The Asian Student Association hosted the 17th annual Mr. and Miss ASA Scholarship Pageant on April 2. The event, themed fairy tales, was held at the Cape Florida Ballroom with an overwhelming audience of more than 400 attendees.

The 16 participants represented multiple Asian cultural heritages, including persons from China, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Japan and Korea. The event showcased the richness and beauty arising from a diverse group of Asian cultures.

The winners of Mr. and Miss ASA 2017 were: Miss ASA Chika Yoshida and Mr. ASA Sharan Sathya. Respectively, 1st Runner-up was Miss Supraja Vinjamur and Mr. Michael Lim and 2nd Runner-up was Miss Theressa Tong and Mr. Tzy Hsu.

The Asian Student Association was established in 1999, and the first Mr. and Miss ASA event was staged in 2001. Khanh ‘Karen’ Nguyen says, “I am proud to be part of their success, and I have enjoyed working with the wonderful members of the UCF Asian community throughout my career at UCF. But this year, they surprised me with a new title: ‘Fairy Godmother.’ For the students, I have always felt a responsibility to be a hand to lead them, a head when they want ideas, and a heart when they need support. Many Asian students are relatively quiet, hard-working, and always trying to do their best. Those traits are commendable, but I also encourage them to come out of their comfort zone, and not to avoid being in the lime light. This is not just for getting attention, but more importantly, for sharing their qualities with the wider community, and for being recognized for their contributions, particularly within the university family, where all are equally respected.”

The program was initiated under the direction and vision of Nguyen. It is intended to unite Asian American student groups by helping them to work together, and to embrace their differences. “The Mr. and Miss ASA program has been attracting participants and award winners from previous years to plan, to promote and to make the celebration bigger and better each spring,” said Nguyen. “It encourages and motivates the students to serve one another, while together making a strong voice for the Asian-American community, as ‘together we can move a mountain.’ I am very proud of the program, and of the young and committed Asian American Student group members who look forward to this celebration in the spring of each year.”

Photo-courtesy of Asian Trend.