2013 Jack T. Chen Scholars

Ruyin Liao & Jason Liao
With Jack T. Chen’s family (Cynthia Chen & James Tsai)

Welcome to AAPAAN

Learn about The Asian and Asian Pacific American Alumni Network at the University of Virginia.

Jack T. Chen Scholarship

The 2014 Jack T. Chen Scholarship application period is now closed. Thank you for your applications!

Scholarship Applicant Stories

“One of the most embarrassing moments I’ve had regarding my financial status happened when I was in the financial aid office, hoping that they could defer a part of my loans that were due.  When I sat down to talk to a financial advisor, she asked why I had to defer just $250, because it was such a little amount, and normally students would never ask for a deferment on such a small amount of money.  Although it wasn’t a direct insult to my low-income status, it definitely reminded me of how in need I was.  I come from a single mother home, and I try my best not to make her pay for much.  I have taken two jobs as a research assistant in hopes of helping pay of these deferments, but with a full time school schedule, it has been a struggle. Receiving this scholarship would allow me to have less of a financial burden on my shoulders. I have given and sacrificed a lot of a college activities out of frugality, but I refuse to have my education be impeded because of money.”

– Jack T. Chen Scholarship Applicant

“I am from an ordinary family and my parents did not have the means to send me to private schools, but they always stressed to me how important academics was.  When I came to UVA, I always tried to cut costs whenever I could.   I seldom ate out in restaurants and tried to study without textbooks as long as I could get the information from somewhere else.  I also reduced my printing costs by 8 cents by increasing the words on a single page.  When I heard my mother tell me that her salary for 10 years would pay for my tuition for 1 year, I could not help by cry.  I have several jobs at UVA so that I can help support myself and although $500 may not be a lot for someone else, it is my mother’s salary for 1 ½ month, and that is a tremendous amount for me.”

– Jack T. Chen Scholarship Applicant

“I have been lucky enough to have amazingly kind and supportive parents who have provided me with a constant fountain of encouragement and love throughout the course of my life … I receive no financial aid from the university, so my mom and my dad help me pay what they can. For my part, I do the most that I can to ease this burden – I’ve had a part-time job of some sort (often more than one at a time) since I started here at UVA. It’s sometimes a bit of a bewildering journey to juggle both school and work, but I find that this need to do so has most kindly brought me to some of the experiences that I cherish the most. It is true that money isn’t everything, but in this aspect of my life it is important to my goals and my future, and I’m looking to help out in any way I can.”

– Jack T. Chen Scholarship Applicant

“One of the main causes of my parents’ divorce was financial difficulty. My father’s restaurant had gone out of business … and my family struggled to pay for my and my brother’s education abroad. My parents thought a good education was important so that we could attend an American university, which would broaden our opportunities significantly. The only thing I can do to help her is to study hard so that she does not feel that her efforts were wasted .. I tutored all throughout high school and work part-time during the summers to lessen my mother’s stress. I aspire to excel and be successful at UVA and continue my education in graduate school, and having less financial burden will help me focus more on that goal.”

– Jack T. Chen Scholarship Applicant

“I was born to an ordinary family in China … yet despite that fact, my parents still fully supported my dream to study abroad in United States and covered my expenses. To lower the cost of my tuition, I took a part time job in the catering office. Though the work is pretty hard, I try and squeeze as many hours as I can to help support myself. I enjoy attending the various catered events because the attendees are always from different backgrounds, which never fail to fascinate me. This scholarship to me is more than money to me, but also a way to lower the burden of my parents and a great honor to recognize my work towards the APA community.”

– Jack T. Chen Scholarship Applicant

“I am currently receiving financial aid. I have taken out about $7,500 in loans for every school year since first year and will most likely continue that until I graduate. I also have a scholarship of $2,000 that I won in high school which is spread out over four years. I am in need of a scholarship because my family’s financial situation is strained. My father owns his own business which will be closing by the summer of next year due to disagreements within the firm. Quite a few years ago, once my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, my mom had to quit her job (so she could have a more flexible schedule to take of her), and she started working with my father. However, since the business is not doing as well, my mom is looking for a job, with no avail since jobs are so sparse. I currently work at the *, formerly known as the *. I use the money I get from working to pay my utility bills, extra school expenses, and books. Whatever is leftover from that, I use for my daily expenses such as groceries and food, but I mostly try to save my money. Any bit of scholarship would greatly benefit me to help pay for tuition and relieve a little bit of stress.”

– Jack T. Chen Scholarship Applicant