ATG Announces 2012 Artistic and Sunna Lee Scholarship Winners

Dallas, TX –

After a nationwide call for applicants, Dallas-based non-profit ATG Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce its 2012 Scholarship Winners.  After receiving nearly 150 applications, the scholarship committee culled down the pool to a short list of top finalists, who were then interviewed to select the final winners.

Director of Community Outreach Lily Yang, who was in charge of spearheading the search, said, “It has truly been an honor and privilege, on behalf of myself and the rest of the scholarship team, to have the opportunity to review so many wonderful and inspirational submissions from a such diverse group of artists all across the country.  Though their medium of art is different, we were blown away by everyone’s passion for the arts as well as involvement as leaders in their school and community.  It was a very tough decision.  We believe our winners not only show potential in their field, but also truly embrace our organization spirit of ‘going against the grain.'”

2012 Artistic Scholarship Winner Britt Espinosa

Candidates were scored based on GPA, an artistic portfolio, essay, demonstration of leadership/community involvement and letters of recommendation. The finalists were interviewed to see who would be the best representative of ATG and the organization’s values. There were two 2012 ATG Artistic Scholarship Winners, each of whom will receive $1,000 towards tuition and education expenses. Both candidates were articulate, energetic and showed exceptional academic prowess, dedication to community involvement, artistic talent, as well as leadership ability. The first winner is Britt Espinosa, an 18 year-old from Kingston, Washington who will attend Northeastern University to study Music Management and performance. Espinosa said, “I feel incredibly honored to be chosen out of all the very impressive entries, and participants! It humbles me to see so many young people like myself making beautiful art, and giving back to the community.”

 

The second Artistic Scholarship winner is Thoa Nguyen, who graduated from Juan Seguin High School in Arlington and

2012 Artistic Scholarship Winner Thoa Nguyen

will go on to study Radio/Television/Film at the University of Texas at Austin. Said Nguyen on winning her award, “It means the most to me spiritually. It is a sign or reassurance that what I am doing will be worth it in the end because someone out there believes in me.” Nguyen will be one of the seven exhibiting artists at this year’s Fashion for a Passion event that takes place on Saturday, October 13th at the Dallas Contemporary Museum.

For the first year, ATG offered the Sunna Lee Leadership Scholarship, a result of a generous donation from marketing executive Sunna Lee. The goal of the scholarship was to find a student who was moving to change the Asian American stereotype as a passive, showed strong leadership and ability to affect change in the community. The winner is awarded with a $5,000 scholarship towards tuition and education expenses, $1,000 of which will be donated to a 501(c)(3) non-profit of their choosing to allow them to give back.

President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee was honored to have the opportunity to expand the organization’s outreach efforts through this new leadership scholarship. Nguyen Lee said, “We created the Artistic Scholarship as an extension of what our organization is already doing to promote and support Asian Americans in the arts, and we hope that the Leadership Scholarship continues to cultivate those in our community who are finding unique ways to express themselves and create stories for us to share.” Nguyen Lee continued, “ATG is very fortunate to partner with pioneers in the Asian American community like Sunna Lee and be the organization chosen to broaden our scope to select and promote a leader among the Asian American student population.  It’s a huge honor and responsibility. Our hope is that that this will send an impactful message and continue to inspire others to affect change and leadership in others.”

Regarding the Leadership Scholarship winners, Yang continued, “We had high expectations for applicants of our Leadership scholarship and wanted to hear from Asian American leaders across the country.  The diversity and caliber of applicants far exceed even our highest expectations.  The submissions truly touched us and affirms the goal of our scholarship to support outstanding Asian American leaders to make a difference in the world around them.  The winner has demonstrated not only leadership skills, but also the talent, knowledge, passion, commitment and charisma to make a difference.”

The winner of the Sunna Lee Leadership scholarship is Rebekah Kim of Fullerton, California.  She will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship — $1,000 of which will be donated to a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity of her choosing. Kim the first Korean American to make the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team and competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Teaching at the University of Southern California. Kim said, “It is extremely encouraging to know that an organization such as ATG, that is truly making a difference in the Asian American community, is supporting me in my endeavors to be who I want to be and do what I want to do.  It definitely makes a special mark in my heart and impact my life in a way that I would like to do for others.” Kim will join Sunna Lee on the Groundbreakers Speak panel event on July 28th, hosted at the Crow Collection of Asian Art.

2012 Sunna Lee Leadership Scholarship Winner Rebekah Kim

Read about Rebekah Kim in July’s Going Against The Grain Spotlight.

Read about the 2012 Sunna Lee Leadership Scholarship Finalists.

For more information on both scholarships, visit the Scholarship Page.

 

 

Against The Grain Productions Announces Additional Leadership Scholarship

Non-profit to Award Three Scholarships to Exemplary Asian American Students

DALLAS, TX – Dallas nonprofit ATG Against The Grain Productions proudly announced the addition of the Sunna Lee Leadership Scholarship to its already existing Artistic Scholarship, to be awarded to Asian American students who are breaking the mold through their work in the arts and/or leadership in the community.  Last year’s Artistic Scholarship winners were Texas students Monika Hoang and Dorcas Leung. Both Hoang and Leung were awarded a $1,000 scholarship for their exceptional artistic ability, talent, community involvement, leadership and academics. The addition of the Sunna Lee Leadership scholarship is a $5,000 commitment from business executive Sunna Lee, a powerhouse in the business and fashion world who previously attended ATG’s Fashion for a Passion charity event as a guest and was moved to do her part by motivating and celebrating a young Asian American leader who is changing the stereotype of Asian Americans.

2011 ATG Artistic Scholarship Winner Dorcas Leung
2011 ATG Artistic Scholarship Winner Monika Hoang

ATG Founder/President Tammy Nguyen Lee is excited to include this Leadership Scholarship as an extension of the organization’s already strong commitment to community outreach. Nguyen Lee said, “We created the Artistic Scholarship as an extension of what our organization is already doing to promote and support Asian Americans in the arts, and we hope that the Leadership Scholarship continues to cultivate those in our community who are finding unique ways to express themselves and create stories for us to share.” Nguyen Lee continued, “ATG is very fortunate to partner with pioneers in the Asian American community like Sunna Lee and be the organization chosen to broaden our scope to select and promote a leader among the Asian American student population.  It’s a huge honor and responsibility. Our hope is that that this will send an impactful message and continue to inspire others to affect change and leadership in others.”

Leadership Scholarship Founder Sunna Lee

Sunna Lee is a first-generation Korean American with 25 years as an executive in product development, which includes trends, design, marketing and sourcing for brands and retailers small to large, private and publicly traded companies with $7 million to $2.5 billion in revenues. She has served as Vice President of Marketing for Priss Prints and NoJo, Vice President of New Business Development for Crown Crafts Infant Products, Vice President of Merchandising for Riegel, Director of Fashion for Dorel Juvenile Group and is currently the Director of Product Development for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. At Cracker Barrel, she leads the women’s group, Woman’s Connect, as a member of the steering committee to develop future women leaders of the organization. She previously founded her own line of high-end handmade handbags, which were sold at Stanley Korshak and Neiman Marcus. Lee said, “Being a female Asian growing up in the Deep South, I have had to overcome double the challenges of prejudice and ignorance and have chosen to convert what others may perceive as a disadvantage to a competitive advantage.” Lee is passionate about empowering others to tap into their own potential. “Teach someone to fish instead of giving them fish.  Fish can feed them for one meal.  The skill to fish will feed them for a lifetime.”

Lily Yang, ATG’s Director of Community Outreach, spearheads the review process for both scholarships and highlights the principles of the funds. “The Artistic Scholarship embodies ATG’s mission of promoting awareness of art in all media and a commitment to the community. The scholarship program is not limited to only financial assistance, but also provides the winner with mentorship, exposure and a support group both within and outside of the art community.” Yang continues, “The addition of the Leadership Scholarship allows us to reach out to an even wider group of Asian American students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and made a difference by challenging the conventional Asian American stereotype.  We are looking for candidates who truly embody the spirit of “going against the grain.”

Both the Artistic and Sunna Lee Leadership Scholarship applications are online at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com/Scholarship, and the application deadline is April 15th. Scholarship winners will be invited to attend ATG’s 4th annual Fashion for a Passion charity event, to be held on Saturday, October 13, 2012, at the Dallas Contemporary in Dallas, TX, where they will be presented with their scholarship, as well as showcase their talent amongst other Asian American artists.

ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages and outreach. Their first project, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For scholarship details, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions/scholarship. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.