Author: cnguyen

Meet our 2019 ATG Scholarship Finalists

Through our Scholarship Program, ATG proudly awards Artistic, Groundbreaker Leadership, #LiveLikeLyly and the Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur 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 more than $65,000 in scholarships. Our selection committee reviews a combination of criteria: GPA, extracurricular activities, portfolio, essay and letters of recommendation. Finalists are given a phone interview before deciding who will be our actual winners. Winners will be announced here and on Facebook, so stay tuned…

Meet Our 2019 Scholarship Finalists:

  • Alina Dong
  • Katherine Hui
  • Andrea Liu
  • Marty Loh-Deschaumes
  • David Malinowski
  • Juliet Ortiz
  • Angelina Retodo
  • Jeiying Tong
  • Kevin Tyan
  • Kevin Ung
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2019 Heritage Camp Recap – “Sights and Sounds of SEAPI”

Opening Ceremony at Assembly Hall

ATG Co-Director of Community Outreach Hue Dao and Ambassador Carol Nguyen returned to participate as workshop presenters at the Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Camp (SEAPI) on August 1-4. This is their shared experience at camp and how the ATG team made an impact on this year’s events.

“We were given such a warm welcome on our return to SEAPI Heritage Camp this year. Many organizers and parents were excited to be assigned to help us teach NINE workshops throughout the weekend. We were told that being ATG assistants are a coveted role each year! This was the first time we were teaching in the Longhouse cabin, which was a challenging space due to it not being a true kitchen. However, our coordinator Kristi Kremer made sure we had everything we needed way in advance, and the space was set-up with butane burners, pans, and all the cooking utensils for class.

We taught a diverse range of ages, 1st graders to high schoolers, and a few cooking classes for adults. The theme for 2019 was “Sights & Sounds of SEAPI,” so we spoke about how along with our sense of taste, the senses of sight and hearing also play important roles in how we enjoy eating food. The goal was for everyone to make and decorate a stuffed rice balls that would then be judged on use of color, texture, and creativity. Some of the techniques we taught were how to flip food in a pan, seasoning the filling, stuffing the rice balls, and prepping veggies a variety of ways to enable fun decorations. We were even taught our adult campers how to make puffed rice noodles! The process for each workshop included: 1) make the stuffed rice balls, 2) decorate the base and anchor of the plate, 3) decorate the rice balls. We were so impressed by all the fun creations (many cute animals)! We were touched when several parents came to us afterwards to say that their kids were excited to try making them together at home. After our final workshop, we still had toasted almonds left, so we taught an impromptu class on how to make a smoky/salty almond brittle.

Songkran Time!

The schedule on Saturday allowed a few free hours for Hue to participate in the annual and epic Songkran (water balloon fight)! The ability to breathe in fresh air, view mountains in the background, and delightfully chuck a water balloon at your camp bestie as they are distracted while refilling their water canon — pure delight.

As the camp continues to grow and incorporate more culture from other countries in Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands, we continually meet and connect with other organizations and families that help bring authenticity to the camp. On Friday night, we were invited to the Thai cabin, and were treated to a delicious homemade meal of larb and Thai beef jerky. After a lovely conversation that lasted well into the evening, their generosity extended to giving us their extra garlic for our workshop, and a full bag of homegrown mint. On Saturday, we were invited to the Filipino cabin for a traditional boodle fight. The preparation for this bounty had taken all day and included fresh fruits (pineapple, jack fruit, mangos), fried fish, panic, chicken adobo, beef and vegetable stir fry, lumpia, purple potato, stews, cassava cakes, and fried coconut mochi. It was a feast for our eyes and our souls. 

Packed room for the dragon dance!

The final night was as festive as ever. The gala showcased a huge team of dragon and lion dancers, a hip hop dance troupe from California, and a hilarious skit performed by the campers. The goodbyes were emotional as we see them all growing up each year, standing taller, and asking more poignant questions. As always, we were humbled to be asked to share our knowledge with Heritage Camp. But we will always lovingly play our part in teaching and encouraging pride in heritage and identity.”

Support our efforts at Camp by donating today!

Going Against The Grain: Yasmeen Tadia

Yasmeen Tadia Photo

Yasmeen Tadia is a 32 year-old single mother, with more than 10 years of Human Resources and Business Management experience. In her last role, she was the Corporate Director of Human Resources for the largest hotel management company in New York City, where she managed hotels all over the world from an HR perspective.

Yasmeen Tadia has transformed standard-issue, carnival cotton candy into a completely new and gourmet, flavor-packed experience—and a low-calorie, vegan and gluten-free one, at that. The entrepreneurial vision behind the sweet Fluffpop pouf was actually born out of her desire to provide a healthier candy alternative for her sugar-loving young son Zain—which also instantly made this single mom the CEO of fun for her son. Read more

Going Against The Grain: Cynthia Yung



Cynthia Yung, Executive Director of The Boone Family Foundation

Cynthia Yung currently serves as Executive Director of The Boone Family Foundation, a resource for social change. In this role, she is responsible for identifying and recommending grants for nonprofit organizations that focus on supporting programs which advance equity for women and girls, improve quality of life for children and promote environmental stewardship.

Ms. Yung also serves on advisory boards for The Real Estate Council Community Fund and Texas Women Ventures, Austin College GO! Forum Advisory Council, Dallas ISD Literacy Campaign Committee and steering committees for the Zero to Five Funders Collaborative and Commit! Early Childhood Council. More than a decade of volunteer work on international mission trips and serving on nonprofit boards have paved the way for Ms. Yung’s transition from the corporate world to the nonprofit world.

A Telecom industry veteran, her previous corporate career includes roles in sales, strategic marketing, manufacturing operations and finance for Nortel Networks. Ms. Yung earned a Chartered Professional Accountant designation at Ernst & Young and a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Canada.

Check out news on Ms. Yung’s latest work:

Full Name: Cynthia Yung
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Current City: Dallas, Texas
Ethnicity: 34th generation Chinese

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”

Journey outside your “lines” be it gender, culture, tradition, stereotype, etc.

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Asia World Media: Fabulous Fashions For Charity At Fashion For A Passion

by Anthony Tran, Asia World Media | November 3, 2014



The Three Three Three First Avenue was the place to be on Saturday night, November 1, 2014.  Dallas Fashion enthusiasts flocked to the sixth annual ‘Fashion For A Passion,’ eager to bid on a line-up of designer dresses up for auction in support of Against The Grain Productions (ATG), a non-profit organization raising awareness for orphanages in Asia, scholarships for Asian American students and brings together the talents of emerging Asian American fashion designers, artists and musicians.  In its sixth year, ‘Fashion For A Passion’ event provided a place for the community to celebrate up and coming talents and at the same time, raised money for a worthy cause.  Some designers have launched careers with the event, including Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh, who started as a UNT graduate and within a few short years, her brand has been featured in Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.  Another talented designer, Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang, went on to win the title of ‘Texas Next Top Designer’ and is currently at retail giant Belk, with the potential of landing a million dollar contract with Belk.

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DFW Style Daily: Against The Grain’s ‘Fashion for a Passion’ Marks Record-Setting Year in 2014

by Lisa Petty,

A true passion project of Dallas-based Against The Grain Productions (ATG), Fashion For A Passion is among our city’s most anticipated events each fall. On Saturday, November 1, a sold-out crowd of 450-plus gathered at Three Three Three First Avenue for the sixth annual runway show and stylish fête, which featured a series of firsts and a record-setting goal. Read more

6th Annual Fashion for Passion Breaks All Event Records

FFAP Collage

November 5, 2014 (Dallas, TX) – On Saturday, November 1, Against The Grain Productions held its 6th Annual Fashion for a Passion charity event at Three Three Three First Avenue. In a sold-out show that beat all event records, the event hosted 450 guests and raised more than $35K in funds to go to ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs. Read more

Dallas Morning News: Fashion for a Passion benefit Showcases Asian American Designers’ Work

by Deborah Fleck, Dallas Morning News | October 29, 2014

Asian-American fashion designers will present their creations in Tammy Nguyen Lee’s sixth annual Fashion for a Passion fundraiser Saturday. Lee is the founder and president of Against the Grain Productions, a nonprofit dedicated to producing films, media, programs and events that promote awareness and unity of Asian American culture, artistry and identity.

The runway show will include designs from Becky Hollands, Jerry Matthews, Brandy Pham, Mai Pham, Hue Tran, Vatana Watters and Dora Yim. The event will feature performances by Heart & Hero, Jonavi, Andrew Yun and Lizzy Tan. Artists who will have works on display include Kelly Jackson Brownlee, Tam Nguyen, LeUyen Pham, Elaine Wang and scholarship winners Catherine Mai, Sarah Sullivan, Calvin Tran and Dalena Tran.

Elizabeth Dinh of KTVT-TV (CBS 11) and actress LeeAnne Locken will serve as emcees. The fundraiser, which benefits ATG’s supported orphanages, outreach programs and scholarship fund, will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Three Three Three First Avenue in Dallas. Tickets are $50 to $100. Visit


Cykochik Pop-Up Shop at Fashion for a Passion November 1st!


Cykochik, a former Fashion for a Passion participant and one of our valued community shopping partners will have their line of oh-so-chic ATG Cause Clutches  and more for sale at Fashion for a Passion November 1st! With Christmas around the corner, buy and give something that is artistic, fashionable, ethically made AND also  gives back: 20% of all proceeds sold at FFAP will go to our supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and outreach programs. 

Can’t make it to FFAP this year? You can also shop online, where 10% always benefits ATG. Thanks so much to Cykochik Custom Handbags for the continued  support…and for keeping us stylish!