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RMHC’s Asian Student Scholarship Celebrates 15 Years

2016 RMHC ASIA Awards Luncheon

Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area (RMHC-NYSTA) celebrated the 15th anniversary of its RMHC/ASIA (Asian Students Increasing Achievement) Scholarship Program last Friday with an awards luncheon at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

The event featured six local high school students each receiving a $16,000 scholarship as well as the presentation of the 2016 RMHC Community Leadership Award to legendary New York Mets pitcher and Emmy Award-winning baseball analyst Ron Darling. Coinciding with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the ceremony was hosted by NBC 4 News reporter Michael George and attended by community leaders and past scholarship recipients.


Created in 2001, the RMHC/ASIA Scholarship Program has awarded over $1.5 million to Asian high school students in the New York Tri-State Area. As the largest scholarship of its kind, RMHC/ASIA annually grants six college scholarships worth up to $16,000 to students in financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and community involvement. Recipients are selected by a judging committee comprised of representatives from leading Asian American organizations, Ronald McDonald House Charities and McDonald’s.

Meet the recipients of the 2016 RMHC/ASIA Scholarship Program:

  • Soon Il Higashino, 18, of Ossining High School in Westchester County, serves as an officer at her school’s environmental club and plays five instruments in five different music groups. She will be attending Princeton University and potentially majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Melanie Kristt, 17, of Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, is the captain of her school’s gymnastics team and volunteers at the ASPCA Animal Shelter and New York City Food Bank. She will be attending the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and majoring in Neuroscience.
  • Tenzin Ngodup, 17, of Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences High School in Queens, is the president of the student council and Gateway Charity Club. He will be attending Wesleyan University and majoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry.
  • Alexandra Prendergast, 18, of Danbury High School in Fairfield County, Connecticut, is an award-winning debater and orator who enjoys volunteering for political campaigns in her spare time. She will be attending Wesleyan University and majoring in Political Science.
  • Luwei Xiong, 18, of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, is a youth advocate at the Asian American Student Advocacy Project. She will be attending Yale University and majoring in Political Science.
  • Winton Yee, 18, of Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, runs track and field and was the editor of the Humor section of the school newspaper. He will be attending Stanford University and majoring in English or Computer Science.

“Contrary to popular belief, there are many Asian American students who face significant financial barriers to higher education,” said Michael Anderer, President of the RMHC-NYTSA Board of Trustees. “The RMHC/ASIA Scholarship is a program that recognizes this reality and has gone to great lengths to address it.”

“The continued growth of the RMHC/ASIA Scholarship clearly demonstrates a real need for this program within the community,” stated Christopher Perry, Executive Director of RMHC-NYSTA. “Throughout our 15 year history, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to partner with many outstanding organizations and individuals to ensure our scholarship reaches the students who need it most.”

RMHC-NYTSA will begin accepting applications for the 2017 RMHC/ASIA Scholarship Program in October. Click here for more information.


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