Congratulations to our 2014 APIQWTC scholarship awardees, Landyn Pan and Tõ Như Đào!
Landyn Pan is a high school senior, artist, and activist based in Seattle, Washington. As a sophomore at Bothell High School he restarted the Gay Straight Alliance club and served as president for two years, running support groups, discussing queer politics, screening LGBTQ videos, and building infrastructure for the organization. Currently, as the Director of Resources and Activism for his GSA, he leads campaigns and projects to educate students, teachers, and administrators, and visits surrounding high schools to present on various trans* topics. Landyn is also the Development Director and Graphic Designer for Trans Student Equality Resources, a youth-led nonprofit organization that works to end trans discrimination in education. Through TSER he has designed dozens of infographics on topics such as trans* terminology, school safety, and visibility. These images have appeared on prominent blogs sponsored by organizations such as Afterellen.com, Trevor Project, Buzzfeed and Transgender Law Center. Landyn immigrated to the U.S. at the age of six with no English ability from Nanning, China with his single mother and brother. He has overcome tremendous hurdles as trans* and Asian, and has dedicated himself to taking on leadership positions to create change for marginalized communities. In the fall, he plans to attend Chapman University or University of Washington, Seattle and hopes to forge a career using media to continue his anti-oppression work in the mainstream. His infographics can be viewed at www.transstudent.org/graphics.
Tõ Như Đào is pursuing a M.S.W. at UC Berkeley, with a concentration on Community Mental Health. There, they work as a Research Assistant for an LGBTQ Youth polyvictimization project. They are also President of their School’s Graduate Assembly, a leading member of the Queer and Trans* Advocacy Project, and a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Communities. Alongside their UC Berkeley work, they provide mentorship with Queer Youth Arts and collaborate with community members on a short film visibilizing the daily experiences of a Vietnamese-American trans*masculine teenager. As a UC Davis undergraduate, Như organized with queer, trans* and culturally-specific student organizations such as API Queers and Aggies of Color. After graduating, they worked at UCSF on a bilingual, health disparities research project, as well as a Community Health Intern with Asian Health Service Youth Program. Their work and activism has been featured in Ms. Magazine and independent films. Như has received the national Undergraduate Social Action Award from Sociologists for Women in Society and the UC Davis Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award for Diversity and Community. This summer, they will be returning to UCSF to join another project. As a 1st-generation Vietnamese-American graduate, Như pushes for multi-level transformation that not only centralizes the lives of marginalized peoples, but is led by those closest to struggle. They have deep faith in resiliency and the infinite possibilities of collective power.