Through our Scholarship Program, ATG proudly awards Artistic, Grounbreaker Leadership and #LiveLikeLyly scholarships to a select group of amazing Asian American high school seniors, college undergraduate and graduate school students who are shining examples of what it means to Go Against The Grain. Since 2011, we have awarded 20 scholarships. In 2014, we awarded a record ten to deserving students across the country – and look forward to doing the same in 2015!
Monika Hoang is a junior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in Creative Advertising and minoring in Psychology and Latin. She was recently awarded Best Art Director for her portfolio class and was chosen to participate in the One Show Student Exhibition in New York City.
She considers herself to be a relaxed, cheerful and sarcastic both as a person and an artist. Artists must always be pushing themselves creatively, and sometimes this can be achieved when you become one with who you are on a personal and artist level; you never know when the next amazing idea will hit you.
What does getting this scholarship mean to you?
Receiving this scholarship shows me that support for the arts is out there in the community. In a way it gives hope to those who are hesitant to pursue the arts. This scholarship is like a gentle nudge and whisper telling me to keep doing what I love.
What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
Defy stereotypes, try new things, don’t hold yourself back, break down mental barriers, scare some people in a good way, color outside the lines, wear mismatched socks, be free.
What made you decide to pursue a career in the arts?
I actually went back and forth in choosing potential career paths during my senior year of high school. All it took was reminding myself that wherever I would work in the future, I would be for at least 40 hours a week; the thought of doing something I didn’t love solidified my choice in pursuing the arts. Life has more meaning when you’re doing something you care about and makes you happy.
What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American student going into this field?
Initially, overcoming community expectations to pursue fields such as the sciences was a small hurdle to overcome, but once I began to immerse myself in my craft, those demands became insignificant. I did things for me, because I loved to, not because someone else wanted me to.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?
My biggest accomplishment would probably be getting the opportunity to showcase my work in the student exhibition at the annual “One Show” in New York. Being able to attend this conference and meet and network with notable people from within the industry was a truly valuable experience.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
More work! I plan on entering more advertising competitions next school year while honing my craft, so stay tuned!