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Growing Up Asian In America Contest

AACI is excited to announce the student winners from the 28th annual Growing Up Asian in America contest as part of this year’s celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Every year, AACI hosts the Growing Up Asian in America program in partnership with NBC Bay Area. The contest celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by giving voice to the varied experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) youth throughout the Bay Area and encouraging this next generation of leaders to take pride in their heritage through creative self-expression. The contest is generously supported by our sponsors and community partners Bank of America, Connie Young Yu, Stanford Health Care, Valley Water, Asian Pacific Fund, Farrington Historical Foundation, Raul Gorospe, Stand with Asian Americans, Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and PVTL Moments.

Art, Essays & Videos

Bank of America is so proud to support AACI’s Growing Up Asian in America art, essay and video contest. We partner with organizations like AACI who have a shared mission in diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Eva Kwong, Bank of America Asian Leadership Network  co-chair. To the students, Eva shared, “Thank you AACI for your partnership and providing a forum for Asian American youth to take pride in their heritage and in their identities. Congratulations to this year’s winners.” 

This year’s theme, “Free to Be Me,” brought in over 300 entries from K-12th grade Bay Area students of many backgrounds and ethnicities. Students submitted artworks, essays and videos sharing their sense of strength and pride in being who they are and how they found an environment where they felt free and safe to express themselves. This year’s participants include remarkable students of Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other ethnic backgrounds. The Best in Class and Honorable Mention winners shared their thoughts and inspirations about their winning entries below.

YouTube video

Meet the Winners

Bay Area students receiving the Lance Lew Grand Prize, Best in Class, and Honorable Mention awards for art, writing, and video and their winning entries can be found at 

Their names and their video responses about what inspired their work can be found below:  

Lance Lew Grand Prize

  • Daeun Jung – Grand Prize Winner (and Best in Class Winner for 6-8 Art)

Best in Class Winners

Honorable Mention Winners

“Through the Growing Up Asian in America contest, we celebrate the hope and vision for the future that these young artists represent,” said Lance Lew, co-founder of the contest. “Since I first founded this contest 27 years ago, the contest has provided a platform to amplify the voices of Asian American youth and that continues to be incredibly needed and important today.”

About AACI 

Founded in 1973, AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) serves individuals and families with cultural humility, sensitivity, and respect, advocating for and serving the marginalized and ethnic communities in Santa Clara County. AACI’s mission is to strengthen the resilience and hope of our diverse community members by improving their health and well-being. Our vision is for everyone in our diverse community to be healthy, safe and well.  Our many integrated programs provide support that is client-centered and removes barriers to accessing care.  Current programs include behavioral and primary health services, substance abuse prevention and treatment, center for survivors of torture, shelter and services for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, senior wellness, youth programs, and community advocacy.

To learn more visit