- Presented by CA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, it supports AAPI students who are the first in their families to attend institutions of higher learning.
Two Indian Americans are among recipients of the annual Gold Mountain Scholarship presented by the CA-Asian Pacific American Advocates to support AAPI students who are the first in their families to attend institutions of higher learning. Fifteen graduating high school seniors, who are scheduled to begin classes at various colleges and universities in the fall, will each be awarded $2,000 based on grants from UPS to cover tuition and school expenses. Additionally, four rising college seniors were also chosen and will each receive $2,500 to cover tuition and school expenses.
Among the graduating high school seniors to receive the scholarship is Sanjna Tailor of Henderson, Nevada, a freshman at the University of California Los Angeles, where she is studying Linguistics and Computer Science. “The two fields have always played a big role my entire life,” she says in her profile on the CA-Asian Pacific American Advocates website.
Born in Chicago, she moved to Las Vegas at the age of 11. She is the only daughter of a small immigrant family from Gujarat. Tailor says in her profile that in high school, she was “a proud member” of the International Baccalaureate program and the vice president of the Literature Appreciation Society.
She’s the only one in her family with “a formal education,” Tailor says she has the “great responsibility of acting as a translator and a personal IT assistant.” She says “coming from a low-income background, I understand the difficulties many first and second-generation low-income immigrants face when it comes to successfully navigating life in a city that doesn’t speak their language.” She hopes that “through college and beyond,” she can work “towards a change and help close this language gap between all peoples.”
Outside of academics, Tailor loves to work with her community, may it be volunteering for the City of Henderson or tutoring local high school students in math. She is also very close with the Indian community in Las Vegas and has trained in Indian classical vocal and harmonium.
Also among scholars is Rimpal Bajwa of Puyallup, Washington, a rising senior at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She will be majoring in Culture and Politics with a concentration in International Law and Civil Rights and double minoring in Spanish and Justice and Peace Studies. Born into a Punjabi family in Washington, she has worked hard to keep in touch with her culture and faith while also navigating her place in society as a first-generation Indian American.
Upon coming to Georgetown University, she established a Sikh Student Association on campus to help create a space for Sikh-Americans to find community. She continued her work with the Sikh community by getting involved with United Sikh Movement as the first coordinator on the East Coast, helping the organization expand its outreach to Sikh students. She aspires to become an international human rights lawyer one day to continue using her voice to advocate for her community and marginalized communities around the world.
Founded in 1973, OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national, member-driven civil rights organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).