By Zan Gao and Yingying Chen, contributors

202106 CAAM Scholar 1

 

Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM) is the oldest and largest Chinese American community organization in Minnesota. Its mission is to provide cultural, educational, recreational, and other programs to promote the cultural heritage and enhance the Chinese Americans’ quality of life in Minnesota.

 

On April 24, 2021, CAAM held the 2020-2021 Stanley Chong Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Xiangjiang Pavilion in the St. Paul-Changsha Friendship Garden in Phalen Regional Park. For the safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, CAAM decided to present the awards in a relatively safe outdoor environment. The 19 winners and their families were scheduled to arrive at the scene one family at a time every 5 minutes between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to receive the award certificates. Notably, Xiangjiang Pavilion is the sister pavilion of Ai Wan Pavilion in Changsha, Hunan, China. It inherits the long-standing Chinese traditional art and culture. Thus, it has a special meaning for delivering the awards for the next generation of Chinese Americans at the Xiangjiang Pavilion. 

The weather was getting warm but still chilly at the Phalen Regional Park on that day. The breeze was blowing, white clouds were passing by, the plants were sprouting, and the water in the lake appeared to be as blue as the sky. The chillness of the weather did not affect the enthusiasm of CAAM board members. The President of CAAM, Mr. Ping Wang, arrived early at the Xiangjiang Pavilion to set up for the event. Board members, Zan Gao and Rongsheng Wualso came to help award the certificates. After that, the award-winning senior high school students, accompanied by their parents, came to Xiangjiang Pavilion from all parts of the Twin Cities areas according to their schedules. The CAAM board members greeted the students and their families with enthusiasm, instructed them to sign documents, issued award certificates, and took photos with the winners in front of the large-scale CAAM logo, which kept them busy all the time.

CAAM provides CAAM-Stanley Chong scholarships to senior Chinese American high school students, who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, in the state of Minnesota to support their cost of study and living during their undergraduate studies.  The scholarship was established in the name of the second chairman of CAAM, Mr. Stanley Chong, who was a famous Chinese American entrepreneur in the Twin-Cities. The Stanley and Marvel Chong Foundation has always been the most generous primary supporter of this scholarship. According to President Ping Wang, the CAAM has provided more than $210,000 in scholarships to more than 60 Chinese American students in the Twin Cities area since 2018. This scholarship has been widely supported and praised by the local Chinese American community. Of note, during the evaluation process of the scholarship application, the participation and volunteer services of the applicants and their parents in any CAAM organized events, such as Festival of Nations, are highly valued by the review panel. Also, the applicants’ experience of attending CAAM Chinese Dance Theater and CAAM Chinese Language School play important roles in the evaluation. In the past three years, the review committee has been following open and transparent application procedures and policies to ensure fair and impartial review among all applicants, and the requirements for completeness and compliance of application materials have become increasingly stringent (https://www. caam.org/scholarships/). This year the CAAM Scholarship Review Committee also considered the applicant’s special contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally selected the 19 outstanding winners, one of whom was only 15 years old. It is reported that these winners will enroll in the following prestigious universities respectively, including but not limited to: Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Rice University, Vanderbilt University, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, St. Cloud State University, and some other universities for further study.

 

 202106 CAAM Scholar 2

 

 

Awardees

High School

1

Hannah Buss

Buss Homeschool

2

Huan Chen

White Bear Lake Area High School

3

Leo Cui

Mounds View High School

4

Richard Gu

Wayzata High School

5

Claire Ku

Wayzata High School

6

Echo Grey Qing Nelson

Eagan High School

7

Sydney Peng

Mounds View High School

8

Bryanna Shao

Wayzata High School

9

Cynthia Shao

Wayzata High School

10

Jason Wang

Irondale High School

11

Claire Wilcox

Highland Park Senior High School

12

Issac Wu

Edina High School

13

Joey Wu

South Washington County School

14

Kelly Wu

Prior Lake High School

15

Andrew Yang

Wayzata High School

16

Dylan Yang

Eden Prairie High School

17

Kelly Zeng

Wayzata High School

18

Xiaoxin Zeng

Jefferson High School,

19

Audrey Zhou

Wayzata High School

 

 

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