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.

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