2011 Award Winners

Ada Chao

Oakland High School, Oakland

Ada is active at the East Bay Asian Youth Center as a Board member to provide input on budget, programs and community issues.  She also developed curriculum for their Girls Outside! Boys Outside! (GOBO) program to have youth experience different healthy activities such as yoga, hiking and nutritious food menus. In addition, Ada works every day after school as a mentor at Garfield Elementary School providing academic tutoring, guidance and support to students and their parents.  To encourage and support fellow students, Ada was President of the East Coast College Tour program and organized fundraisers and the trip logistics and itinerary. Ada plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley, with her major to be declared.

Nikita Desai

Mira Loma High School, Sacramento

Nikita is the recipient of the Susan Chan-Lim Memorial Award for exemplifying tremendous contributions to the community. She is the founder of OCD Kids Sacramento and has provided courageous and insightful leadership to families with children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Nikita has created a virtual and in-person community of parents, children and therapists that allow them to share their concerns and triumphs.  Nikita is also president of her school’s Science Olympiad Team, finalist in numerous Speech and Debate competitions and was awarded a Clark Scholar summer internship at Texas Technical University, Biological Science Dept. Nikita will attend Stanford University with a major in Human Biology.

Ellen Kim

California High School, San Ramon

Ellen is the founder of the Grizzly Peer Mentoring program at her school. Ellen recognized a need for 9th grade academically struggling students to have a tutor and created a system to identify students in need, matching them with appropriate 12th grade students and a tracking system to ensure mentees and mentors met as agreed upon and met academic goals. Ellen worked closely with the school Counseling Dept and they are impressed with her leadership skills and ability to influence peers in a positive manner. Ellen also volunteers at Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center, is a book club leader of 8th grade students for the Korean Parents Association and is President of her school’s Music for a Smile club. Ellen will attend Cornell University and plans to study Human Biology, Health and Society.

Daniel Tran

Yerba Buena High School, San Jose

Daniel is the recipient of the Professor Kota SR Sarma Inspiration Award for his demonstrated ability to promote the value and opportunities of education when it is fully embraced. He has risen as a leader in the school’s Model United Nations program and at a recent conference was selected by over 100 peers to represent them in the main presentation. In addition, Daniel has been long active in an area not often popular among high school students – anti drug and alcohol lifestyle – by working with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug on organizing numerous Anti-Tobacco Friday Nights. He is also a research contributor and Vietnamese translator for a Stanford research project on arsenic levels in the Mekong Delta waters and an accomplished musician. Daniel will attend the University of Californa, Los Angeles, majoring in Psychobiology.

WeiChao  Zhuo

Mission High School, San Francisco

WeiChao is the recipient of the K.M. Tan, MD Inspiration Award. WeiChao arrived in the U.S. in 9th grade and is excelling not only academically but also using his leadership skills in the community and at school. He is a tutor to ESL students in both Spanish and Chinese and is a Red Cross volunteer as a senior citizen youth companion. He is recruiting fellow students to participate in sports to create a more diverse team in baseball and cross country. WeiChao is able to accomplish all this and more and still work 20 hours a week to support himself. WeiChao will attend either the University of California, Davis, or San Francisco State University, majoring in Biology.