Announcing the Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship

Ranier and Grace Pabilona
Ranier and Grace Pabilona


Against The Grain Productions is proud to announce the addition of The Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship to its scholarship fund for 2016. Recognizing Asian American high school, graduate and post-graduate students pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, the new scholarship will provide two $5,000 awards for U.S. students attending accredited American universities. Applications are available starting December at

“We are excited to expand our scholarship offering to even more Asian American students who are ‘going Against The Grain’ and pursuing a unique career path in entrepreneurship,” said Against The Grain President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “In addition to our Artistic and Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship awards, the Lily Pabilona Emerging Entrepreneur Scholarship will provide the community and financial support these students need to see their dreams to fruition.”


The scholarship is funded by Lee’s fellow Southern Methodist University graduate and friend Ranier Pabilona, Founder and CEO of RGP Group, LLC, an online retail, wholesale and distribution network based in Houston. No stranger to going Against The Grain himself, Pabilona left an award-winning, six-figure career in pharmacy to follow his passion for business and entrepreneurship. Despite a lack of support and balancing pharmacy school while starting the business, he and his wife Grace, who is also his business partner, saw success immediately after their first year in operation.


“We believe that the smartest investment we can make is not just in ourselves, but also in those who are not afraid to bet on themselves,” said Pabilona, who majored in Advertising before switching to Health Care. “Today’s young entrepreneur will play a critical role in shaping and advancing our global economy. We strongly feel it is our responsibility to encourage and foster leadership among those who demonstrate strong entrepreneurial drive and initiative.”


The scholarship’s namesake is Pabilona’s mother, who has been his greatest inspiration and was his biggest supporter. Also an entrepreneur, Dr. Pabilona received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biology before becoming a small business owner, investor, realtor and, to Pabilona, a supermom.


“My mom, who passed away from cancer in 2002, was the one person who always supported me, not simply with words of encouragement or financial means but by allowing me the freedom to pursue my myriad interests – always without judgement – and ultimately to forge my own crazy and unconventional path,” explained Pabilona. “This award was created to honor her memory and inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs.”


The scholarship seeks to identify and recognize remarkable students who, like Pabilona and even Lee, who decided to pursue a non-traditional career in filmmaking, are not afraid to challenge convention by carving their own paths.


“With this award, we want to celebrate students’ achievements and give them the recognition they deserve,” said Pabilona. “It is our hope that their stories will also inspire other would-be entrepreneurs to carry out their own visions and make an impact within their communities.”


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 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 or
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