Congratulations to our 2016 APIQWTC scholarship awardees, Tracy Zhao and Lauren!
Tracy Zhao is pursuing a Master’s degree in Asian American Studies at UCLA. She received her B.A. from Pomona College, where she majored in Asian American Studies and Psychology. As an undergraduate, she was inspired by radical mentors and ethnic studies classes to participate in student activism around workers’ rights, sexual assault, students of color coalitions, and queer and Asian American student groups. After moving to Los Angeles, Tracy has worked with many progressive coalitions and community groups, including Summer Activist Training and API Equality-LA. Through her academic and community work, she hopes to build strong coalitions among queer and trans APIs, immigrants, and people of color. In her spare time, Tracy helps the Free Radicals collective maintain the website www.freerads.org, a resource dedicated to critically examining science and its role in social justice.
Lauren is pursuing a Master’s in Social Work at the University of California at Berkeley with a concentration in Community Mental Health. After graduating with a BA in Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies from UC Berkeley, she participated in Public Allies Silicon Valley/San Francisco, which placed her at a non-profit where she provided case management services for formerly incarcerated, homeless, and low-income residents of Richmond and Contra Costa County. Two summers ago, Lauren participated in the Seeding Change Fellowship Program for Asian American Organizing and Civic Engagement, where she learned about community organizing and worked on grassroots community campaigns at the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco Chinatown. Afterward, she continued working at CPA as the coordinator for their queer youth program, Gender Sexuality Diversities and facilitated a weekly space for queer, questioning, and ally Asian youth. Lauren hopes to provide healing-centered mental health support for young people of color, supporting them toward finding their own liberation from trauma and toward becoming agents of change in their communities.