(Edited from press release) NAAAP-Seattle hosted its 32nd annual gala and scholarship reception on Nov. 4, honoring three high school and one college-graduate recipients.

(Edited from press release) NAAAP-Seattle hosted its 32nd annual gala and scholarship reception on Nov. 4, honoring three high school and one college-graduate recipients.

Held at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Zoomazium, the reception honored college recipient Reyna Farina Rollolazo and high school recipients Cong Nguyen, Alyna Merali and Chris Fong.  Scholarships range from $2500 to $3000 each.

“Our scholarship program awards students who take risks and show leadership in their young careers,” NAAAP-Seattle president David Eam said.  “These are students who show great potential for developing skills to be in leadership roles in society and the API community. Over the past ten years, we have given out over $40,000 to 20 young leaders.”

Rollolazo is a graduate of the University of Washington.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in Law, Societies and Justice and will be attending the university’s law school in the fall. Rollolazo was a member of the university’s  Filipino American Student Association and the Sisterhood of Pi Nu Iota (a Filipina interest group).

Cong Nguyen is a senior at Evergreen High School where he is President of National Honor Society, a Webmaster for Key Club, and a Founder of Math Tutoring Club. In addition, he is a running start student at the South Seattle Community College.  Each summer, Nguyen hosts Evergreen Open tennis tournament to raise money for One Body Village Charity to improve the life of homeless, orphaned, and sexually abused children and bring distant communities together.

A senior at the International School, Alyna Merali is a Shia Ismaili Muslim of Tanzanian parents and Indian ancestry.  Merali is Alyna is a Big Buddy, a National Honor Society Tutor, and liaison for the American Cancer Society, but she is also passionate about sharing her culture. Now, as a senior at the International School, Merali is developing a curriculum for her senior project in which she will teach members of the community about mehndi, an Indian form of art.

Chris Fong is a senior at Ballard High School. Fong lettered in varsity football, track, and soccer, and participated in the Model United Nations, National Honors Society, and Chess Club and took a number of courses at North Seattle Community College. While volunteering at the local food bank and community center, Fong has also organized various cooperative ventures between the church and other community institutions, including food drives and volunteer group.

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