Social Innovation Fellowship

How Might We Improve the College Experience for APIA Students?

Sponsored by: and in collaboration with

Social Innovation Fellows are trained in the frameworks of design thinking and learn how to apply this skillset to mobilize higher education solutions for APIA students. In utilizing design thinking principles, this diverse cohort of fellows will uncover creative solutions to complex challenges that influence the success of APIA college students.

As teams of fellows interviewed college students, they further refined their design question to:

The Role of Early APIA Mentors

How might we create a mentorship experience that feels like a second family to college students?

Jerimiyah Viena: Despite the creation of student success and cultural programs, [APIA students] are left to fend for themselves without the proper guidance; especially applying to rigorous and competitive programs and majors.
Melvin Nguyen: Mentorship is not as widely recognized as it should be, and many may not even understand the benefits. However, having a mentor especially in a near-peer model where they are close to your age is an absolute necessity
Rui Jia Zheng: With more than 50 ethnic groups under the umbrella term of “Asian American,” it is common for data to render invisible the disparities between Asian Americans.
Sharon Yuen: COVID-19 stirred hidden – not dormant – racist misconceptions and perceptions against our community, bringing attention to how Yellow Peril and being the Forever Foreigner are pervasive archetypes that mark the AAPI community.

Imposter Syndrome on College Campuses

How might we help students create a safe and productive space to connect with their families about their emotional health?

Kaitlyn : While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be with others who share the same culture, staying in this echo chamber hinders social learning and growth.
Ryan Mandado: We need to develop systems of support to ensure our communities know how to network to access resources for the community and future opportunities.
Soma Sharan: [My] life experiences lead me to believe that finding community and a support system are the most pressing issues impacting APIA college students and young professionals. I find that the underlying cause is mental health and wellness.
Sydney Nguyen: Considering suicide is the 8th leading cause of death for APIA and depression-related symptoms are reported in 15.9% of APIA women under 35 years, the complicit perceptions around mental health, unfortunately, remain pervasive in the community.

How APIAs Define Career Success

How might we help students assess their needs for fulfillment and stability when exploring careers?

Aishwarya Sharma: The most pressing issue impacting APIA professionals and students is access. Access to understanding the different career paths that are available, access to funding for their education and access to mentorship.
Henry Huang: I think that it is important for APIA college students, who are mostly first-generation college students to be familiar with the topic of financial literacy.
Chris Shin: While college students and young professionals face different sets of aspirations and challenges, their struggles have a common source: persistent racial stereotyping as the “model minority” within America’s racial hierarchy.
Maria Dolojan: By recognizing that there are systems in place that maintain inequalities and barriers to entry, we would be able to create an actual and long-term solution regarding college retention, graduation, and workplace entry.

We are proud to elevate Scholar and Alumni voice
in designing solutions that will impact future APIA Scholars.

Social Innovation fellows describe their experience as:

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Social Innovation Cohort

Social Innovation Fellows

Selected From

Fellowship Applications

Based On

icon-leadership-skills

Leadership Skills

icon-community-minds

Community Mindset

icon-teamwork-collaboration

Teamwork & Collaboration

icon-empathy-understanding

Empathy & Understanding

Our Fellows Represent

icon-gender

7   Women

5   Men

6   GMS Scholars

6   APIA Scholars

icon-graduation-cap
icon-schoolhouse

7   Working Professionals
2   Graduate Students
3   Undergraduate Students

Fields of Study:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Political Science

 

  • Architecture
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality

Institutions:
NYU, UCLA, USC, GWU, JHU, UW, Rutgers, Princeton, West Virginia University, California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo

Selecting our Social Innovation Fellows

Fellowship Applications

Social Innovation Fellows

Based On

icon-leadership-skills

Leadership Skills

icon-community-minds

Community Mindset

icon-teamwork-collaboration

Teamwork & Collaboration

icon-empathy-understanding

Empathy & Understanding

Our Fellows Represent

icon-gender

7   Women

5   Men

6   GMS Scholars

6   APIA Scholars

icon-graduation-cap
icon-schoolhouse

7 Working Professionals
2 Graduate Students
3 Undergraduate Students

Fields of Study:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Political Science

 

  • Architecture
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality

Institutions:
NYU, UCLA, USC, GWU, JHU, UW, Rutgers, Princeton, West Virginia University, California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo

APIA Scholars is grateful to McDonalds for their sponsorship of the Social Innovation Fellowship.