OUTGOING, INCOMING. Theresa Q. Tran, outgoing executive director of APIA Vote-Michigan, addresses the audience during the group’s annual dinner held last Oct. 6 at Laurel Manor in Livonia. With her in photo is incoming Executive Director Aamina Ahmed.

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Change of leadership also highlights annual dinner [/box]

A Filipino-Korean American student was one of two “Rising Star” awardees during APIA Vote-Michigan’s annual dinner held on Oct. 6, 2016 at the Laurel Manor in Livonia.

Filipino-Korean American Ciara Timban, a freshman at the University of Michigan, received the award presented by Amina Iqbal and Soh Suzuki, board member and treasurer, respectively, of APIA Vote-Michigan.

The other recipient of the Rising Star Award was Bangladeshi-American Zakir Hussain, a student at Wayne State University.

Timban is enrolled in UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts Honor programs, majoring in public policy and public health. In the past two years, she had worked with APIA Vote “to bring awareness to important issues” affecting the APIA community. In the summer before her junior year in high school, she joined APIA Vote-MI’s Youth Leadership Core (YLC). “Through YLC’s weekly discussions and community events, she developed a passion for civic activism.”

“As a Filipino-Korean American, Ciara has always developed a strong connection to her culture and heritage. She hopes to continue serving the APIA community to be best of her ability,” the citation stated.

Ciara is a member of the National Honor Society and the Symphony Orchestra for which she plays both the piano and the upright bass. She was also a member of the Girls Golf Team of Troy High School. She is a daughter of Demetrio and Christina Timban of Troy.

Also honored at the APIA Vote dinner were lawyer Roland Hwang who received the Community Champion Award, and the Michigan Immigrants Rights Center which got the Advocacy Award.

The keynote speaker, Eugene Kang, cited the importance of involvement in community activities, stressing that “decisions are made by those who show up.” He also related her experiences as a young Asian member of the team that campaigned for the candidacy of then Senator Barack Obama for U.S. president.    

The event likewise marked the changing of the guards at APIA Vote-Michigan. Rajesh Radhakrishnan takes over the reins of the association as chairman of the board of directors, succeeding Mahima Mahadevan.

Aamina Ahmed is now the executive director, replacing Theresa Tran Kouo who is relocating to St. Louis, Misouri together with her family.

The other incumbent APIA Vote-MI officers are Sana Khan, Mohammed Rahman and Brendan Wu, community organizers; Willie Dechavez and Seem Singh, vice chairpersons; Stacey Stevens, secretary; Soh Suzuki, treasurer; and State Representative Stephanie Chang-Gray, Amina Iqbal, Kartav Patel and Ivy Wei, members of the board of directors.


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