2013 Award Winners

Luri Chen Zhing

Mission High School, San Francisco

Luri understands the difficulties faced by immigrant students at Mission High School.

Motivated by a strong commitment to social responsibility, a passion to improve her community, and a desire to increase intercultural understanding, Luri serves as a tri-lingual mentor and co-president of the United Nations Club at Mission High School, where she helps to ease the process for other recent newcomers to the United States.

Luri wishes to become a nurse, so she can provide health care to those in need both in the United States and in less fortunate countries. Luri has received the Ikuya T Kurita, MD Award.

Kerry Liao

Abraham Lincoln High School, San Francisco

Kerry is committed to improving the living conditions of the financially disadvantaged.

As a founding member of Youth for Single Room Occupancy, she has first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by Chinatown seniors. Kerry has seen the organization grow from an unknown group providing such basic services as arts-and-crafts activities and emergency preparedness training to an effort that is held up by city leaders in San Francisco and beyond as an example of what can be accomplished when people take it upon themselves to make positive change.

She plans to continue addressing issues associated with poverty and expanding her field of service.

William Liem

Balboa High School, San Francisco

William noticed a disturbing phenomenon at his high school – he saw an increase in teen pregnancies and STD/STI diagnoses and was moved to make a difference.

As an advocate and health educator at the Youth Advisory Board of the Balboa Teen Health Clinic, William teaches others about sexual health, minor consent rights and clinical resources. He plans and leads workshops on healthy relationships, teen bullying and teen dating violence. In short, he helps students make different choices.

William plans a future in public health, where he can continue to further his personal mission.

Jason Low

The Branson School, Ross

Jason straddles two very different worlds. A resident of the Richmond neighborhood known as the Iron Triangle, Jason participates in the Making Waves Education Program and attends a private preparatory school in Marin County.

Believing that the only way to make change is individually, Jason leads STRIVE (Students Tackling Racial Issues Via Education), inspiring conversation within the group to mold socially conscious youth, preparing them to become allies and work toward creating justice and equality in their communities.

With deep compassion for those less fortunate than he, Jason plans to return to Richmond after completing his studies to help other youth follow their dreams and fulfill their potential. Jason has received the Kota Family Award.

Evy Peng

Abraham Lincoln High School, San Francisco

Evy actively volunteers and has recruited 15 of her fellow students to help Single Room Occupancy, a community organization that serves Chinatown seniors who occupy one-room lodgings.

More than 100 monolingual seniors have benefited from her efforts to take them outside the Chinatown confines to such destinations as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Christmas-in-the-Park, and Napa Valley — just some of the activities enabled by a $10,000 grant Evy successfully co-wrote to bridge the gap between youth and immigrant seniors.

An immigrant herself, Evy plans to return to help others learn to navigate their new communities, and follow in her college-bound footsteps.

Kimberly Tan

Lynbrook High School, San Jose

Kimberly’s greatest passion is education. As a youth commissioner for San Jose Councilmember Pete Constant, Kimberly led a forum to discuss closing the educational gaps among San Jose schools.

Hoping to shatter preconceptions she noticed about the “typical” math and science career paths for Asian Americans, she launched Overture Literary Magazine to promote literary and creative talent.

Kimberly wants to continue working with students – whether through public policy and government to advocate for education, writing to promote education, or in the education sector proper – to make improving student education her future and her career.

Belinda Zeng

Monte Vista High School, Cupertino

From a very young age, Belinda has always wanted to be “someone who changes the world”. Three years ago, she took the first step and founded HEARTS, an organization that sponsors education for 32 impoverished children in China.

Not content with that accomplishment, Belinda has plans to expand HEARTS to provide education and basic necessities to more underprivileged children across the globe. Belinda got her start in NingXia, one of the poorest provinces in China, where she volunteered to teach English to young school children.

Seeing the children, with the hope for a better life that they lived every day, taught her that even as a single individual, she can at least toss a pebble – and perhaps create a ripple – that will touch lives far and wide.