Tagged Catalyst Culture Camp

Congratulations to 2013 ATG Heritage/Culture Camp Scholarship Contest Winners

ATG is proud to announce the winners of the 2013 ATG Heritage/Culture Camp Scholarship Contest. Many thanks to all of our campers who submitted this year. Check out how our winners go Against The Grain and what going Against The Grain’ means to them. Congratulations to our winners!

ZoeDesserichZoe Desserich

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

Zoe is six-years-old and will be in first grade this fall. She was born in Phu Tho, Vietnam. She is very proud to be from Vietnam, and her kindergarten teacher told us that she talks about Vietnam all the time. She took in her baby book and showed the Vietnam photos to her entire class. When the class wrote a book together at the end of the year, choosing the setting, characters, etc, they decided the story should be set in Vietnam!

What does against the grain mean to you?

In our family, going “Against The Grain” means being yourself. It means that you are not afraid to be different. It means not doing or liking things just things just because someone else likes them.

 

ColinDesserichColin Desserich

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

Colin is five-years-old and will be in kindergarten this fall. He lives his life against the grain. He was adopted at birth in the U.S, and his family is a little different than most. While he loves with his mom, dad, brother and sister, he also loves to see his “Mama Amy” (his biological mom) and his biological brother and sister, too. He proudly says, “Mommy, I have two mommies!” He is a daredevil, and he is very competitive. He likes to run the hardest, ride his bike the fastest and jump from the highest heights. He loves to be silly and will do anything to make people laugh.

What does against the grain mean to you?

In our family, going “Against The Grain” means being yourself. It means that you are not afraid to be different. It means not doing or liking things just things just because someone else likes them.

 

CatoTranBrownCato Tran Brown

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

Unlike most five year olds, there are few mainstream cartoons that Cato is willing to watch.  Instead, he often prefers science and nature documentaries (“if they aren’t too scary”) or cooking shows.  It is not uncommon to find him hypnotized by Chef Jaques Pepin or asking us, “What’s a worm hole?”  He has an exceptional aptitude for this.  He could name most of the flowers and vegetables in our garden and tell you all about the solar system.

What does against the grain mean to you?

Doing things differently than others.

 

ReubenBrownReuben Brown

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

Reuben always looks for new ways to make his brother and parents laugh.  He likes to experiment with silly walks like sideways galloping or twisting struts.  He likes to make new sounds or use familiar words in new settings to get a laugh.

What does against the grain mean to you?

Doing what I like.

 

MayaVogelsonMaya Vogelson

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

I would ask for help or directions – like from the police or a crossing guard.

What does against the grain mean to you?

It means cutting through the grain when the grain is so strong.

 

KaliHauckKali Hauck

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

I am against the grain because I believe that being yourself and being truthful about who you are is very important. That being someone else just to fit in is not as good as just being you. Just be yourself and you will go a lot farther than those that pretend. For example I am different because, I am adopted, I am small, I am Asian, I like to do different things, I act different, I listen to different music. I may not be as outgoing as the other people at my school, but that’s okay. I do not change these qualities of myself, because that’s what makes me different and special. I just go with what feels right to me and what I feel is important in my life. I try and not focus on what others think of me. This can be hard, and everyone has their own struggles, but being different is cool. That’s how I go against the grain. I stay true to who I really am.

What does against the grain mean to you?

“Against The Grain” to me means that you are different than other people, but you are okay with that. That you aren’t exactly like the others. You do things in your own way and you don’t try and be someone you are not. You are strong and don’t let others get under your skin about who you are or how you don’t fit in. You are just you.

 

Gabriel EverettGabriel Everett

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

Well, like, I like to play batman even though Eliott doesn’t like to.

What does against the grain mean to you?

I guess not do do what someone else does, especially mean guys.

 

Eliott EverettEliott Everett

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

I don’t fight somebody…or I don’t know…I just don’t do things just cuz my friends do.

What does against the grain mean to you?

To not do what everyone else does…or something.

 

 SarahFoustSarah Foust

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

Some of the things that I do that are against the grain are that I don’t wear the same clothes that other kids wear.  I don’t talk in class when other kids are and I put my best in every project. I can spend hours doing origami and crafts and when I see something that I like, I research on-line and learn how to make it myself.

What does against the grain mean to you?

“Against The Grain” means not doing what everyone else is doing.

 

IMG_20130129_184856Grace Dickinson

How do you go ‘against the grain?’

I go against the grain when my friend Ryan wants me to sit with him at lunch, but he does not save a seat for my best friend Shefali.  I have to go against Ryan and say I would like to but only if you save a spot for Shefali, too. Also, when I’m at school and want to play 4 square, people are always making teams and being mean to each other. When people ask me, I say no, it’s not right to gang up on people.

What does against the grain mean to you?

Going “Against The Grain” means going against the crowd. Going “Against The Grain” means you should be independent and bold.

 

 

Here are some of our winners from the 2013 Vietnamese Heritage Camp in Colorado.

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Congratulations to our Vietnamese Adoptee Heritage/Culture Camp Scholarship Contest Winners!

Against the Grain Productions is proud to announce
the winners of the 2011 Vietnamese Adoptee Heritage/Culture
Camp Scholarship Contest!

Earlier this year, ATG offered a contest to Vietnamese adoptees planning to attend a summer culture camp.  The rules were simple. Just tell us what ‘against the grain’ means to you, and tell us how you go ‘against the grain.’ Winners were selected at random and awarded a $100 scholarship to their culture camp of choice.  Read their adorable answers below! Some were submitted by loving parents. 🙂

2011 Winners:

Gracie Linh Hoffman, John Thach Minh Wolfinger, Aiden Bao Kornas, Nicholas French, Jamison French

Gracie Linh Hoffman

What does ‘Against the Grain’ mean to you?

It means embracing our differences and being proud of what I am, and not to worry about whether I’m just like everyone else, because I’m not.  I’m Asian-American in a country where most people are not. I’m Vietnamese in a country where most Asian-Americans are not.  I’m Jewish when most Vietnamese are not.  So I have to go against the grain, whether I want to or not.  That will be hard to do sometimes, but will be rewarding in the long run because I can be a smart, creative, beautiful, and compassionate, and unique person, and don’t have to follow the pack or be like everybody else.  The fact is, I’m NOT just like everyone else, thank goodness.

How do you go ‘Against the Grain?

I try to learn new things every day. I throw myself into lots of things: gymnastics, music, science, coloring, mathematics, swimming, school, and more. Some day, I’ll figure out what I do best, and what I love, and how I want to find my own path to a fulfilling life. Because I am different from others, I know that my path doesn’t have to come from following everyone else, but will come from learning what I can from those I love and respect, and from my own talents and interests.

John Thach Minh Wolfinger

What does ‘Against the Grain’ mean to you?

Against the grain’ means to me that you try things differently than everyone else.  It means you do not back off when someone tells you that you can not do something.

How do you go ‘Against the Grain?’

I am one of the shortest boys in my class.  I go ‘against the grain’ and try different sports or contest when the other boys say I am too short.

Aiden Bao Kornas

What does ‘Against The Grain‘ mean to you?

Doing what’s right for our family, even if it’s not the norm or what other families are doing.

How do you go ‘Against The Grain?’

Doing whatever I can to help Aiden feel connected to and be proud of  his Vietnamese heritage and the Vietnamese culture….even if it means missing family events to attend events with other Vietnam adoptive families; going to events at our local Buddhist temple or at our Vietnamese American Community Center where I am the minority and my son is not; making culture camp our one family vacation this summer and hopefully every summer.

Nicholas French


What does ‘Against the Grain’ mean to you?

Not conforming to everyone’s ideas and holding your own ideas and staying steadfast to them.

How do you go ‘Against the Grain?’

Not being influenced by others and doing research for myself and believing in what I do.  I like to do community service and help others.

Jamison French


What does ‘Against the Grain’ mean to you?

I think against the grain means to do the unexpected or unusual; what you feel is right.

How do you go ‘Against the Grain?’

I go against the grain by being a member of the Natural Helper program in my school.