Christal, Honorable Mention of the Growing Up Asian in America Contest

Christal is a very energetic 12 year-old 6th grader. When she is not at school, Christal loves spending time with her two younger sisters and is part of a running club. She started coming to AACI in October 2015, and it is now her third time coming back to be part of the Arts & Media Promoting Leadership Initiatives For Youth (AMPLIFY) program, a free after-school program with alternative activities for youth ages 11 to 19.

At AMPLIFY, Christal enjoys participating in art projects, media production, alcohol and other drugs prevention projects, and more. “I am not good at art, but I am good at crafts,” said Christal. “What I love the most about AMPLIFY is to get to express myself visually and to play around a lot.” Christal decided to participate in the Growing Up Asian in America contest held by Asian Pacific Fund after her school handed out flyers.

[The Growing Up Asian in America contest started in 1995 as one of the largest youth Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the nation and provides a unique platform for young people to creatively explore and celebrate being both Asian or Pacific Islander and American. Every year, almost one thousand Bay Area students in grades kindergarten through 12 submit artwork, essays, poems and videos on a single theme, competing for over $20,000 in cash and prizes.]

Christal chose to compete for the one minute video category: “Give someone a gold medal”. Naturally, her first thought was to portray Howard Lui, Youth Program Specialist at AACI, as an inspirational leader. Howard is a fantastic filmmaker who loves to share his love of video with youth at AMPLIFY. “I chose Howard as a hero because he helps out with the community and he is very supportive. He is very creative, funny and weird! When I approached him about making the video about him, he helped me by giving me all the footage I needed and putting it together,” said Christal.

“I was very flattered to be approached and to be able to help Christal with the project,” declared Howard. “Those who know Howard know how dedicated he is to artistic visions, not only for himself but also to fostering a love of art in others. In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Howard is now also an award-winning actor! Christal’s entry won honorable mention in the competition amid the hundreds of entries!” added Candace Le, AMPLIFY Program Coordinator.

Candace was present the day Christal opened the letter announcing she was a winner. “I was so glad to do something and make it worthwhile!” said Christal.

Congratulations Christal and thank you Howard for all you do to inspire future artists and leaders! Keep up the great work!

Watch the video here.


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