expecting anything in return.

In service Together,

Thear and volunteers in Cambodia

 

Going Against The Grain: The Kinjaz

The Kinjaz are a Los Angeles based dance company formed in 2010, comprised of an all-star roster of creative directors, industry professionals and internationally renowned choreographers and instructors. They are known for their signature intricate choreography style and creative storytelling through dance and new media. The crew is extremely diverse, ranging from a wide variety of Asian ethnicities including Vietnamese and Korean as well as Caucasian, Hispanic and African American members. They were recent contestants on NBC’s World of Dance.

Website: www.kinjaz.com
Instagram/Twitter: @kinjaz
Facebook: facebook.com/thekinjaz
Youtube: youtube.com/thekinjaz

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