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Shyam Gadwal
Vice President Programs, APIA Scholars

APIA Scholars Partners with Mentor Collective to Scale Student Success

APIA Scholars and Mentor Collective partner to focus on nurturing meaningful connections within the APIA community and building students’ social capital.


WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2020) – APIA Scholars, the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the higher education needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, officially announced a new program extending mentorship opportunities to students across the United States and throughout its overseas territories and associated states. This fall, first-year APIA Scholars will be matched with upper division APIA scholars through the APIA Scholars Peer mentoring program. The program focuses on nurturing meaningful connections within the APIA community and building students’ social capital.

Mentors receive training from Mentor Collective on how to give useful guidance to new students. Students can use the platform’s discussion guides and goal-setting activities to facilitate impactful conversations with their mentors throughout the year.

“As an Asian-American, first-generation college graduate, I have been in multiple professional and learning spaces where the perspective of the APIA voice is missing or marginalized,” said Shyam R. Gadwal, Vice-President of Programs. “Scholars have greatly benefited from being able to discuss and seek advice from mentors with similar backgrounds and life experience. And at the very least, our Scholars know they belong to an amazing, supportive APIA community.

The team at APIA Scholars know firsthand the powerful impact that one-on-one mentorship can have on post-graduation success, especially when that guidance comes from a mentor with whom the student shares a common background and relatable experiences.

Melissa May, Director of Programs, noted APIA Scholars chose to work with Mentor Collective because of “Mentor Collective’s focus on facilitating authentic relationships based on common experiences, interests, and challenges.” She noted that Mentor Collective’s program design “inspired us to not only provide Scholars with mentors for immediate challenges but mentors who they can rely on for years to come.”

May continued, “Mentor Collective’s proven dedication to providing a superior student experience, process, and data collection made them the clear choice for this program.”

If you’re interested in learning more about APIA Scholars peer mentoring program, please contact Shyam R. Gadwal at

Based in Washington, D.C., the APIA Scholars is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APIA Scholars works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Formerly APIASF and since 2003, APIA Scholars has distributed more than $115 million in scholarships to deserving APIA students. APIA Scholars manages three scholarship programs: APIASF’s general scholarship, APIA Scholars AANAPISI scholarship, and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.