Category: Against the Grain Productions

Congratulations to the 2021 ATG Scholarship Winners

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 undergraduates, and graduate school students who are shining examples of what it means to go Against The Grain.  Our selection committee reviews a combination of criteria: GPA, extracurricular activities, portfolio, essay, and letters of recommendation. Finalists are given a phone interview.  In 2021, ATG awarded $14,500 in scholarships to nine outstanding students. Since 2011, we have awarded $97,500 in scholarships to more than 60 exceptional AAPI students across the nation.

The Scholarships Committee was led by Co-Directors of Community Outreach Hue Dao and Lisa Tran. Hue Dao has served on the Board since she was a college graduate. Said Hue, “We are fortunate to not only witness the talent and creativity of these amazing students but also be proud that these students are representing the Asian American community. They are excellent leaders, present fresh perspectives, and challenge the status quo. Not only are they creating pathways for themselves but blazing paths for others.”

Lisa Tran also serves as ATG’s Advisor to Thailand and professionally as Managing Director of Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at SMU Cox School of Business. Said Lisa, “One of the highlights of every year is reviewing the ATG Scholarship applications and meeting the finalists during the interview process. I continue to be blown away by their academic achievements, but more importantly, what they plan to do with their education. Whether it is through art, leadership, or entrepreneurship, I am grateful to be a part of the scholarship recipients’ academic journey and excited to see what they will accomplish professionally.

Tammy Nguyen Lee, ATG Co-Founder/President, helped create these unique scholarships a decade ago with the intention of supporting AAPI youth and giving hope. Said Tammy, “Ten years ago, we started this scholarship with a small dream to give back to the next generation. After reaching our scholarship’s 10th anniversary milestone, we look back on all the students we have been able to help and see the ripple effect. It is gratifying to see the bravery, courage and innovation in their projects, their career choices, and how they are continuing to pay it forward –  in effect how much they are going Against The Grain.  This year’s winners are an inspiring group – thoughtful, socially conscious, strong, creative, and compassionate. We are incredibly proud of them and look forward to all the great things they will do. I am personally very grateful for the dedication and hard work of our scholarship review committee of Hue Dao, Lisa Tran, and Ann Chao Sheu, as well as generous scholarship donors like Bruce and Pat McRae, Ranier and Grace Pabilona, and countless supporters for helping us keep alive the spirit of what it means to go Against The Grain. We look forward to the next decade and what good we can do together.”

We are thrilled to announce this year’s exceptional nine winners…

    • Brittney Bautista – Artistic Scholarship
    • Saxon Kennedy – Artistic Scholarship
    • Joe Bun Keo – Artistic Scholarship
    • James Koga – Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship
    • AnhPhu Nguyen – Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship
    • Isabella Nguyen – McCrae Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship
    • Evelyn Liu – #LiveLikeLyly Artistic Scholarship
    • Rose Van Dyne – Artistic Scholarship
    • Olivia Zalecki – Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

Brittney Bautista | Lake Hopatcong, NJ | 20 years old | GPA: 3.769 | Pratt Institute | Film/Video Studies | Filipina 

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“To me, going Against The Grain means challenging the norm, rejecting conformity, and taking risks. As an Asian American, I define this by taking the leap of pursuing an artistic career- a choice that is not normally favored in Asian communities. Going Against The Grain  means going against stereotypes; mustering the courage to reach for anything I desire, and not allowing myself to be defined by others. From an artistic perspective, going Against The Grain means doing the unexpected; being ambitious, and pushing the limits of what I can create. ”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“As an artist, I go Against The Grain by going out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to create art that is completely vulnerable, intimate, and personal. Meshing mediums, combining genres of film, and playing with unconventional framing and lighting are all ways I go against the grain as a filmmaker. Furthermore, as an Asian American woman, I refuse to be classified as quiet, meek, and subservient. Rather, I will continue to amplify my voice through my art, take up space, and encourage young Asian women like myself to take charge in the film industry. After decades of oppression, it is time that we, Asian Americans, stand up for ourselves and encourage our community to pursue a career in the field they are truly passionate about regardless of judgment from others. Through my art, I hope to break boundaries and Asian stereotypes one film at a time.”

 


Saxon Kennedy | Davie, FL | 18 years old | GPA: 4.0 | Berklee College of Music | Songwriting/Music | Filipina 

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“A person who goes Against The Grain pushes against their personal, physical, and social restraints to attempt something new and impactful. When I make music, I push myself and the people around me to use my art as a medium for helping people—whether that be through socially-conscious messaging in my original music, providing free music to young children, or performing benefit concerts for local charities. In all of my work, I try not only to push the boundaries of my music but to do so in a way that helps my community.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“Music is a language that connects communities. My musical perseverance has been a source of joy in my life that connects me to so many people around me. These connections have shaped my presence as a musician committed to going Against the Grain.

My most precious musical memories were made through teaching music to others. In my school’s Sagemont Synergy music program, I realized the powerful role of a musical mentor as I sat down after school to teach my peers musical arrangements for our shows. I am grateful that I was able to take my mentorship to a new level by helping young children grow in the Sagemont Siblings mentorship program. It was here that I grew as a leader and advocate of youth empowerment through education, taking initiative to provide kids with free musical lessons every week.

Through my acts of service to my community, I have learned that one person’s music can be an act of greater community at the local level and beyond. I will forever be a leader, a collaborator, a friend, a mentor, and an artist committed to going Against The Grain to affect positive change.”

 


Joe Bun Keo | Hartford, CT | 34 years old | GPA: 3.5 | Pacific Northwest College of Art at Willamette University | Art and Visual Studies | Cambodian/Khmer

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“I’m not against grain, I love rice! All jokes aside, going Against The Grain just means marching to the beat of your own drum, doing things your way.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“My way is to break the chain of the inter-generational trauma of my upbringing and use the experience to educate my fellow Cambodian Americans about mental health awareness. The task-oriented, rigid, and often cold, distant parenting of Asian parents takes an emotional, mental, and sometimes physical toll on us. With my conceptual work, I try to present issues stemming from the effects of this toxic, hostile, and abusive situation using everyday objects as vessels. The items, commodities, and materials become a lightning rod, a place to have that hard introspective discussion of that is what happened and this is how I can stop it from continuing. It’s being vulnerable for the sake of saving the future.”

 


James Koga | Irvine, CA | 18 years old | GPA: 4.4 | Cornell University | Music & Public Policy | Korean and Japanese American

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“My family has a history of silence. Silence became a tool of erasure for my Japanese American grandfather who never spoke about his removal from U.C. Berkeley and incarceration at Tule Lake. Likewise, my dad never shared his father’s WWII history. Grandpa Sumio’s generation was called the “Quiet Americans.” I inherited my family’s quiet ways. I’ve been a listener, an observer. For this, my teachers called me a “role model.” Against The Grain means breaking from family history and society’s perspective of the “model” Asian American and speaking up for the issues that I care deeply about.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“I went Against The Grain the day I stood up to an abusive teacher and his months of bullying my classmates and me. I couldn’t stay silent any longer. I spoke to my principal. I spoke on record to my resource officer and defended an unfairly expelled classmate. I was no longer the “quiet Asian” kid. With my newfound voice, I became one of the first Braver Angels high school representatives in the country and promoted this grassroots organization’s goal of engaging students in political depolarization through civil discourse. As a Taco Bell Foundation Live Mas Scholar, I’ve become an advocate for connecting people through communication. Most proudly, as the founder of The Hip Hop Workshop, I’ve promoted rap and poetry as an avenue for self-expression for kids and adults alike. Sponsored by The Dragon Kim Foundation, my social entrepreneurship project has helped people tell their personal stories about racial identity, depression, homelessness, and gender identity. Through the medium of the spoken word, I’ve used my voice to give voice to others. By going Against The Grain, I am making a difference as a leader, an advocate, and a positive role model.”

 


AnhPhu Nguyen | Papillion, NE | 18 years old | GPA: 4.491 | Harvard University | Computer Science | Vietnamese

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“To me, “Going Against the Grain” means to be willing to do things others aren’t willing to do in order to improve yourself and the community around you. It means making the sacrifice, and doing the work in the present, so that your future self and the world you leave behind is better than when you found it.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“Being a first-generation student and immigrant to the U.S., my parents can only land low-level jobs as a janitor and a nail tech. Seeing them work so hard, yet still struggling to provide for us let alone buy us electronics motivated me to make an affordable, reliable option to access electronics, and become financially stable. I go Against The Grain by starting my own business, Phu’s Phone Emporium, instead of getting a normal minimum-wage job. I went Against The Grain by teaching myself how to fix phones, and growing my company myself to over $280,000 in sales in less than two years. Going Against The Grain for me also means improving my overall community through my business. I’ve donated phones and tablets to families in need, so they can access online school or contact their families. I’ve donated hundreds of dollars to poor families in Vietnam as well as over $1,000 to nonprofits dedicated to providing free tech access here in Omaha. Improving my community also means making an affordable, quality, and reliable option to access technology for Omaha locals; I go Against The Grain by beating my competitors’ prices $30-150 on almost every repair. *Company Page: fb.me/phus.phones”

 


Isabella Nguyen | Arlington, TX | 17 years old | GPA: 4.0 | Emory University | Pre-Med Biology | Vietnamese

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“Going Against The Grain means to challenge the standards and expectations imposed on you to express, exceed, and excel. Throughout my experiences, going Against The Grain  was not a picture-perfect process; it required time and discovery to find the road less traveled on where I still felt comfortable. Against The Grain is more than just finding new strengths. It’s forging new paths, redefining yourself, and igniting a passion for future leaders as well.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“Going Against The Grain, I was enraptured by the impact my actions have and memories my thoughts can manifest.

Founding a non-profit, I advocate/combat stigmas surrounding women’s health by providing free period products to low-income women. Earning numerous leadership positions in 12+ school organizations, I optimize responsibility to foster communal growth. Leading volleyball teams, I encourage communication as captain. Coaching middle school/club volleyball, I utilize experience to build character/skill in ambitious players. Establishing my core mediation research, I promote environmental sustainability. Administering care at health camps and to impoverished communities in Vietnam, I implement my passion on a global scale. Volunteering 200+ hours and founding my own Asian heritage club—Summit Association of Asian/Middle-Eastern Scholars—I forge connections.

Change requires action, change requires perseverance, and change requires an idea; as I grow I hope to expand the script to include the voices of the unheard I’ve experienced as an Asian-American woman. As I go Against The Grain I work to become an ophthalmologist and researcher to lead global expeditions to serve those in need.”

 


Evelyn Liu | Parsippany, NJ | 27 years old | GPA: 3.4 | New York School of Interior Design | MFA Interior Design | Shanghainese-Taiwanese

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“To go Against The Grain is about confronting the status quo. It means on top of identifying and magnifying an issue, one must also take action in the face of possible rejection or lack of interest. Going Against The Grain is not a comfortable choice but the rewards that lie beyond the initial discomfort are certainly worth it. And what is “worth” the challenge is rising above those that haven’t seen your vision and confidently taking your own stand on an issue- that is how you create change, no matter how small it may be.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“While I am certainly not the first to pursue sustainable interior design (nor am I the last) by actively choosing to place people over profit, I am going Against The Grain. In what I have observed from the deepening industrialized global state, it is very easy to forget that the end-user is a living, breathing human being in the pursuit of power, money, or status. We not only lose our connection to and compassion for each other, but we also ultimately lose our humanity. Despite all that’s happened within these past few years, I still believe that we as a society do have a chance to overcome these challenges. By integrating “slow design” into the public consciousness and by actively promoting the use and development of renewable materials in commercial interior design projects, one can still prioritize human-environmental harmony. Furthermore, as an artist, I have plenty of experience as an outsider and create works that document emotions that are taboo or unconventional. My work may not have mass appeal, but I continue to make those works in the hope that my art can be relatable for those who have had similar feelings or experiences.”

 


Rose Van Dyne | Fort Collins, CO | 25 years old | GPA: 3.89 | Boston Conservatory at Berklee | MFA MT Vocal Pedagogy | Korean-American

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“Going Against The Grain means to have the courage and bravery to forge a new path ahead, even when it seems like all odds are against you. It means to acknowledge the lives of those who came before you who wanted to take the road less traveled, but couldn’t. It means to choose joy and compassion in all components of the life you are creating for yourself. Defying the status quo is both a privilege and a duty; an everlasting pursuit to be true to ourselves! May we all be so lucky to go Against The Grain.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“I go Against The Grain by amplifying the voices of historically marginalized communities in an industry that has long favored the stories of the colonizers. We often hear that art is a reflection of society, but I believe that the opposite can be true. Art can serve as a catalyst to change the minds and hearts of those who make up our society. Through continued work to provide greater representation and education of our Global Majority populations on the silver screen and Broadway stage, we inch closer to a more equitable and empathetic culture that includes ALL people.

As an educator, it has become ever more apparent that the Western ideal is the standard from which all other perspectives and cultures deviate. By changing the narrative of what constitutes as standard casting, repertoire, representation, etc. we allow space for new voices to be heard and finally have a seat at the table. Particularly as an Asian American and the daughter of an immigrant, I am honored to play a part in the changing of the telling of the American story; one that finally can include and center people who look like me.”

 


Olivia Zalecki | Charlotte, NC | 24 years old | GPA: 4.0 | Columbia University | Sociology | Chinese

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“To go Against The Grain means to acknowledge and ‘sit with’ societies’ discomforts, fears and injustices- then confront them. It is a path built by constructing your sense of self-worth, critically and thoughtfully examining the world in which we inhabit and challenging all the assumptions we have. Going Against The Grain means speaking out and standing up for a more just world, despite our fears, and with unwavering hope for a brighter future. As an Asian American woman, it means taking up the space I deserve and demanding for my community to be heard for our humanity.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“I was in middle school when I was told that I ‘wasn’t really Asian’ for the first time. I began to go Against The Grain when I realized that no one has the power to challenge my identity and authenticity as an Asian American transracial adoptee. I have grown a space for myself within the Asian American community through leading Asian American student conferences, interning with OCA National in D.C. and working as a program director at North Carolina Asian Americans Together. I have found spaces filled with love in the Asian American community. I have had friends guide me through learning and more importantly, unlearning. Addressing my positionality as an adoptee born of China’s repressive One-Child policy, while also acknowledging my own privilege has expanded and challenged my worldview. I continue to go Against The Grain through my advocacy for the Asian American adoptee community. addressing the subjects of cultural erasure and white saviorism that are often considered too uncomfortable to address. My work and thoughts on international adoption have been published by Eleven University of California Berkeley’s undergraduate journal of sociology, and the blog, ReAppropriate.”

Announcing the Thear Sy Suzuki R.I.S.E Scholarship

After awarding nearly $100,000 in scholarships to more than 60 worthy AAPI student artists, leaders and entrepreneurs over the past decade, Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce the addition of The Thear Sy Suzuki R.I.S.E. Scholarship to its scholarship fund for 2022. Recognizing Asian American high school seniors, college, or graduate students who have exhibited an ability to rise above circumstances, demonstrated the ability to lift up others, and shown exemplary servant leadership in the Asian American community and beyond, the new scholarship will provide a scholarship between $1,500-$2,500 for AAPI student leaders attending accredited American universities.

“Upon commemorating our scholarship fund’s 10th Anniversary milestone and seeing how much our scholarships have impacted our youth over the last decade, collaborating with an exceptional Asian American leader like Thear Suzuki who has been an advocate for positive change in our community makes so much sense,” said Against The Grain President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “Thear has served as ATG’s Aid Advisor to Cambodia for many years and been a longstanding supporter of our organization. Her special way of giving while lifting up others around her is what makes her so special. She exemplifies what it means to go Against The Grain with hope, courage, and humility. We are truly excited about this next step for our non-profit to help inspire a legacy of leaders like Thear.”

Thear’s personal purpose is to inspire courageous actions in others so they can lead more impactful lives. Thear is a Global Client Service Partner at EY with 25 years of professional services experience. She served clients at Accenture for 16 years and joined EY in 2012, where she has served as Regional Advisory Managing Partner and Americas Consulting Talent Leader. At EY, Thear serves on the Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council, and she champions leadership development programs that build inclusive, innovative, and courageous leaders for the 21st century.

Thear is passionate about increasing leadership and philanthropic capacity in herself and others. She is active with organizations that develop leaders and lift up others. Thear currently serves on the Communities Foundation of Texas Board, SMU Lyle Engineering School Executive Board, the SMU Tate Lecture Series Board, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee, the National Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship Board, and Co-Chair for the 50/50 Women on Boards – Dallas initiative. Thear is a member of the International Women’s Forum and United Way Women of Tocqueville. With the Texas Women’s Foundation, Thear served on the board for two terms, co-chair of the Economic Leadership Council and a proud founding member of the Orchid Giving Circle. Thear also served two board terms with the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum.

Thear is a Presidential Leadership Scholar and has received several awards, including the DCEO Corporate Excellence in Leadership, the SMU Women’s Symposium Profiles in Leadership, Women Leaders in Consulting Award, NOMI Abolitionist Award, Asian Chamber of Texas Humanitarian & Community Services Award, WING’s Mentors & Allies Award, and Thear was named one of the most powerful business leaders in North Texas 2021 and 2022 by DCEO. Thear is featured in President George W Bush’s new book, Out of Many, One – Portraits of America’s Immigrants and a contributing author to Passionately Striving in Why – An Anthology of Women Who Persevere Mightily to Live Their Purpose.

Thear earned her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering Specialization from Southern Methodist University. She lives in Plano, Texas with her husband and their four sons.

Thear Sy Suzuki

Please share the inspiration behind the Thear Sy Suzuki R.I.S.E. Scholarship.

“At an early age I was displaced from my home in Cambodia and my family survived the Killing Fields after 4 brutal years of not knowing if we were going to live or die. Coming to a foreign land as a refugee and not speaking the language or knowing anyone, I struggled to find my identity. Though I was loved, I had negative beliefs about my value, my worth and my capabilities. I was stuck in a victim mindset and adopted a story that kept me small. It would take many years of development and with significant help from others before I unlocked my true voice and discovered how I can be an agent for positive change. I found my power. I’m speaking of the power to choose my path and live a life of commitment, meaning and purpose, focused on others. I envision a world in which all people feel free and safe to be themselves and use their gifts and talents to help others. My personal purpose is to inspire courageous actions in others so they can lead more impactful lives. The inspiration behind this scholarship is based on my own personal experience of taking actions to rise above my circumstances and negative beliefs in order to live my full potential and play a part in helping to change the world for the better.”

What do you hope to accomplish?

“I hope to encourage others towards a life of kindness, of giving back and paying it forward.”

Why is this scholarship important?

“What helped me on my journey was having people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. There are times in our lives when we need that from others. None of us makes it alone, we need each other. I owe my successes to people (many are strangers) who chose to invest in me without expecting anything in return for themselves. Rarely are we able to pay it back but we can always pay it forward.”

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~ Winston Churchill

For more information on the scholarship and to apply, visit our Thear Sy Suzuki R.I.S.E Scholarship Page.

If you would like to support our R.I.S.E. efforts, please donate and email outreach@againstthegrainproductions.com to designate your donation to this scholarship fund.

About Against The Grain Productions
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 underprivileged children. In addition to hosting outreach events, it also awards annual scholarships to exemplary Asian American student artists, leaders, and entrepreneurs. ATG produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at more than a dozen film festivals nationwide and 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 more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.
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Congratulations to the 2020 ATG Scholarship Winners

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 $76,500 in scholarships. Our selection committee reviews a combination of criteria: GPA, extracurricular activities, portfolio, essay, and letters of recommendation. Finalists were given a phone interview. During this pandemic year, ATG awarded $6,500 in scholarships to 5 outstanding students.

The Scholarships Committee was led by Co-Directors of Community Outreach Hue Dao and Lisa Tran. Hue Dao has served on the Board since she was a college graduate. Said Hue, “We received over 300 applications this year. The quality of the applicants is the most competitive we have seen in the nine years since we started the program. These students are vibrant, hardworking and inspirational. This year, more than ever, students are seeking out scholarship opportunities. We are thrilled to help meet some of this demand with the help of our generous donors and supporters.”

Lisa Tran also serves as ATG’s Advisor to Thailand and professionally as Managing Director of Corporate Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at SMU Cox School of Business. Said Lisa, “We had a record number of applicants this year, and the high caliber of talent continues to inspire me every year. As I reviewed the applications, I am confident that many of the students will be leaders one day. Knowing that ATG has played a part in the students’ educational and career successes is why I love serving as a board member. Thank you to our generous donors who allow us to offer scholarships to Asian American students. ”

Tammy Nguyen Lee, ATG Co-Founder/President, created these unique scholarships with the intention to support AAPI youth and give hope. Said Tammy, “Each year, getting to see what our AAPI youth have done and dream to achieve is truly inspiring. From my own experience, I know how much a scholarship can impact and provide meaning to a young student’s confidence and future. I have every faith that these exceptional students will make positive contributions to our community in ways that we can only imagine. Through our scholarship fund, we are making an invaluable investment in our future and changing our narrative. ATG is very grateful to our scholarship review committee of Hue Dao, Lisa Tran, Carol Nguyen, and Nikki Dương Koenig, as well as our generous scholarship donors like Bruce and Pat McRae and Ranier and Grace Pabilona for helping us keep alive the spirit of what it means to go Against The Grain.”

We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners…

  • Esther Cha – Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship
  • Emma Ne – Artistic Scholarship
  • Jenny Lin – Bruce & Pat McRae Groundbreaker Scholarship
  • Socheat Tauch – #LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship
  • Elizabeth Duong Lê – Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

Esther Cha | Carrollton, TX | 21 years old | GPA: 3.82 | University of Southern California |Business Administration | Korean

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“Going ‘Against The Grain’ means to take action in the now and not wait for circumstances to become easier or better. It means to boldly and wisely use my resources and privileges to give a voice to those in my community. To me, that has meant to go beyond the traditional paths of business and explore innovative solutions for our world’s most pressing social issues.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“After learning of the rising college homelessness issue in Los Angeles, I began my ‘Against The Grain’ journey by asking one simple question: ‘What can I do to help?’ Since then, I co-founded Trojan Shelter, a homeless shelter specifically for college students by securing a location in LA’s Koreatown, recruiting over 50 volunteers and raising over $150,000. This experience has had an indelible impact on my life and showed me that I can create social impact in any position, field, or circumstance. As a student, I have done this by advocating for BIPOC talent and writers, while working at top entertainment companies, studying social entrepreneurship, and providing pro-bono consulting to nonprofit organizations. I want to continue to be a groundbreaker in my community by pursuing my dream of starting a social enterprise business that employs those experiencing homelessness, while providing them with resources such as food, housing assistance, job training, and mental health resources. Using my marketing and entertainment background, I hope to change people’s perspectives by leveraging my passion for storytelling to make stronger arguments for combatting homelessness.”


Emma Nebeker | Austin, TX | 18 years old | GPA: 3.92 | Art Center College of Design | Animation & Digital Arts | Taiwanese/Caucasian

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“Going ‘Against The Grain’ means never leaving one grain of rice in the bowl, and it certainly never means rejecting the rice scooped into it. It means swimming against the tsunami of stereotypes, pridefully carrying alongside us the noodles, rice, dumplings, or curry that our parents made us, while we work hard to undo the coursing tidal waves of prejudice against us Asians and Asian Americans. It means introducing our newest works to the world, thanking our parents and our greatest challengers for the firmest iterations of where we come from, and why we are so driven to succeed.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“I go ‘Against The Grain’ by breathing my life into my work. I am an animator: I bring motion to still figures and emotion from my greatest personal struggles into my characters. I do not stay complacent with the far and few animated features that include Asians and Asian Americans. I will not rely on others to include a culture often excluded from mainstream media. I continue to work hard to feature characters of Asian descent and their experiences: with culture shock, with a parent’s struggle to assimilate into the society they immigrated to, a child’s struggle to learn their mother tongue, of adolescents wrestling with what lunch to bring to school—’a bland and non smelly PB&J? Or the shui jiao that my mom worked so hard to cook for me last night?’—all of these experiences, I will include. I will not stop until the whole world understands why a bowl of fruit or the phrase, ‘Come eat!’ can double as an apology. I will go ‘Against The Grain’ of western entertainment to introduce the sharp realities and subtle beauties of Asian culture.”


Jenny Lin | Los Angeles, CA | 30 years old | GPA: 3.65 | School of Visual Arts | Design for Social Innovation | Chinese

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“To go ‘Against The Grain’ means to build your self confidence: that despite what others see, you might see something different, and that difference is worth pursuing. It is easy to doubt yourself when the world doesn’t reflect your vision. You begin the journey by understanding who you are and by standing up for your self worth. Grounding yourself is absolutely essential, because even if you fail, you never know who you will inspire along the way.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“For a long time, I did not trust my own voice.

My upbringing as a Chinese American taught me the traditional values of obedience and filial piety. While my parents are loving people, their world view was molded by a troubled society. When I left my upper-middle class family to attend college, I learned about the injustices happening to others less fortunate. I saw gentrification, criminalization, and dead ends for brilliant people. I started using my voice to speak up and act. I became active in my local Chinatown grassroots organization to fight against Wal-Mart and greedy developers. I used art to share stories and build new narratives. I learned UX to understand how we can use technology to build tools for change.

For me, choosing to go ‘Against The Grain’ means to actively challenge my parents’ and societal norms to pursue justice. Today, I trust my voice, because I see the change it can bring. I continue to build my voice by pushing my boundaries, building my leadership skills, and investigating the possibilities of better worlds.”


Socheat Tauch | Troutdale, OR | 28 years old | GPA: 3.61 | University of Oregon | Sports Product Management | Cambodian

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“Going ‘Against The Grain’ means to individually and spiritually break free from the constraints of cultural, societal, and family norms. It’s about breaking your safety and comfort barrier, standing up for what you truly believe in, and striving toward your dreams. It’s challenging the status quo, empowering others, while giving back to the community, and acting as an agent of change. Moreover, it also means taking a risk to address the underlying issues with a systems-thinking approach, fused with creative, sustainable, and innovative steps in developing fair and equitable solutions.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“I am the friction within the Cambodian community in Oregon. Everyday, I challenge the Khmer expectation and the model minority myth that Asian Americans are good at math, musically-inclined, and have life-long careers as doctors, pharmacists, attorneys, and business people. There isn’t much room for creativity, art, or design within my community spaces. However, through several graphic design projects over 5 years, I represented myself as a designer within my community, and through my professional role, I was able to serve as an example that creativity does hold value and merit in society.

I am also the very same designer that creates friction within the sports product industry, too. Entering the apparel industry confronts the stigmatization that Khmers are known as “cheap and expendable” garment labor. Because of the exploitative practices in Cambodia, we have always historically been at the bottom. This representation is very important to me because I strive to be the example that uplift Khmers as more than factory laborers, but show that we can hold creative decision-making roles as apparel designers, product developers, and mid-to-senior level managers and directors, too.”


Elizabeth Duong Lê | Capitol Heights, MD | 22 years old | GPA: 3.77 | George Washington University | Security Policy Studies | Vietnamese 

What does it mean to go “Against The Grain?”

“To me, going Against The Grain’ is taking the road less traveled and withstanding the pains of criticism as well as fears of unfamiliarity, while paving a path for the generations who come after. Going ‘Against The Grain’ means striving to be the difference, even if it means standing alone. Those who go ‘Against The Grain’ accept risk and are willing to sacrifice completely for the opportunity to pursue a more authentic life, achieve excellence, be truly free, and fulfill what is unique to their soul and purpose.”

How do you go “Against The Grain?”

“I went ‘Against The Grain’ when I understood that healing transgenerational trauma and understanding familial history were both prerequisites to breaking the cycle of poverty for my refugee family. I’m the youngest of five, born fifteen years after and the first to graduate college, completing undergraduate with a 4.0 GPA and earning a fellowship to pursue graduate studies. I broke ground by dedicating myself to a purpose larger than myself. Growing up, my household’s dysfunction made it difficult to believe in a world outside of one plagued by self-destruction and unhealthy survival tactics. However, with an innate compulsion to bring betterment where I notice a lack thereof, I challenged myself to rise above the emotional and intellectual naivety present in my milieu. Doing so allowed me to undertake a rigorous journey, in which I would break ground, examine the conditions my family has survived, and dedicate myself to conflict resolution efforts and the alleviation of human suffering. I didn’t make it to where I am today because of where I come from; I made it despite where I come from.”

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: Uyen Vuong

Uyen was born in Nha Trang City, Vietnam. She grew up in a tailoring/design school, within walking distance to the beach. Her creativity seed was planted by her parents at a young age. With fabric remnants, her father meticulously crafted unique patchwork garments for her wardrobe. She sported them with pride knowing that every piece was one of a kind and made only for her. Uyen’s love for colors, contrast, and asymmetry stemmed from her extraordinary childhood. Her appreciation for one of a kind art was what drew her to marble painting. Her work is inspired by vivid memories of sandy beaches, deep blue ocean, golden rice fields, high cliffs, waterfalls and natural lakes hidden in tropical forests. Most important were memories of her hardworking parents and endless summers roaming in nature with her brothers. This was where Uyen’s Color Tales began. It was her way of expressing her deepest thoughts and bringing her fondest memories to life.

Gallery: https://www.thecolortales.shop/gallery
Facebook: https://facebook.com/thecolortales
Instagram: @thecolortales

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Orphanage and Underprivileged Children Aid Update: The Philippines

ATG was able to provide $2,100 to support underprivileged children in the Philippines recently with the remaining $900 still in process of being disbursed. Thanks to the help of ATG Co-Director of Programming/Events Jennifer Devany’s family and family friends, 100 kids in the province of Buhi Camarines Sur were so humbled and grateful to have received an abundance of items to meet their basic needs. The following items were provided to the children:

         – School supplies such as bag packs, notebooks, pens/pencils, note pads
         – Toiletries such as toothbrushes, shampoo/conditioner
         – Clothing such as slippers, t-shirts and shorts, raincoat, umbrellas
         – Food such as noodles, sardines and milk

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“There is a family of 10 children raised only by a mother. The youngest of the children has developed sclerosis. The children do not know what happened to the father,” said Cherry Rose Nachos, Jennifer’s cousin, who has been a tremendous help to distributing these items to the underprivileged children. Cherry Rose interviewed a seven year-old child who has three siblings and who are all being taken care of by their grandparents. She, too, does not know what happened to their parents. She can barely speak as she holds back tears when asked where her parents. Many thanks to your donations to help underprivileged children in need for our second disbursement to the Philippines.

 

Against The Grain Announces 5th Annual Groundbreakers Speak Panel

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July 13, 2016 (DALLAS) – Dallas-based nonprofit Against The Grain Productions will host their 5th Annual Groundbreakers Speak: A Conversation with Movers and Shakers at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in the Emperors Ballrooms I & II in partnership with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) at the NAAAP National Convention on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. This signature community event will bring together a diverse panel of remarkable Asian American industry leaders who will share their inspiring personal stories and paths to success.

To kick off the panel discussion, NAAAP National President Fabian De Rozario will provide introductory remarks. President/Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee will moderate the panel saying, “We are thrilled to partner with NAAAP again to bring this inspirational event to a national platform of leaders. This year’s convention theme of “Going All In: Lead with Courage!” speaks to the spirit of many trailblazers and appropriately to all the superb panelists that we have selected to share their stories.”

General seating tickets are $25 and student tickets with valid ID are $15 and will be on sale now through Aug. 12 at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com/events/Groundbreakers.

Introducing the 2016 Groundbreakers Speak panelists:

joey guilaJoey Guila – If laughter is medicine, comedian Joey Guila has your prescription. This San Francisco native brings happiness to any event just as long as you don’t pay him in rolls of nickels. A complete entertainer who takes you through a journey of Old School and New School, his multi-cultural style of comedy hits home for all audiences.

Before comedy, he was a licensed cosmetologist working at the Jose Eber Salon in Beverly Hills and voted “Most Macho Eyebrows.” He still laughs at the fact that he was the only straight Filipino hairdresser on Rodeo Drive. In 2003, Joey won the regional “Kings of Comedy” competition run by Latham Entertainment, the founder of “The Original Kings of Comedy,” which includes Bernie Mac, Cedric The Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Steve Harvey. Joey was invited to perform with Latham Entertainment at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Universal Amphitheater in Hollywood.

Joey has done voice overs for the “Nutshack Cartoon” and has been featured on VH1, G4 Tech TV, Showtime (Pacific Rim Comedy with Edwin San Juan) and on HBO with P. Diddy’s comedy special. He was recently coast-to-coast on the Verizon APAHM Tour and the Headliner on The Filipino Kingz Tour. He has hosted two television shows on Myx TV called “That’s My Jam” and “Myx Rated,” which recently won a Telly Award. His past guests have been Justin Bieber, PitBull, Boyz II Men, Naughty By Nature, Jason Derulo and Amerie. Joey has also opened for Al B. Sure, Black Eyed Peas,The Jabbawockeez and Bruno Mars.

When he is not on tour, he enjoys eating rice four times a day and watching “The Brady Bunch” in Tagalog. Joey says he is living his dream and now wants to be the first Islander on “Cribs” to have a chandelier in his mobile home.

What does it mean to you to be a Groundbreaker?
“I’m just excited to be a part of the artistic community, as far as ‘groundbreaking,’ that would just be my breakdancing name because I was chubby in the 80s.”

What do you hope to achieve by participating in this panel?
“I just hope to bring some joy, show off my new slippers and inspire anyone interested in living their dreams.”

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
“’Going Against The Grain’ to me means listening to the music of your soul and pumping up the volume.”

TiffanyTiffany Pham – Tiffany Pham is the Founder & CEO of Mogul, an award-winning worldwide platform connecting women to trending content, including stories, products and jobs that are personalized to their interests.

Tiffany was named one of “Forbes” “30 Under 30” in Media, “Business Insider” “30 Most Important Women Under 30” in Technology, “ELLE Magazine” “30 Women Under 30 Who Are Changing the World” and also the Recipient of the Cadillac “IVY Innovator” Award. She has spoken at the United Nations, Microsoft, Bloomberg, AOL, Harvard Business School, Wharton, Prudential, UCSD, Northeastern, Columbia and
in Dubai.

Among her many career accomplishments, Tiffany served as a Director of Business Development at CBS, for which she received the 2013 CBS Digital Media “All-Star” Award; worked with HBO, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs; co-produced the hit feature film “Girlfriend”, “Child 31”, and “Hermit”, among others; oversaw the theatrical release of the film “Arcadia”; and served as Head of Marketing for the Beijing International Screenwriting Competition, launched with the Beijing government.

Tiffany served on the Board of Directors for No Limits Media, Board of Trustees for Provincetown Film Society, the Interactive & Technology Committee for WNET New York Public Media and the Business Committee for the New York City Ballet for the past six years. Tiffany is also an Advisor to YCombinator startup BuzzStarter.

Tiffany is the co-author of the book “From Business Strategy to Information Technology Roadmap: A Practical Guide for Executives and Board Members” (published by CRC Press). She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School.

What does it mean to you to be a Groundbreaker?
“At Mogul, being a Groundbreaker means carrying out our mission of enabling women to connect, share information and access knowledge from one another. Reaching 18 million women per week, across 196 countries and 30,470 cities, we are innovating to continue advancing gender equality and quality education.”

What do you hope to achieve by participating in this panel?
“I hope to share the story of Mogul and how others too can make a global impact on women through technology, talent and community.”

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
“‘Go Against The Grain’ means to believe in yourself and to hold on to your values, even as popular opinion around you differs.”

KhaiKhai Vu – Born in Vietnam in 1980, Chef Khai Vu came to the States at the young age of 11. His first love and passion has always been food. With his Grandmother’s cooking as his inspiration and his father growing him to be a successful businessman, his family’s shared love of food has paved the way for him to produce some of the most modern and high quality cuisine at his own kitchen District One Kitchen & Bar in Las Vegas today.

When Chef Vu is not enjoying a day of fishing or boating, chances are you can find him dining. Tasting foods from East to West around the world has given him the ability to grow his exquisite flavor palate, with which he shares his craft and love of food with everyone at District One.

Pho So 1, District One and Viet Noodle Le Pho are just a few of his ventures in his 18-year career as a chef and employ about 90 people. Excellence in food and customer service are the hallmarks of his business. Chef Vu’s view on life and food is to pursue what you love with a passion, and your hard work will definitely be worth it.

What does it mean to you to be a Groundbreaker?
“I think a Groundbreaker is someone very passionate and assertive. Someone who is ready to take risks, to break ‘rules’ and to engage in competition. It’s like creating a new trail, even when you are afraid of heights.”

What do you hope to achieve by participating in this panel?
“By participating in this panel, I hope to encourage our generation to break our own eggshells and go out there chasing your dreams. This would be a great time to share my valuable lessons that I have learned in the restaurant industry. It would also be a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet with other Groundbreakers.”

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
“Allow us to come out of tradition and also see the value of our roots. Without our roots – from family to culture – we would not have a beginning, which is the grain that we grow from.”

MikiGreystone2016Miki Yamashita – Actress, comedian and lyric soprano Miki Yamashita is a singer and teaching artist with the Los Angeles Opera. She made her main stage debut in the role of Marcellina in “Figaro 90210”. With the LA Opera’s community engagement division, Miki has fused her New England Conservatory-trained voice with her unique comedy chops to perform roles as diverse as a hungry coyote, a grandmother bird spirit, and Turandot.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Miki studied acting at Yale University and holds a B.A. in English from Mount Holyoke College. Miki has performed the role of Connie Wong in the national tour of “A Chorus Line”, and the roles of Maria in “West Side Story” and Tuptim in “The King and I” in various respected regional theaters across the country.

At the Walt Disney World Resort, Miki performed full-time as an improvisational and sketch comedy performer and created the role of the Indian Maiden in the live production of “The Jungle Book” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Her one-woman show “The Geisha Next Door” has been presented at Upright Citizens’ Brigade in Los Angeles, and she continues to perform on many of LA’s comedy stages, such as Largo at the Coronet, IO West and ACME Comedy Theatre.

As a television actress, Miki has appeared in principal roles on “Law & Order”, “The Tonight Show”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “One Life To Live” and “As The World Turns”. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity Association and AGMA.

What does it mean to you to be a Groundbreaker?
“To me, being a Groundbreaker means that I’m not afraid to do the things that people don’t expect me to do. As a performer, people mostly expect me to follow the standard procedure that most actors follow, which is to wait for others to provide me with opportunities to work and to practice my craft. But because I happen to be a performer who is Asian American, those opportunities are far too few. Therefore, I’ve had to learn how to be groundbreaking because I had no other choice than to take bold, consistent, unconventional action in order to create my own opportunities and shape a career.”

What do you hope to achieve by participating in this panel?
“I hope I will get some free snacks. I also hope that I can get the message out to other Asian Americans that as much as you or your parents might want to plan out every step of your journey, I can almost guarantee that there are going to be many twists and turns that are completely unexpected and that you should welcome those unpredictable aspects of your career and life path. It’s what will make you unusual and distinct. And in a world where a lot of people still think all Asians look alike, being unusual will be a huge plus.”

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
“If this question is not about eating carbs, I am not on board. I think it takes a lot of courage to speak up consistently whenever you see yourself needlessly excluded or you are made to feel invisible. In the entertainment industry, unlike other professional worlds, there are all kinds of loopholes that enable the exclusion of women and minorities. ‘Going Against The Grain’ means calling out the most powerful people in my industry whenever I see this happening. It also it means maintaining a level of excellence in so many different skills that when the rare opportunity arises that requires someone of my ethnicity, chances are I will be able to execute with confidence whatever skill they need me to perform.”

QuentinLeeGHDheadshotQuentin Lee – A member of the Producers Guild of America, Quentin has a long list of accomplishments under his belt, including director of six feature films: “Shopping for Fangs” (1997), “Drift” (2000), “Ethan Mao” (2004), “The People I’ve Slept With” (2009), “White Frog” (2012) and, most recently, “The Unbidden” (2016) featuring prominent Asian American actors such as John Cho, Randall Park, Tamlyn Tomita, James Shigeta, Booboo Stewart, Harry Shum Jr., Archie Kao and Michelle Krusiec.

Quentin’s films are noticeable for containing male lead characters who are Asian and gay, two minority groups generally not seen as lead characters in mainstream Hollywood films. Following this theme, he has produced “#1 Serial Killer” (2013) and “Big Gay Love” (2013). He is currently shooting an Internet reality documentary series called “Gay Hollywood Dad”, developing two Chinese features as a director and producing an independent American feature titled “Bullies.”

Also an accomplished writer, Quentin has published a novel “Dress Like a Boy” in 2000, which has received positive reviews in publications such as AsianWeek and XY Magazine. In October 2009, his graphic novel “Campus Ghost Story”, created in collaboration with artist John Hahn, was published by “Fresh Fear”, an imprint of Margin Films.

Born in Hong Kong, Quentin immigrated to Montreal, Canada, when he was 16. He attended UC Berkeley, Yale University and UCLA for his B.A. in English, M.A. in English and M.F.A. in Film Directing, respectively.

What does it mean to you to be a Groundbreaker?
“Being an artist is a groundbreaker, and especially being a minority artist who constantly has to break grounds that no one has broken before.”

What do you hope to achieve by participating in this panel?
“I hope to bond with other Asian American artists and like minds and find strength and resources to continue doing what we do.”

What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
“Going against traditional wisdom and markets and finding your own way… it’s necessary to be an artist.

diana tran-yuLT Diana Tran-Yu was a CEO of Comprehensive Cardiac Diagnostics & Wellness. She was a former director over five departments: Pharmacy, Private Branch Exchange Operators, Concierge/ Lobby, Pastoral Care, and Administrator of Investigational Research Board at HCA- West Houston Medical Center. She is an adjunct faculty, preceptor and board advisor to multiple schools and universities: ITT Technical Institute – Houston, HCC Coleman College for Health Sciences, San Jacinto College, University of Houston – School of Pharmacy, Texas Southern University – School of Pharmacy, The University of Texas – School of Pharmacy and multiple pharmacy schools all over the states. She has given multiple leadership presentations and motivational speaking engagements at graduate business schools: Jones Graduate School- Rice University, Texas A&M Health Science Center and at the Center of Vietnamese Culture “Trung Tam Van Hoa Viet Nam – Vinh Quy Bai To“, dedicated to honoring graduates.

She is an active member involved in many leadership committees of the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE-Southeast Texas Chapter) and  a former board member, Secretary & Treasurer of the Asian Healthcare Leaders Association (AHCLA). Over the years, she has mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. She is a proponent of the Drug Enforcement Agency in furthering their mission. She graduated from the DEA Citizens Academy, served as the DEA Houston Ambassador educating the public on OTC/prescription medications’ adverse outcomes and illegal drugs. She was a former TV medical segment show host for Vietnamese American Network (VAN-TV), former Radio Talk Show Host for Vietnamese American Broadcasting (VAB). She has received numerous awards and accolades for her work as an humanitarian activist and for her thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to serving the communities.

Dr. Tran- Yu also gives service to our country. She was commissioned as a Navy Reserve Lieutenant Medical Service Corps attached to the Expeditionary Medical Facility- Dallas One. She was then recalled to serve active duty in the Medical Officer Programs recruitment for the Navy Recruiting District Houston. She will now be transitioning to Navy Recruiting Command- Navy City Outreach Officer for the Southwest Region responsible for supporting mission of Navy awareness, diversity, and STEM SeaPerch programs of five Navy Recruiting Districts of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Phoenix which encompass serving a total of nine states.

She and her family fled Viet Nam at the age of six  years old. They had lived as refugees in Thailand and West Germany. She had immigrated to the States at the age of ten years old. Her Alma Mater are the University of Pacific- School of Pharmacy, Houston Baptist University for her Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Science Healthcare Administration, MBA( Cert), and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She speaks four languages.
What does it mean to you to be a Groundbreaker?
“In my humble opinion, being a Groundbreaker is one who embrace diversity talents via breaking through the walls of the status quo glass ceilings.”What do you hope to achieve by participating in this panel?

“What I hope accomplish by being on this Panel is to encourage others to reflect President John F. Kennedy’s quote, ‘My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what YOU can do for YOUR COUNTRY!’ It is my hope that attendees of this Convention go back to their daily professional life, to remember to give back. Whether they are making a difference to one or of a mass in millions; what ever they choose to do, remember to GIVE Back to the community, society as a whole, and their Beloved Country – The United States of America!”

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

“‘Going Against The Grain’, I believe, is the hallmark of a successful leader in taking the road less traveled. I value the impact that I am not just following the crowd, but forging the way to taking maverick high risks, create a vision that others may see as not the norm, and enroll others along the way to this unconventional journey of Courageous Leadership!”

About ATG Against The Grain Productions, Inc.

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 underprivileged children. In addition to hosting outreach events, it also awards annual scholarships to exemplary Asian American student artists and leaders. ATG produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at more than a dozen film festivals nationwide and 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 more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com. #ATGProds #GroundbreakersSpeak2016 #beCAUSE

Apply Today for the 2016 ATG Board – Deadline: Dec. 4

ATG Board

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

The Ingredients of an ATG Leader and the team that makes it happen! Are you looking to make a difference? Want to get more involved with the community? Want to make amazing friends and have life changing experiences? ATG is currently recruiting skilled, enthusiastic, dedicated and experienced leaders who have the necessary time to join our 2016 Board of Directors and Ambassadors Team!

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4!

DOWNLOAD THE 2016 BOARD APPLICATION

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