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.



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