Our community is continually bustling with achievements, success and awards from our young generation, our future leaders. Filipino-American Association of Greater Atlanta’s 2022 Presidential Scholar and the 2022 Asian Pacific American Council of Georgia (APAC) scholar, Isiah Nogal, was recently one of two winners of the essay contest sponsored by APAC. The essay contest was offered to all the 2022 APAC scholars from different Asian organizations, garnering another additional $1k. The winners were announced during the awarding ceremony of the scholars at the APAC Gala Night last Saturday, May 21, 2022. What a victory to the Filipino-American community! We salute you, Isiah, for a job well done and thank you for the joy and the honor you have shared with us, especially to our community.
We are delighted to share with you Isiah’s winning essay written below.
As an Asian-American, what would I do in the future for my country
As an Asian American growing up in Georgia, I believe that it is my duty to be a role model and a leader for Asian Americans that will come after me. I will do my best to be a person that will inspire future generations. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to always have several Asian American influences and positive role models around me even though I did not live in an area with many Asian Americans. My parents were always my number one role models and they have constantly taught me to be proud of my Filipino and Asian American heritage. My parents were adamant in showing me that I didn’t have to fit the stereotype of the typical Asian American that I was conditioned to seeing on television - quiet, pushed around, only good for academics. My parents raised me to be outspoken, stand for what’s right, and to be a leader. Without their example, my brothers and I would not have the confidence to be where we have gotten to today. Not only my parents, but also Titos and Titas I’ve met around the area, my grandmaster at Martial Arts, and even just my neighbor were among many Asian American influences that I’ve had in my life. I want to impact somebody in the future in the same way that these individuals have impacted me. Sadly, I know that there are many Asian Americans that were not given the same exposure to their culture and to Asian American role models like I have. I want to make a space in the future where Asian Americans can be in touch with their cultures and be with people that are just like them, having the same role models that I have had growing up. Even just the simple act of inviting a community of Asian Americans to regularly meet with each other can have an amazing impact on one’s upbringing.
I believe that it is also my duty to promote Asian American safety and speak out against Asian American violence. Recent news has shown that there has been a large rise in violence against Asian Americans in our country with the rise of COVID, specifically violence against our elders. There have even been stories of these attacks in Atlanta. Many people are not taking these stories seriously and have continued to simply brush these stories off. It is important that Asian Americans speak out so tat more people may be aware of these issues, so that more people may realize that it is a serious problem, and so that the Asian American community may feel more protected. There should never be a moment where we need to fear the safety of our grandparents in public areas.
Bringing the Asian American community together is something that cannot be compromised in the future. We need to continue to inspire future generations of Asian Americans and to advocate against discrimination towards Asian Americans. Been an Asian American is something to be proud of and I will do my best to keep Asian American pride strong in our country.”
Congratulations, Isiah, and best success to a bright future!