Meet UIAAAN Scholarship 2014 Recipient

Meet Tracy Mapaye, the UIAAAN Scholarship 2014 recipient

Hello everyone! I am Tracy Mapaye, a senior now and a first generation Filipina-­‐American at the University of Illinois Urbana-­‐Champaign studying Chemistry at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I am and have been involved with many different student organizations on and off campus, for example: the Philippine Student Association, Asian American Pacific Coalition, the Midwest American Filipino Association, and as a student intern at the Asian American Cultural Center. From starting off a new chapter in my life, living away from home, going to a much larger campus that I have ever experienced coming from a small town in Northern Illinois where much of the community was Caucasian, meeting new friends, learning more academically about topics I never imagined, experiencing life, joining different student organizations and finding my niche, to realizing my own potential, and knowing that there is still more to learn I can honestly say these past three years at the university have been…a metamorphosis of sorts. These past three years however enlightening they have been, have also been difficult. I have questioned my choices and my happiness, I have been tested academically by some of the most respected minds in the nation, and I have struggled with the tuition for wanting to continue on my education. In this day and age, all of these are problems that college students around the world are experiencing, but despite these problems, we have found things that we love and realize are worth going through all of the hardships for. I have been inspired by my professors, alumni, faculty, family, as well as the students around me to strive for something greater: do good for yourself, but do good for others and the world around you.
I am humbly grateful and greatly appreciative to have received the first ever University of Asian American Alumni Network (UIAAAN) Scholarship for the 2013-­‐ 2014 school year. Through my experiences on campus, they have inspired me to spread awareness to others. My time as being a Philippine Student Association executive officer, an Asian American in society, and as an Asian American Cultural Center intern have given me the skills and opportunities to create a voice for myself. Growing up I never thought about how I was different, but now I have a better sense of self and drive to do something more to help the community. I was greatly inspired by the APAC 20th anniversary this year because it made me realize that the struggles those have faced before me have helped paved the way for me, and that I need to help continue on the fight to help the way for the future. This year I have been inspired to enact change in the community by creating different workshopsand presentations as a leader in the Asian American community and as an Asian American Cultural Center intern. The UIAAAN scholarship will help me continue on my education at the university and my passion to help spread awareness to other students on campus. I would like to thank every single one of you for your donation as well as your support, and your accomplishments with what you and what you all have done it would have been a more difficult year. But because of you all I have been greatly inspired me and you have inspired a generation to come.
Thank you again, and I hope to make you all proud!
Tracy Mapaye