Talking with Cecilia Marshall, APIASF Director

Talking with Cecilia Marshall, APIASF Director


Introduction: Vietnamese is one race among the major Asian American groups. To secure the future of America, APIASF, an organization that has been active for almost ten years to provide scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Below is the conversation between Hoang Lan Chi and Cecilia Marshall, an APIASF director.

1-QuynhGiao: Hi Cecilia. Since when you became the director of the APIASF scholarship fund? And what are your main functions ?

Cecilia: I joined the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) as Director of the APIASF Scholarship Program in June of 2014. The Director for the APIASF Scholarship Program is responsible for overseeing and managing the organization’s core general scholarship program and its AANAPISI scholarship program.

2-QUYNH-GIAO: Besides the main web site, what other methods that APIASF used to inform public about its scholarship program ?

Cecilia: In addition to the APIASF web site APIASF has a blog and we share information on Facebook and Twitter. The blog is by and for recipients of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) and APIASF/Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) scholarships (“Scholars”). APIASF staff performs outreach to targeted under-represented communities to promote the APIASF application from August through December. Outreach staff visits high schools and community organizations. In addition, APIASF promotes alumni scholar outreach to their hometowns including providing training and materials for alumni presentations.

3-QUYNH-GIAO: APIASF has been around for about 8 years now, how many people received the scholarships and which race got the most ?

Cecilia: Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $70 million in scholarships to AAPI students across the country and in the Pacific Islands. Click here to see demographics on the 2013-2014 general scholarship cohort.

4-QUYNH-GIAO: How does the application process work ? what are the criteria ?

Cecilia: The APIASF general scholarship and APIASF AANAPISI scholarship applications are completely online. Applicants provide family educational history, financial information, high school and college enrollment data, extracurricular activities, work experience and essays.

5-QUYNH-GIAO: Can a recipient reapply for the scholarship ? if yes, how does the process work ?

Cecilia: APIASF general scholarship and APIASF AANAPISI scholarship recipients can apply for another APIASF scholarship but students can only receive one APIASF scholarship at a time.

6-QUYNH-GIAO: Does APISASF have the complete authority or receive inputs from others in regard to the application process & to distribute the scholarships ?

Cecilia: APIASF has a scholarship committee to manage all aspects of the APIASF scholarship programs.

7-QUYNH-GIAO: Have you ever visited an Asian or Pacific Islander community ? if yes, what are your thoughts ?

Cecilia: Yes, I have visited many communities with large Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations. Every community faces different challenges and it’s important to research a wide range of communities we serve to ensure that we are serving the most underserved. Our recent report titled “Invisible Newcomers: Refugees from Burma/Myanmar and Bhutan in the United States” is a great example of that.

8-QUYNH-GIAO: What’s your advice to Asian or Pacific Islanders students who are about to enter college or to graduate from college ?

Cecilia: My advice to AAPI students is to research many scholarship opportunities and to set clear educational and professional goals with steps for how to reach those goals.

9-QUYNH-GIAO: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers ?

Cecilia: Thank you for your interest in APIASF! Our vision is to see that all Asian American and Pacific Islanders have access to higher education and resources that cultivate their academic, personal and professional success regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or financial means. Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of AAPI students by providing them with resources that increase their access to higher education which serves as the foundation for their future success and contributions to a stronger America.

Quynh-Giao: Thank you so much Ms Cecila Marshall.

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