Scholarships

Image - All Scholarship Winners

We believe in supporting future Asian American artists and leaders who are shining examples of what it means to go Against The Grain. Each year, ATG proudly awards scholarships to a select group of amazing Asian American high school seniors, college undergraduate and graduate school students through our Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship Program and Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship Program. We also award scholarships to deserving young Asian American adoptees to attend various heritage and culture camps.

A Video of Thanks from Our 2014 ATG Artistic and Leadership Scholarship Winners


Artistic Scholarship Details | Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship Details
2013 Artistic Winners


Heritage and Culture Camp Scholarships

Following our support of orphanages in Asia, ATG also provides scholarships here at home to ten young Asian American adoptees each year to attend culture camps such as Catalyst Foundation’s Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families and Vietnamese 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.

Scholarship - Catalyst Camp Collage


2014 Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship Due Date: April 15, 2014

Purpose: To provide financial assistance and promotion of Asian American college students pursuing a major in the performing, visual arts, journalism and/or mass communications. Awards: $1,000 to be applied toward school tuition and fees General Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be of at least 50% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity
  • Must be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the U.S
  • Must be either a high school senior or a college student currently enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. vocational, junior college, or four-year college/university and must be a full-time, degree seeking student by the upcoming academic calendar year and pursuing a major in the visual/performing arts (film, theatre, fashion, photography, graphic design, dance, music, journalism, mass communications, etc.)
  • Have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted)
  • Family members of Board members are ineligible

Selection Criteria: Selection is based on a rating system judged in five major categories. The candidate with the highest combined cumulative points will receive the scholarship. These categories are:

  • Quality of content submission (essay, artistic portfolio)
  • Academic performance
  • Leadership/community service experience and contribution
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Phone/in-person committee interview

Please note that those Scholarship Winners will be invited to attend our annual charity event, Fashion for a Passion held in Fall of 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Fashion for a Passion is our biggest event of the year which helps to raise money for our charitable causes as well as for the current scholarship. The presence of scholarship winners is highly encouraged. Funds will be disbursed directly to the educational institution in the student’s name. scholarshipATG_new Back to Top


2014 Against The Grain Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship Due Date: April 15, 2014

Purpose: To provide financial assistance and promotion of Asian American college seniors and graduate students who have exhibited exemplary leadership, vision, and passion that is blazing a trail for others to follow and changing lives in the Asian American community.

Awards: $1,500 to be applied toward school tuition and fees

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be of at least 50% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity
  • Must be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Must be a high school senior, a college senior enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. four-year college/university or a graduate student enrolled at an accredited U.S. graduate program who will be enrolled in an accredited college/university for the upcoming academic calendar
  • Scholarship is open to students of all majors
  • Have demonstrated visionary leadership abilities through innovative means
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted)
  • Family members of Board members are ineligible

Video Presentation: All scholarship candidates must submit a video presentation showcasing their work and qualifications:

  • Videos will be judged on content, creativity and execution
  • Videos are to be submitted on flash drive in the formats .wmv or .mov

Please note that the selected Finalists and Winners will be asked to sign a release from so that we may feature his or her video on our homepage. Selection Criteria: Selection is based on a rating system judged in five major categories. The candidate with the highest combined cumulative points will receive the scholarship. These categories are:

  • Video presentation
  • Quality of content submission (essay)
  • Academic performance
  • Leadership/community service experience and contribution
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Phone/in-person committee interview

invited to attend our annual charity event, Fashion for a Passion held in Fall of 2014 in Dallas, Texas. Fashion for a Passion is our biggest event of the year which helps to raise money for our charitable causes as well as for the current scholarship. The presence of scholarship winners is highly encouraged.

Funds will be disbursed directly to the educational institution in the student’s name. scholarshipATG_new Back to Top

Presenting the 2013 ATG Artistic Scholarship Winners:

CATHERINE “KIT” ZAUHAR Intended college/university and major: New York University in New York City, NY, Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in TV and film production What does ‘going against the grain’ mean to you? For me, to go Against The Grain is to embrace all the passions one has in life, regardless of stereotypes and cultural expectations. It means to embrace all the wonderful aspects of one’s Asian heritage and from it craft stories that holistically recreate the Asian American experience for everyone. For me, this phrase means to not succumb to stereotypes, to not strive to fit the mold of a test taking, subservient and silent student just because it is what society expects of someone. Instead, it means to be a unique individual who gives new meaning to their culture, to show the world the much too often overlooked creativity, innovation and artistic expressions that exists within the Asian population. To go Against The Grain is to know that your culture will love you no matter what you do, you must only be genuine and true to yourself, and others will embrace and respect you for your bravery, innovation and craft. Essay highlights: “Art has always been my solace. It has appeased my hunger for the incredible, the provoking, the new and the dangerous, and purged me of evil emotions and thoughts through a powerful catharsis. I believe that art can make a difference, not just in an individual’s perceptions but but the sentiments and outlook of a society as a whole. Thought I wan to experiment with many different styles in my films, I know for certain that I want to focus on telling true stories: narratives that develop empathy, expand the range and intensity of human emotion, and bridge gaps of understanding between people of different perspectives and backgrounds.” Watch Kit Zauhar’s Artistic Portfolio Sample.


DJ Wang DIH JIUN “DJ” WANG Intended college/university and major: Parsons School of Design in New York City, NY, majoring in communication design What does ‘going against the grain’ mean to you? Going Against The Grain means facing challenges, taking on challenges that test one’s basic morals, traditional standards and even relationships between friends and family. The greatest challenges that we face are also our greatest teachers. Essay highlights: “As a distinguished leader within my school and community, I not only strive to push myself to reach my maximum potential, but I also challenge my peers so that we can all grow in support of each other. What truly distinguishes me as an individual is my exceptional level of innovation. I am determined to not only solve problems, but how I can make things better for the future. Through my dedication, innovation, and undeniable passion, I strive to make a name for myself and positively impact the world.” Read more about DJ Wang here.


GRACE KWON Grace Kwon Intended college/university and major: University of Oregon in Eugene, OR, majoring in visual/fine art What does ‘going against the grain’ mean to you? To me, going Against The Grain is bravery. It is doing something even when I am aware that I will get stared at, laughed at, yelled at or judged. It is doing this something anyways, because I know it is the right thing for me. Essay highlights: “I believe this catalyst of change is most effectively expressed by the arts. Literature, dance or painting are all forms of self-expression that reflect the ideas most personal to the creator. Yet they have a curious tendency of finding their way into our own thoughts. Art alone reveals the important truths of humanity. I do not think my piece is quite like the rallying, picketing, shouting works of Ai Weiwei, but I hope I have at least spurred the mind of a viewer. To me, a successful art piece is not when a viewer stops for a moment and says: ‘That’s pretty.’ A successful artwork is when she stops, looks and absorbs quietly, and walks away filled with new thoughts in new territories. And maybe, just maybe, she will rev the engine of change.” Read more about Grace Kwon here.


Kendyl Ito KENDYL ITO Intended college/university and major: Pace University in New York City, NY, majoring in musical theatre What does ‘going against the grain’ mean to you? The literal definition of going Against The Grain means to do something opposite of what is usually expected. To me, going Against The Grain means to do something different than the norm and to make yourself unique and original. It means having confidence in yourself to do what may be unpopular, uncommon, and unexpected. It means taking risks, exploring the unfamiliar, and placing yourself in situations where you may be vulnerable. Essay highlights: ”Though my “petiteness” and heritage pose a challenge in the theatre world, as I create a personal valley among the other actors, it motivates me to work twice as hard so directors can focus on my talent rather than my appearances. I look forward to a day when someone Asian or of color no longer “doesn’t look the part.”  When one doesn’t have to consider not pursuing something they are passionate about because of the way they look, which is what I almost did. I am so grateful to the director who encouraged me to pursue the performing arts where I may have opportunity to make positive changes in people’s attitudes and perceptions. I also know my accomplishments may pave the way for others and it will be a way I can give back to the community that has been so supportive of me. One of the things I like most about theatre is it always tells a story and a perfect place to break barriers.  Musical theatre has had a huge influence in my life and has made me into the woman I am today. It’s more than just a safe haven where I can express myself. Theatre is my passion. Theatre is my life. Theatre is my home. I can hardly wait for the next chapter of my life to begin and to discover what contributions I will make.” Read more about Kendyl Ito here.


XIAOYE JIANG Xiaoye Jiang Intended college/university and major: New York University in New York City, NY, double majoring in photography and sociology What does ‘going against the grain’ mean to you? To me, going Against The Grain means deviation from the norm. It is easy to do what everyone else is doing, but it is harder and more worthwhile to follow your passions. Essay highlights: “Art provides culture, stimulation, innovation, beauty and calls attention to various topics as a tool for communication. It is a language that enhances cultural appreciation and awareness. We can use it to analyze, question, criticize, promote and explore. Art teaches me humility. Every once in a while, I begin to think that I have somewhat of a “handle” on this world…until I encounter a work of art that leaves me in awe, with the realization that I not only didn’t have the right answers, but not even the right questions. It teaches me that there is so much more to experience. I believe this type of thinking and learning is something everyone can grow from.” Read more about Xiaoye Jiang here.


Read about the 2012 Artistic Scholarship Winners, Britt Espinosa, Thoa Nguyen and the 2012 Sunna Lee Scholarship Winner, Rebekah Kim.