OCA-WHV Youth Awards

OCA-WHV’s Youth Awards Program celebrates the achievements of talented Asian American high school juniors and seniors from local communities. We provide both the merit-based and need-based awards in the following categories:

  • The Student Leadership Awards ($200) provide ten merit-based awards to recognize the outstanding achievements of Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) student leaders from area high schools and language schools. Non-Asians who demonstrate a keen interest in Asian language and culture are also welcome to apply. (Application form)

  • The Student Need-Based Awards include five named awards for students who have demonstrated financial needs. Students whose parents have never attended a four-year college in the U.S. or abroad are particularly encouraged to apply. (Application form)

  • 1. The Jeannette Wang Award ($1,000)

    This award is given in loving memory of Jeannette Wang, award-winning realtor, social activist, mentor to sufferers of cancer and dynamic Past president of OCA-WHV whose crusade against anti-Asian slurs by radio "shock-jocks" made history. The Jeannette Wang Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 2015 by Alan Neiditch Esq., Jeannette's partner in business and in life, her children, her colleagues and friends. It was Jeannette’s fondest wish that $1,000 be given annually to an Asian American high school junior or senior who demonstrates exceptional personal achievement in the face of obstacles beyond his or her control.
    2. The Avon Xiaochun Luo Award in STEM ($1,000)

    This award is given in loving memory of the late Xiaochun Luo, Ph.D., noted scientist, champion of STEM education for youth and distinguished past president of OCA-WHV. The Xiaochun Luo Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 2015 by her husband Wei Dai, sons Byran and Brandon; Avon, the company she served so well and so long; and Xiaochun's many colleagues and friends. It bestows a $1,000 grant each year to a high school senior or junior of API descent demonstrating significant achievement in STEM.
    3. The Jean Wood Chang Award ($1,000)

    Jean Wood Chang, community activist, advocate for APIA rights in America, educator, and philanthropist, has been a member of OCA for 30 years. She has been a Board member of OCA-WHV for 25 years, and was president of OCA-WHV from 1990-1991. She also served 10 years on the OCA National Executive Council in various roles including Executive Vice-President, Vice President for Education, and Vice President for Finance. A graduate of NYU, Jean worked as a financial analyst on Wall Street before beginning a distinguished career in social action. She continues to teach in the ESL program at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church and is a key member of the Youth Awards team. With her husband, Stanley, Jean has been a benefactor for many national and local organizations. Established in 2018, the Jean Wood Chang Endowment Fund grants $1,000 yearly to a high school junior or senior who has overcome significant obstacles and has displayed strong academic and extracurricular achievements.
    4. The Phi Lambda Westchester Award ($1,000)

    Established in 2017, the Phi Lambda Westchester Award recognizes a high school junior or senior of exceptional promise who is confronting extraordinary challenges. This young person possesses not only a solid record of scholarly achievement but also proven maturity and strength beyond his or her years. The generous grant, made possible by the contributions from Robert and Ann Chao, Donald and Kit Chu, Wen-Ning and Betty Hsieh, Martin and Ellen Jer, William and Rose Tan Kaung, Vincent and Grace Young, and Julian Suez, will be presented at this year’s OCA-WHV Gala, where the awardee’s parents will be feted as guests of Phi Lambda.
    5. The Golden Apple Award ($1,000)

    Established in 2014, the Golden Apple Award, under the auspices of Jenny Kho, Helen Kho, Johnson Kho, Albert Chua, and New York Life Insurance Company, will provide a $1,000 need-based grant to support the college education of a promising student. First-generation high school students are strongly encouraged to apply. The Golden Apple Award will be presented separately at the 22nd Asian American Heritage Festival in May 2019.
  • The Koo Family Community Engagement Award ($600 - $1,200)

    Established in 2018 by Shirley and Robert W. Koo, the Koo Family Community Engagement Award will provide a non-need-based grant to a college-bound high school student who has worked collaboratively with community groups to address specific issues that impact the well-being of the community. A visionary philanthropist whose multigenerational charitable fund supports scholarship, community engagement, and interfaith initiatives, Bob previously served as a trustee to the Hudson River Museum and the Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, and currently serves as a pro bono advisor on art planning for charitable giving to various nonprofit organizations.

Application Forms

Application materials and information packets for the OCA-WHV Youth Awards can be downloaded below. All application forms and supporting documents must be received by October 12, 2018. The Youth Awards will be presented at the OCA-WHV Dynamic Achievers Awards Gala on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

High school seniors who are the first in their family to attend college are also encouraged to apply for the OCA Gold Mountain Scholarship in April 2019.


From left: Jean Chang, Linda Sledge, Jessica Xu, Matthew Tu, Angela Lin, Stella Li, John Lei, Sophia Guo, James Chen, Alan Chang, Victor Cai, Max Bobby, Christopher Chan, Fiona Jiang, Paul Pedrozo, Rose Kaung, Peggy Chen

Recipients of 2017 OCA-WHV Youth Awards


Student Leadership Award
Max Bobby, Mamaroneck High School
Victor Cai, Brewster High School
Alan Chang, Byram Hills High School
James Chen, Rye Country Day School
Sophia Guo, Edgemont High School
John Lei, Clarkstown High School
Stella Li, Byram Hills High School (2018 salutatorian) (Brown University)
Angela Lin, Ridgefield High School
Matthew Tu, Briarcliff High School (2018 valedictorian) (Yale University)
Jessica Xu, Staples High School

Jeannette Wang Award
Paul Pedrozo, Mamaroneck High School (SUNY Buffalo)

Avon Xiaochun Luo Award
Fiona Jiang, Mamaroneck High School

Phi Lambda Westchester Award
Christopher Chan, White Plains High School

Golden Apple Award
Noor Ahmed, Maria Regina High School
Tasia Chung, Mt Vernon High School
OCA-WHV Endowed Scholarship at WCC
Weidi Tian, Westchester Community College


From left: Bob Sweeney, Linda Sledge, Claire Cao, Allison Chien, Audrey Kim, Ryan Li, Yvonne Liu, Meenu Mundackal, Sanjana Varma, Jill Yu, Lan Zhang, Raymond Zheng, Judy Yu, Amy Zhang, Kai Zhang, Rose Kaung, Jean Chang

Recipients of 2016 OCA-WHV Youth Awards


Student Leadership Award
Claire Cao, Horace Greeley High School (University of Rochester)
Allison Chien, Blind Brook High School
Audrey Kim, Bronxville High School (Brown University)
Ryan Li, Croton-Harmon High School (SUNY Stony Brook)
Yvonne Liu, Edgemont High School
Meenu Mundackal, Westlake High School (SUNY Geneseo)
Sanjana Varma, Maria Regina High School (2017 valedictorian) (Northeastern University)
Jill Dew Yu, Edgemont High School (University of Pennsylvania)
Lan Zhang, Horace Greeley High School (2017 valedictorian) (Harvard University)
Raymond Zheng, Horace Greeley High School (University of Chicago)

Avon Xiaochun Luo Award
Judy Xiao Lin Yu, Nellie A. Thornton High School (2017 valedictorian) (Carnegie Mellon University)

Jeannette Wang Award
Amy Mei Xiu Zhang, Nellie A. Thornton High School (2017 salutatorian) (Barnard College)
Kai Zhang, Pleasantville High School (SUNY Binghamton)

Golden Apple Award
Xiangwei Jiang, Mount Vernon High School
Katelyn Weng, LaGuardia High School
OCA-WHV Endowed Scholarship at WCC
Yuan Yuan Wang, Westchester Community College


Front row from left: William Yin, James Quinn, Kaitlin Parulan, Kasey Luo, Leon Lei, Irena Hsu, Grace Guo, Meiling Gilbert, Kevin Chang, Cen Chen, Majessa Pedrozo
Back row from left: Bob Sweeney, Gary Guo, Jean Chang, Linda Sledge, Rose Kaung

Recipients of 2015 OCA-WHV Youth Awards


Student Leadership Award
Kevin Chang, Byram Hills High School (2016 salutatorian) (Yale University)
Meiling Gilbert, Woodlands High School (Lehman College)
Grace Guo, Horace Mann School (University of Pennsylvania)
Irena Hsu, Horace Mann School (University of Chicago)
Leon Lei, Clarkstown High School South (Brown University)
Kasey Luo, Rye Country Day School (Stanford University)
Kaitlin Parulan, Lakeland High School (Cornell University)
James Takashi Quinn, Mamaroneck High School (Columbia University)
Steven Xu, Staples High School (New York University)
William Yin, Greenwich High School (2017 valedictorian) (Stanford University)

Avon Xiaochun Luo Award
Cen Chen, Ossining High School (Northeastern University)

Jeannette Wang Award
Majessa Pedrozo, Mamaroneck High School (SUNY New Paltz)


Alicia Kim

Judy Yu

Amy Zhang
Golden Apple Award
Alicia Kim, Hastings-on-Hudson High School (Bucknell University)
Judy Xiao Lin Yu, Nellie A. Thornton High School (2017 valedictorian) (Carnegie Mellon University)
Amy Mei Xiu Zhang, Nellie A. Thornton High School (2017 salutatorian) (Barnard College)

OCA-WHV Endowed Scholarship at WCC
Jiayi (Jenny) Wang, Westchester Community College (Fashion Institute of Technology)