Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021

K-12 Poster Art Contest

Click here to watch congratulations video from MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith.
Award Ceremony was held on May 21, 2021.
Click here to see the winners and artwork from 2020.

We are proud to draw more than 170 applications from MCPS students. We are honoring awards to the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd place winners and honorable mentions in the elementary, middle and high school categories:

Elementary Schools

1st Place: Benjamin Marshall, Flora M. Singer ES

Caption: Dona Nobis Pacem

Description: Yo-Yo Ma began playing his cello on social media the moment COVID struck the United States. He also performed free concerts online and released an album called "Songs of Comfort." Over the course of the last year, his music brought millions of Americans the positive feeling that everything will be okay. He helped those who listened feel courage during a difficult time.

2nd Place: Chloe Ma, Diamond ES

Caption: Young Activists

Description: McPherson Square D.C. Rally for Collective Safety on 3/21/2021

3rd Place: Jeremy Zhang, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: The Warrior - Jeremy Lin

Description: Jeremy Lin, first Asian American to win NBA championship.

Honorable Mention: Charlotte Hendricks, Stonegate ES

Caption: Anna May Wong

Description: Anna May Wong, a Chinese American, was the first famous Chinese American actress. Wong fought against the use of Asian stereotypes and yellowface in Hollywood.

Honorable Mention: Sophia Hou, Cedar Grove ES

Caption: Kamala Harris

Description: Kamala Harris is not only the the first woman to be sworn in as Vice President, but is was also the first Asian American Vice President.

Honorable Mention: Connie Ren, Lakewood ES

Caption: We Love America

Description: The Asian Americans have been participating in building America, improving America, and serving America. We live here, study here. We love here. We want America to get better and better.

Honorable Mention: Melanie Ren, Lakewood ES

Caption: We support America

Description: In the difficult time fighting COV-19 last year, many Asian Americans donated masks, face shields and other protection gears to our front line workers including polices, doctors, nurses, nursing homes and schools.

Honorable Mention: Marilyn Zhang, Ronald McNair ES

Caption: Have the courage to speak out!

Description: Stop Anti-Asian Hate rally in Washington DC

Honorable Mention: Stephanie Zhu, Chevy Chase ES

Caption: Keeping Courage

Description: N/A (No specific events were chosen)

Middle Schools

1st Place (tie): Eliana Wang, Takoma Park MS

Caption: Yo-Yo Ma Playing Cello at Vaccination Center

Description: Yo-yo Ma, a Chinese-American, plays his cello at a vaccination center to help others relax after receiving his second dose in 2021.

1st Place (tie): Amy Lang, Cabin John MS

Caption: We Belong Here

Description: Stop Asian Hate represents the movement of many anti-asian-violence demonstrations that have been going on around the U.S in 2021. Many people partake in these demonstrations such as adults, children, and teens to stand up for Asians.

3rd Place: Lyla Cho, Tilden MS

Caption: Susan Ahn Cuddy

Description: Susan Ahn Cuddy joined the Navy in 1942 after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. She was the first Asian American woman to join the U.S Navy and became the first female to operate flexible-mount orturret-mounted machine guns on an aircraft in Navy. She left the Navy in 1946 at the rank of lieutenant.

Honorable Mention: Jayda Delvalle Reyes, Newport Mill MS

Caption: Susan Ahn Cuddy

Description: It's a picture of Susan Ahn Cuddy, she was the first female gunnery office in the US Navy, in the picture I draw the navy ship, she was the Lieutenant she taught U.S. sailor how to fire all kinds of machine gun. Susan Ahn Cuddy dedicated her life of service to the Asian American Community and the United States.

Honorable Mention: Katherine Xue, Herbert Hoover MS

Caption: Shared Success

Description: I drew Awkwafina (Nora Lum) and Anna May Wong sharing a trophy since they were both pioneers for Asian women in the film industry.

Honorable Mention: Vivian Zhang, Lakelands Park MS

Caption: Be brave and follow your dream

Description: I.M.Pei is a Chinese American architectural designer that worked hard to study in America. After that he designed many famous and beautiful buildings for U.S. and the world.

High Schools

1st Place: Madison Zhao, Walt Whitman HS

Caption: $3,000 for a Life?

Description: Helen Zia, a Chinese-American activist, led political protests in 1982 after Vincent Chin’s murder trial announced that the none of the attackers would be sent to jail and only faced $3,000 fines for their actions. “It’s not fair”(Chin’s last words) and "$3,000 for a life?" became the resounding slogans of these following protests which marked the beginning of an expanded generation of Asian-American activism.

2nd Place: Saffa Eng, Northwest HS

Caption: Modern Courage

Description: Based on several instances of unprovoked attacks on innocent elderly Asian Americans on the streets of cities in the United States.

3rd Place: Kylie Yi Chreky, Walter Johnson HS

Caption: "I am not a virus"

Description: My digital painting is set in the present, its 2021, the pandemic is still rampant. Attitudes towards Asian Americans are getting worse. I decided to keep my message clear. "My ethnicity is not a virus." Speaking up against racism, considering all of the hate crimes going on right now, takes courage.

Honorable Mention: Anishka Basheerbad, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Kalpana Chawla, National Hero

Description: Kalpana Chawla, an American astronaut, was the first Indian woman to go to space and sacrificed her life in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of 2003.

Honorable Mention: Kylie Yi Chreky, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Xie Xiaozhen

Description: Xie Xiaozhen, a 75 year old Chinese woman, was punched by a white man in San Francisco recently. She fought back against the man, hitting him with a board. Instead of keeping the nearly 1 million dollars donated to her for her medical expenses, Xie chose to donate it all to help combat racism against the AAPI community.

Honorable Mention: Jessie Chen, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Rise from the Ashes

Description: Asian Americans, like a phoenix, resurrect from the oppression and silencing of the normalized racism their community has faced for decades to fight for #STOPAAPIHATE.

Judge Biographies:

CHIL KONG, Artistic Director, Adventure Theatre MTC

based in Glen Echo with an academy in Rockville, Maryland. He began his career in theater garnering multiple awards for his innovative reimagining of American classics and developing ground-breaking new works as artistic director of theater companies in Boston, San Diego, Seattle, and in Los Angeles as the Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. After a successful career in theater, Chil was tapped as the creative director of a film fund which focused on English based stories for the Asian market. He has returned to his hometown in the Washington, D.C. area.

ATHENA ROBLES, Board Chair, Asian American Arts Alliance

is from the Washington, D.C. area. She is a visual artist whose work involves drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and installation. She has exhibited her work nationally, including at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, DC’s Emerge Art Fair and in New York at the American Museum of Natural History and the New Museum’s IdeasCity. Athena is a recipient of a Van Lier Fellowship, among several grants and awards, and she has participated on panels for the Ford Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and others. Athena values community service and currently serves as a board member for the Asian American Arts Alliance.

Athena has taught art to students from pre-school to collegiate level and aims to foster an appreciation for creativity and to build problem-solving skills through art. Recently she served as a substitute art teacher for Capital City Public Charter School and has taught private art lessons locally. Athena lives in Chevy Chase, DC with her husband, son and a sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback.

SHINEH KIM YOON, Founder, Shineh Art Studio, LLC

in Gaithersburg, Maryland, as well as a mother, artist and educator. She specializes in fine art. Shortly after she immigrated from South Korea at age 15, she was recognized as Maryland's Emerging Young Artist from MAEA (Maryland Art Education Association). Shineh attended the Maryland Institute College of Art specializing in the field of Illustration, receiving a scholarship for her artistic achievement as a finalist in the Maryland Distinguished Scholars Program.

Shineh started Shineh Art Studio, LLC in 2003, where she teaches visual arts to students in grades K-12 to college transfers. Shineh is a three-time nationally recognized art educator from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Many of her students have been recognized for local, region-at-large and national competitions and have been admitted to prestigious art colleges and universities with reputable art programs.

Other artworks by participant names in the elementary, middle and high school categories:

Ahenk Akkaya, Farmland ES

Caption: Racism is never the answer

Description: "Hate is a virus" organization is protesting against the hate towards Asian people.

Nazim Akkaya, Clearspring ES

Caption: The courageous protest

Description: Asians and few people from other races are protesting for people to Stop Asian Hate and Hatred towards Asians during Covid-19.

Kavi Anand, Fields Road ES

Caption: Sharing is Caring

Description: The dragon is sharing the cherry blossom tree.

Sahana Anand, Fields Road ES

Caption: Courage

Description: how we can get threw this, together, stronger and brighter

Alana Anantham, Chevy Chase ES

Caption: Jasmin Sethi - A Courageous Soul

Description: Jasmin Sethi, a blind Asian American, graduated with a degree in applied math from Harvard.

Anna Balasooriya, Clopper Mill ES

Caption: Hands of the past giving way to the future

Description: Coming from Vietnam

Benjamin Berndt, Farmland ES

Caption: Fighting a dragon

Description: Stories of dragons

Carter Capili, Wyngate ES

Caption: Arree Chung

Description: He wrote and drew Mixed, a book that teaches you about working together with everyone that’s different colors.

Jackson Capili, Wyngate ES

Caption: First Indian American in space

Description: Kalpana Chawla, an Indian American the, First Indian American to ever go in space.

Ryan Chatman, Luxmanor ES

Caption: Stop Racism

Description: People called Covid19 Ku-Flu was wrong. People don’t get sick because of their race. These two doctors were protesting against the hate against Asian Americans.

Louis Cho, Farmland ES

Caption: Samuel Lee

Description: The first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United states and the first man to win back to back gold medals in Olympic platform diving.

Angelina Purmi Choi, Little Bennett ES

Caption: Friendship is Courage

Description: An Asian girl who feels heartbroken just because she is an Asian, but her friends stand by her during the tough times.

Owen Chong, Bayard Rustin ES

Caption: The Legacy of Sammy Lee

Description: Dr. Sammy Lee was the first Asian American to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

Luna Cooper, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: Asian American

Description: Anna May Wong won award of Hollywood Walk of Fame

Marshall Craft, Wilson Wims ES

Caption: Never Give Up

Description: A poster with a young kid continue to climb to the sky and never give up.

Salma Cuadro, Luxmanor ES

Caption: Asian Culture is valuable

Description: The month of May was chosen to celebrate the Asian heritage month in order to commemorate the first Japanese to come to the United States. In May was also completed the transcontinental railroad

Avani Dounde, Farmland ES

Caption: Sergeant Uday Singh

Description: Sergeant Uday Singh was the first U.S. Army soldier of Indian descent to die during Operation Iraqi Freedom. For his courageous work in Iraq war, Uday was honored with Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Leslie Ferguson, Sligo Creek ES

Caption: Tammy Duckworth

Description: In 2004, Tammy Duckworth was in the US army and lost her right leg due to being shot at while flying a helicopter in Iraq.

Alina Galendez, Luxmanor ES

Caption: Tanjiro the Demon Slayer

Description: Asians fighting evil.

Danielle Gottesman, Lakewood ES

Caption: To be courageous

Description: A girl is being picked on and she will not stand it, so she stands up for herself.

Daniel Guo, Candlewood ES

Caption: The Legacy of Wong Kim Ark

Description: United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court which held that "a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent......have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, .....automatically became a U.S. citizen at birth."

Emma Guo, Fallsmead ES

Caption: Courage

Description: I imagine that Bruce Lee kicked the coronavirus into a book using his Kung Fu.

Maya Guo, Travilah ES

Caption: Wash the Hate

Description: An asian American girl fighting against the viruses of both COVID-19 and Asian Hate.

Emma Hahn, Bells Mill ES

Caption: AAPI Lives Matter

Description: People like George Takei and some doctors who helped COVID-19 are AAPIs. They change our lives.

Annie Hou, Cedar Grove ES

Caption: Mirai Nagasu

Description: Mirai Nagasu is a Japanese American figure skater.

Joshua Ju, Bayard Rustin ES

Caption: Superhero Xie fights back to Stop Asian Hate

Description: Grandma Xiao Zhen Xie was attacked on the streets of San Francisco in March 2021. She was targeted because she is Asian. When she was attacked, she fought back and injured her attacker. She received over $1 million in donations from the public. Instead of keeping it for herself, Xie donated all the money to help other victims of Asian hate crimes. According to StopAAPIHate.org, over 3,795 hate

Veena Kannan, Wyngate ES

Caption: Swati Mohan at NASA

Description: Swati Mohan broadcasted and engineered the Mars Perseverance Lander.

Arissa Karst, Wyngate ES

Caption: Stop Blaming Us

Description: Someone at school said to me "Chinese people brought COVID-19 here. I do not like Chinese people."

Harsees Kaur, Burtonsville ES

Caption: Kamala Harris, Vice President

Description: Kamala Harris, the first female, and the first Asian-American Vice President of United States of America.

Elaine Keller, Meadow Hall ES

Caption: Gyo Obata, architect

Description: Gyo Obata, a Japanese American, served in the U.S. Army, and designed many buildings.

Daniel Kim, Lakewood ES

Caption: The Turtle Ship

Description: The Turtle ship is a Korean battleship used in the late 1500s to fight off Japanese Troops. This is one of the most courageous, famous, and historic event in Korean people's mind, because this battleship protected Korean to the end of the battle.

Emily Kim, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: We are all friends

Description: The pandemic in 2021

Irene Kim, Lakewood ES

Caption: The King's palace

Description: The Kyung-bok palace has been burnt, destroyed, and rebuilt many times due to the attack of surrounding countries. This shows the courage of Korean people and their love to their country.

Taerim Kim, Lakewood ES

Caption: Social participation in Asians

Description: Anti-war demonstrations for peace during the Vietnam war, recent protests for the protection of black human rights, etc.

Taeyoon Kim, Lakewood ES

Caption: Asian labors at the sugarcane farm in Hawaii

Description: Many Asian such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino worded hard in sugarcane plantations in Hawaii from mid-1800's to mid-1900's.

Hazel Krogan, Kensington Parkwood ES

Caption: Courage is Xiao Zhen Xie

Description: Xiao Zhen Xie (Asian Grandmother in San Francisco) stood up against her attacker and donated money to help others (in 2021).

Ivy Krogan, Kensington Parkwood ES

Caption: Courage is fighting for what is right and ending racism

Description: Asian-Americans and their friends marched together across the United States to tell people it's wrong to hate others because of how they look (in 2021).

Mila Kueh, Lakewood ES

Caption: Past & Present

Description: Tammy Duckworth, a Thai American, who served in the Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, and was a piolet. (Now a politician).

Yashaswini Kunati, Diamond ES

Caption: Korematsu v. United States

Description: Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American, stood against Executive Order 9066, which ordered all Japanese ancestry sent to internment camps. The Pearl Harbor Attack had started the war with Japan, and President Roosevelt decided to sign Executive Order 9066. The transporting of the Japanese began in 1942, as the government feared that military plans would be revealed by the Japanese Americans living near the military bases. Korematsu was one of them and the only one who refused to move to the internment camp, which made him hide in the Oakland Area in California. The police finally found him on a street corner, and he was put in jail for five years. He was presented in court after the time in prison and had to defend his case. After losing his case, he was put in a camp, earning only $12 ($187.77 today) a month. After 30 years, the order was canceled, Korematsu and other people who survived the event received $20,000 each. President Bill Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the USA.

Milani Ladwa, Wyngate ES

Caption: We're All Friends

Description: Every person in the world is not left out of the community and everyone has the courage to make new friends.

Alice Lai, Burning Tree ES

Caption: Joy and Hope

Description: Every life has a spirit has a name.

Serin Lee, Bells Mill ES

Caption: Lyla Lee and Mindy Kim

Description: Lyla Lee is the Korean American author of the Mindy Kim series which features Mindy Kim, a Korean American girl who lives in Florida.

April Li, Diamond ES

Caption: Stop Racism

Description: Speaking against racism.

Gary Ma, Dufief ES

Caption: Andrew Cherng Founder of Panda Express

Description: Andrew Cherng, Chinese-born American, founder of Panda Express, an ongoing Chinese-American fast food chain restaurant.

Lia Melikyan, Luxmanor ES

Caption: Transcontinental Railroad

Description: This railroad was build by the blood and tears of Chinese immigrants.

Sneha Menon, Lakewood ES

Caption: "I have a dream"- MLK

Description: The poster shows Martin Luther King giving a famous speech called "I have a dream" on August 28 1963 in Washington DC.

Preetha Mukhopadhyay, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: Courage: UNDER ONE FLAG

Description: Asian Americans are fighting against pandemic and all odds under one flag

Abhang Narute, Little Bennett ES

Caption: Beautiful garden and beautiful people

Description: There is different flowers in my garden. They have different smell, texture, colors, shape and different properties. That makes each flower to be beautiful in there own way. That’s what my garden looks so beautiful. In the similar way different kinds of people makes my planet and United States of America even more beautiful.

Ria Angel Newmancroos, Twinbrook ES

Caption: Mars Mission

Description: Nasa’s Swati Mohan, India’s women scientists are breaking barriers in space exploration

Ryder Nguyen, Wyngate ES

Caption: Women Warrior

Description: My dad's family is from Vietnam. Women Warrior represents my dad's family coming to America during the Vietnam War.

Florence Ou, Seven Locks ES

Caption: The Branches of Bravery

Description: All the Asian Americans that tried to get rid of corona-virus, fought for their rights to vote, stood tall, and will grow new bravery every year in the future that will, or had, change/changed everything.

Sofia Ou, Seven Locks ES

Caption: Courage in Hearts

Description: This is a march of no Asian and Asian American hate and people showing a march of no racism and holding signs of how Asian American should be treated like an equal.

Drew Potashnik, Seven Locks ES

Caption: Shigeki Sugiyama: Proud Japanese American

Description: President Ford’s Proclamation 4417 repealed EO 9066, which interned Japanese Americans in the United States during WWII. Shigeki Sugiyama was at the White House signing ceremony as the National President of the Japanese American Citizens League. He was a child in the internment camp, was drafted into the U.S. Army, and had careers in the Army and Civil Service.

Jade Shi, Wyngate ES

Caption: Stand against

Description: When we are facing something that is not fair.

Samantha Shields, Farmland ES

Caption: Tammy Duckworth

Description: My poster is about Tammy Duckworth’s life and growing up and being a grownup.

Jeremy Shu, Cedar Grove ES

Caption: Courage of Repairing the Spaceship

Description: The brave Asian-American Astronaut is fixing the spaceship in the dark outer space

Roger Tchamaleu, Greencastle ES

Caption: Asian in labor

Description: In the 1800s Chinese people were working build the transcontinental railroad day through night.

Jessica Vu, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: Amazin genders

Description: Amazin LeThi is the founder of "Amazin Lethi Foundation" to help homeless LGBT youth and children living with HIV.

Chloe Wang, Ritchie Park ES

Caption: Courage of Andrew Yang

Description: Andrew Yang, an Asian American, ran for the 2020 Democratic Party Presidential primary.

Mason Wang, Lakewood ES

Caption: MATH

Description: Andrew Yang, the first Asian-American man run for US president. He is currently running for Big Apple mayor.

Rani Wei, Little Bennett ES

Caption: OUR STORY

Description: In fact, the story of every Asian American is an America's story, and America's story is the story of all of our Asian Americans.

Xavier Weng, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: Courageous Young Protesters

Description: My drawing is of three courageous young students protesting to stop violence and hate against Asian Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kangmin Won, Farmland ES

Caption: Stop Hate Asian

Description: Hate against Asian American Pacific Islander communities has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tara Wong, Farmland ES

Caption: Rep. Ted Lieu, Asian American Leader

Description: Representative Ted Lieu is a congressman who represents California's 33rd congressional district. He writes laws about health care, education, the environment, etc. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and he is the Whip for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Allen Xin, Bells Mill ES

Caption: Being Brave

Description: My drawing is an illustration of the brave people in our community, especially during Covid19. Everyone in the picture is wearing masks. These figures represent police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses, front line workers, and all the ordinary people around us during the pandemic. They’re all full of courage. And together we are braver.

Brian Xin, Bells Mill ES

Caption: Courage and Love

Description: My little brother is so scared whenever there are thunders and lightning on stormy nights. He even puts on his thick winter hat covering his ears. I’m not afraid of those loud noises and scary lights. I will hold him to my arms and cover his ears to make him feel safe and secure. I think courage is to help and protect people who need help.

Isabella Yang, Wilson Wims ES

Caption: One World- stop Asian hate

Description: “Stop Asian Hate is the name of several anti-Asian-violence rallies that have been held across the United States in 2021 in response to racism against Asian Americans”

Tansy Yu, Farmland ES



Roger Zhang, Beverly Farms ES

Caption: Many Cultures One Voice

Description: The poster is about the earth presented with different colors of Asians figures, and typical Asian animals, all in front of the background of a US flag

Terry Zhang, Ronald McNair ES

Caption: It takes courage to make your dream come true.

Description: Ellison Onizuka, first Asian-American astronaut to fly in space.

Tyson Zhang, Ronald McNair ES

Caption: Fighting the COVID-19

Description: Asian American doctors on the challenge of COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020.

Asher Anantham, Eastern MS

Caption: Fearless

Description: On March 17, 2021, in San Francisco, 76-year old Chinese immigrant Xiao Zhen Xie was punched in the face by a white male in his 30s while she was waiting to cross the street. The assailant had earlier assaulted an 83-yeard old Asian male. Rather than quietly suffer and be bullied, she fought back both verbally and physically. Yelling "You bum, why did you hit me?", she pummeled her attacker with a board, sending her attacker to hospital. Instead of keeping the more than $1 million she received in donations from the public for her medical expenses, she donated the money to charities working to defuse racism against the Asian American community.

Callie Bao, Earle B. Wood MS

Caption: More Than A Stereotype

Description: Ali Wong is a Vietnamese and Chinese American who unapologetically breaks several stereotypes of being Asian, a woman, and many more in her streaming comedy special Hard Knock Wife.

Wanchai Chanyasubkit, Eastern MS

Caption: The Fighter

Description: Aung San Suu Ky is a human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner. She brought some democracy to her country with nonviolence

Jerry Chen, Eastern MS

Caption: Asian American WWII Soldier

Description: Japanese Americans served in WWII even after they were put in prison camps.

Isabella Fang, Robert Frost MS

Caption: Protection

Description: Many AAPI members have had to use "shields and swords" to defend themselves from hurtful words and attacks on them. My drawing illustrates the bravery AAPI members have to fight back in this racial "war".

Olivia Flynn, Tilden MS

Caption: I, Am

Description: My drawing is a women getting justice for herself. There are a bunch of people behind her to let her know she has support. Then the signs are what they believe in.

Aarna Gundeti, Thomas W. Pyle MS

Caption: First Amendment Rights to the LGBT

Description: In 1958, the US Supreme Court made a landmark decision, to address the free speech right to LGBT.

Margaret Howell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. MS

Caption: The Fight For Rights

Description: I chose to portray people fighting for their rights and the rights of others. Mabel Lee fought for the right for women to vote, even though in the end she wasn’t able to vote herself because of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Liliʻuokalani fought for her people’s rights to ensure that they were treated fairly during annexation and worked to ensure that their culture and history survived. During the Summer of 2020 people protested for the fair treatment of others, even if those people did not come from the same group or cultural heritage.

Chloe Kennedy, Julius West MS

Caption: Leaping Through Boundaries

Description: Stella Abrera, a Filipina-American ballet dancer, broke racial barriers in 2015 by becoming the first Filipina principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre, a predominantly white company.

Abigail Lee, Julius West MS

Caption: Courageous Leader Kamala Harris - Stop Asian Hate

Description: Kamila Harris is the first half South Asian and half South African vice president. She courageously spoke out to address the Atlanta shooting of six Asian women.. Given that she is South Asian her words are important to support the AAPI community.

Chengna Lin, Luther Jackson MS

Caption: Asians Bravery to Protest

Description: The year of 2021, asian groups in America has been seriously insulted and hurt by many white Americans. Thus, asians groups learned to stand up and fight for ourselves by protesting.

Emily Liu, Francis Scott Key MS

Caption: The Times

Description: In the past, courage was defined by going to war and winning battles. Now, the frontline workers and the doctors are actually the courageous ones, battling the pandemic.

Fatima A. Mora Cosio, Col. E. Brooke Lee MS

Caption: "Courage"

Description: This is a collage, not a drawing of an event. It's a 4 picture collage, with different remarkable things AAPI's do/did.

Darlene Penda, Martin Luther King MS

Caption: Courageous Chloe Kim

Description: On April 1st, Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim, shared her experiences with anti-Asian hate for the first time.

Sofia Perez, Argyle MS

Caption: She was a Asian/Chinese Warrior

Description: Hua Mulan was a Chinese warrior that fought in war because she wanted to protect her father, but also thought she could as much as men can do, so she stepped into her father's place. Knowing she could get killed if anyone found out her true identity, she still went and brought honor to the family name.

Grace Selser, Earle B. Wood MS

Caption: Awkwafinas Asian American Pride

Description: This artwork of Awkwafina having the courage to start an acting career, being proud of who she is and where shes from and letting the world know who she is.

Angela Shen, Robert Frost MS

Caption: Asian American Courage and Bravery

Description: Elaine L. Chao is the Nation’s 24th Secretary of Labor and the first Asian American woman appointed to a President's cabinet in U.S. history.

Kenneth Shue, Herbert Hoover MS

Caption: Warriors at Heart

Description: The covid-19 pandemic which has quickly spread worldwide.

Opal Siegal, Cabin John MS

Opal Siegal, Cabin John MS

Alessandra Siever, Lakelands Park MS

Caption: Interned and Innocent

Description: After the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor during WW2, the American government made internment camps to move Japanese residents away from the west coast because they were scared of any form of connection between Japanese Americans and the enemy. This event caused Japanese Americans to live in a confined lifestyle for three years.

Alyssa Wang, Robert Frost MS

Caption: Asian power

Description: Asian scientist helping everyone by creating the covid-19 vaccine.

Cedric Wu, Julius West MS

Caption: The Rooftop Koreans

Description: Multiple Koreans protect Koreatown from an onslaught of riots in LA in 1992.

Lumina Zhang, Herbert Hoover MS

Caption: Courageous Elaine Chao

Description: Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Transportation, spoke against Anti-Asian hate.

Sophie Alzona, Walt Whitman HS

Caption: Working Through 2020

Description: Different Asian Americans providing healthcare and services, as well as leading protests during the historical year of 2020

Raunak Banerjee, Montgomery Blair HS

Caption: Hand of Democracy

Description: A protester fearlessly yet peacefully fights against the sudden military uprising in Myanmar, and all the destruction caused by the coup. Despite knowing he or she may be killed, the protester still silently raises a symbol of resistance high in the air.

Malyla Banota, Northwest HS

Caption: Tanzima Hashem , a professor at BUET and a computer scientist

Description: Tanzima Hashem is one of the five women who won the Elsevier Foundation Award in 2017.Her research’s are focused on maintaining user privacy.

Ruth Cho, Walter Johnson HS

Caption: Thank you for Asian American Frontliners

Description: The mortality rate of Filipino - American nurses from COVID-19 is increasing rapidly. However they are dedicated to treating patients.

Anthea Chu, Thomas Wootton HS

Caption: Leap

Description: This is a character created by me, who takes adventures like how our parents immigrated from one country to another to seek better life. They might feel scared, but moved forward to embrace their dream.

Caleb Collins, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Aoki's Power

Description: In 1966, Richard Aoki armed the political organization named the Black Panther Party, a group of college students that wanted to protest police brutality.

Andrei Davydov, Thomas S. Wootton HS

Caption: Nathan Chen's Victory

Description: Nathan Chen, a Chinese American, winning the 5th US Nationals in Men's Figure Skating in 2021.

Anniee Fang, Poolesville HS

Caption: AAPI Bravery during COVID-19

Description: Asians all over the world facing increasing acts of hate fueled by decades of racism and only recently exposed through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sophia Fang, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Citizenship

Description: Wong Kim Ark was born to Chinese immigrants in San Francisco who weren’t American citizens due to the Chinese Exclusion Acts. Wong went to China to visit his parents, but upon return to America, was denied entry because he was not a citizen. The United States Government took the case to the Supreme Court, but they then ruled in favor of Wong, and created the concept of jus soli.

Valeria Fernandez, Northwest HS

Caption: A nurses tears

Description: An Asian American as a modern nurse during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Caroline Green, Quince Orchard HS

Caption: Warrior Position

Description: Asian Americans often face a plethora of stereotypes and insults regarding their heritage, culture, and occupations. One of which being the Chinese laundry stereotype, which originated from the growing anti-Chinese sentiment in the 1870s. This forced new immigrants into unskilled work that Americans of European descent didn't want to do. For lack of opportunity, many chose and remained in the laundry business.

Priscilla Kim, Poolesville HS

Caption: A Tiger’s Will

Description: Asian Americans uniting together to protest against the recent increase in hate crimes against them during 2020-2021 because of the pandemic.

Elina Lee, Montgomery Blair HS

Caption: Masked: The Language of Courage

Description: AAPI countries around the word aided in the distribution of face-masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jolin Li, Winston Churchill HS

Caption: “Change”

Description: This art piece is showing the act of courage based on the story of me and all my Asian American friends. I grow up in an Asian family and I'm being deeply impacted by my culture. As I grow up, I learned about how Americans celebrate different holidays and eat different foods. I'm willing to fitting into a new culture while showing others how I love wearing cheongsam. I believe it takes a lot of courage to present the part of your identity that is something unfamiliar to the community.

Ting Ting Li, Bethesda Chevy Chase HS

Caption: As Loud as a Dragon

Description: Youth advocacy for the Asian American Pacific Islander Community to help combat the rise in anti-AAPI hate during the pandemic.

Sarah Luan, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Showcase

Description: Sarah Luan, a first generation Chinese American, plays the Guzheng to show off her culture.

Ekaeto Mfon, Paint Branch HS

Caption: A Portrait of Geraldine Roman

Description: Geraldine Roman is a Filipina Journalist and representative of Bataan's 1st District since 2016, She is the first transgender person elected into Congress of the Philippines.

Sun Oh, Walter Johnson HS

Caption: Blame the Tiger

Description: 2020-2021 Asian-American protests against Asian hate-crimes.

Jennifer Owen, Poolesville HS

Caption: Hate Is a Virus

Description: Stigma around Asian communities serving as the scape goat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shayna Powell, Northwest HS

Caption: Asian-Americans in politics

Description: Hiram Fong, Patsy Mink, Bobby Jindal, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kamala Harris were all well know Asian-Americans who ran for President/Vice President all became well known.

Elisha Puah, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Mxmtoon Drawing

Description: Maia (mxmtoon) creates songs within many genres and is part of the LGBTQ+ community

Vicky Shan, Winston Churchill HS

Caption: A Railroad Leading to a Better Future

Description: In 1864, a lot of Chinese came to America to look for a better future for the future generations. Many started working on building the trancontinental railroad for extremely low wages under extremely bad conditions.

Max Shin, Winston Churchill HS

Caption: We Have Courage

Description: Susan Ahn Cuddy was the first Asian American woman to join the U.S. Navy and the first to become lieutenant. She was initially rejected by the military several times and eventually accepted. She taught air combat tactics and also helped people who had a hard time controlling plane mounted machine guns. Then, she became the first woman gunnery officer. After serving in WWII and rising to lieutenant rank, Cuddy worked for different intelligence organizations of the U.S. including the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense. However, because of her race, Cuddy was often looked at with much suspicion with some of her colleagues even going as far as keeping classified documents from her.

Evelyn Shue, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Retaliation

Description: Xiao Zhen Xie, an elderly woman in San Francisco, struck back at her attacker after being punched and later donated the nearly $1 million raised for her medical expenses towards efforts to curb anti-Asian racism.

Vero Smith, Seneca Valley HS

Caption: Courage

Description: The Nisei were Japanese American soldiers who fought against the Germans in WW2, they weren't trusted to fight the Japanese because of their ethnic background. There was a particularly memorable event of the Nisei when they had a stealth mission against Germany, they were to climb a nearly smooth wall to get in; as this wall was unguarded based on the difficulty to climb it; they fell to their deaths silently to maintain stealth.

Angela Wang, Thomas S. Wootton HS

Caption: Putting on a Brave Face

Description: The event I chose is the Covid-19 pandemic. I have decided to draw something related to the amount of racism Asian Americans have received during these trying times, and how they have endured it.

Joyce Wang, Thomas S. Wootton HS

Caption: Chinese Canner

Description: In my piece, I wanted to highlight AAPI tenacity despite systemic racism in our current society by showcasing an elderly Chinese woman collecting cans. A pervasive issue in America is the lack of resources for Asian Americans in areas such as the Chinatown in New York City, especially for elders. This often forces AAPI to try to earn some money by selling things along the streets and collecting cardboard boxes and cans.

Although I initially wanted to make the painting have a sad tone, after some research, I instead made the main subject vibrant in comparison to the rest of the painting to highlight that these AAPI elders were also proud of the work they put in. Many associate their hard work with their pride, and although it is disappointing that the US has few resources for them, I find it inspiring and courageous that these AAPI elders find happiness in their work.

Rose Wei, Clarksburg HS

Caption: Heroes

Description: An Asian American worked hard during Coronavirus who also faced serious racism.

Elizabeth Wu, Walt Whitman HS

Caption: Asian Courage

Description: During the covid-19 pandemic, a female asian doctor is helping people and saving lives in the front line. She worked for a long time for those in need, so she is tired, and there are bruise(left by long time mask-wearing) on her face and redness in her eyes. However, she is still smiling.

Rosemary Yang, Richard Montgomery HS

Caption: Nezha Rebirthed

Description: This was actually inspired by one of the final scenes in "New Gods: Nezha Reborn". Liu Yunxiang, who held the reincarnated soul of the god-legend Nezha, had fought beyond his power against the East Dragon King and was on the brink of death. Liu Yunxiang does not have Nezha's soul -- he only has his uncontrollable powers. After fighting from his own determination, he truly embraces Nezha's soul to become his reincarnation, which is this rebirth scene.

The month of May is designated by law as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) to recall the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) since their arrival in the United States in the mid-1800s, their challenges and their contributions to American society.

All K-12 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students are invited to submit artwork for a poster that demonstrates the courage of AAPI. The entries will be judged by community art and art performance professionals.

First place ($150), second place ($125), third place ($100), and honorable mention ($50) winners were selected for each of the elementary, middle and high school categories.


AAPI Poster Contest 2021.pdf

Submission Closed


Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) during the 2020-2021 school year. Only one entry per applicant is allowed.

Content Theme: Courage

Create a piece of original art that demonstrates acts of courage by AAPI. Acts of courage can be notable historic/current events or stories around you. Examples: Wong Kim Ark versus US, or an Asian American serving in WWII, speaking against racism or providing medical relief to the sick during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for more examples of AAPI history and events.


Q: What forms can be used to create the art?

A: Students may use drawings, paintings, ink stamps, etc. or a combination. No clip arts or computer generated images. The art does need to be two-dimensional. Artwork should be in a .jpg file less than 20 MB. Save your artwork using the following file name and type: [student’s last name_school.jpg]; Example: Sun_RMHS.jpg

Q: Does the art have to be in portrait or landscape format?

A: The art can be in either portrait or landscape format.

Q: Where does the applicant send the submission?

A: Submission should be by email to apasaagmcps@gmail.com.

Q. Where can I find information on courageous AAPI events or figures?

For your convenience, we have put together some examples and resources here. You can also find information and resources on PBS Learning Media the History Channel. Remember, around you there are many AAPI in our communities that you might want to feature in your art.

Q: May the student write a poem, essay or narrative?

A: Students will be judged primarily on the visual art that captures the courageous deeds of Asian Americans; they may use written words to enhance the visual art.

Q: Can the student sign the artwork?

A: No. To ensure that the judges will not see the students’ names, please only identify the student on the accompanying application and consent & release forms. After the contest, the winners and applicants will be identified alongside their work.

Q: Who are the judges?

A: The judges are artists, art educators and performing art professionals from the local community.



Submit Artwork

Format (all three required):

Artwork should be in a .jpg file less than 20 MB. Save your artwork using the following file name and type: [student’s last name_school.jpg]; Example: Sun_RMHS.jpg

Submission closed on April 18, 2021


  • Asian Pacific American Student Achievement Action Group (APASAAG)*

  • Chinese American Parents Association - Montgomery County (CAPA-MC)

  • Chinese Cultural and Community Service (CCACC)

  • Calvin Li Memorial Foundation

  • Lead For Future Academy

  • Association of Vietnamese Americans (AVA)

*APASAAG works with MCPS and community stakeholders to support APA students and promote equitable educational opportunities for them to reach their fullest potential. It is an advisory council that liaisons with the MCPS Partnerships Unit.