APASA highlights student leaders in the community

This month, in honor of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival, the Asian Pacific American Student Assembly is highlighting student leaders who have made a notable impact in the APA community at USC.

So far, two students have been announced:  Hannah Nguyen, a junior majoring in sociology, and Zachary Chaco, a junior majoring in computer science.

APASA is recognizing two students each week, who are nominated by other students based on their roles as APA leaders in the community. There have been more than 20 nominations to date.

Chaco currently serves as the President of Troy Philippines, USC’s Filipino culture club. He shared that being a part of the APA community is an important source of pride.

“Being a APA means I have found a culture that I have consciously decided I want to be a part of and is something I am proud to declare,” Chaco wrote in a APASA online questionnaire.

Nguyen is also an active voice on campus; she is a director at EdMonth, assistant director of Academic Culture Assembly and student worker at Asian Pacific American Student Services.

APASA, the umbrella organization for 21 different APA member organizations on campus, is one of eight assemblies under USC Program Board.

The APA leader recognition event is just one of 18 events held by APASA from February through April.  Other events will include a Asian Pacific Film Week as well as a luau hosted by the Hawaii Club.

Hahney Yo, internal community chair for APASA, said that considering the high number of APA students at USC, the APA leader event allows their voices to be heard when they otherwise might be drowned out.

“At USC, 20 percent of students here identify as [Asian Pacific American],” she said. “A lot of people don’t really understand what that means and what that identify holds, so we want to identify those people who live out that identity and share what they know about the struggle in the community.”