Nonprofit organization serving inner-city, underserved Asian American youth in New York City recognizes individuals for their dedicated commitment to the Asian American community
Apex, a New York City-based non-profit dedicated to promoting the development of inner-city Asian American youth, celebrated six inspirational role models and the organization’s 20th anniversary last night at the Inspiration Awards Gala Dinner. Proceeds from the dinner benefit Apex programs that enable underserved children from Asian American communities in New York City to become well-rounded, productive members of society through programs that meet their academic, social and personal needs.
“In New York City, one in four Asian American youth live in poverty and one out of three do not graduate high school on time or at all. The Inspiration Awards Dinner provides us a chance to call attention to this often overlooked population as well as honor the people who have made contributions to advancing the Asian American community,” said Michael Lee, Executive Director at Apex. “Last night was also significant for the milestone we celebrated – 20 years of serving under-resourced Asian American youth; we are so proud of the thousands of Apex alumni who have gone on to college and achieved success in life.”
Additionally, the organization announced a name change at last night’s event. Moving forward it will be known as Apex for Youth.
“We feel Apex for Youth more clearly states our mission to empower youth by connecting them with positive adult role models,” said Lee.
This year’s six honorees have demonstrated their own commitment to serving the Asian American community. The 2012 Inspiration Award honorees include:
Ben and Emily Huh, Co-founders of Cheezburger Network
In 2007, Ben and Emily Huh started Cheezburger, one of the largest online humor publishers in the world where millions of people come every month to get their 5-minutes of happiness. Cheezburger counts a passionate fan base of 25 million people who upload more than 500,000 pictures and videos as well as view 500 million pages and 110 million videos each month.
Aasif Mandvi, Actor, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
Aasif Mandvi is an Indian-American actor who is currently a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Aasif’s other television credits include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Sex and the City,” “Sleeper Cell,” “The Sopranos,” and “OZ,” among others. His film credits include “The Proposal,” “Spiderman 2,” “Analyze This,” “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and M.Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender.” Aasif received the 1999 OBIE award for his critically acclaimed play, “Sakina’s Restaurant,” which was performed and conceived by Aasif as a one man show and inspired his feature film, “Today’s Special,” which he co-wrote and stars.
Chad Troutwine, Co-founder and CEO of Veritas Prep; Producer, “Freakonomics”
Chad Troutwine is a decorated entrepreneur, trained attorney, and education pioneer. He is the co-founder and CEO of Veritas Prep, the largest privately owned GMAT preparation and graduate school admissions consulting company in the world. Chad is also the co-founder of Spectrum Station, one of the Midwest's largest early childhood education centers. Since 2003, Chad has produced ten feature films starring more than a dozen Academy Award winning actors and directors. He is also the co-founder of Freakonomics Media, a digital partnership with author Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt.
Alexander Tsui, DMD, Founder of Apex
Dr. Alexander Tsui served as Founding President of Apex from 1992 through 2007. Along with four others, Alex laid the groundwork to start the organization that would become Apex in 1991. Alex maintains a private practice in New York City with an emphasis on restorative and cosmetic dentistry. His professional career has included teaching positions, extensive continuing education, and published articles. Continuing to dedicate much of his time to the community that he works and lives in, Alex has been recognized over the years for his work by the media and community organizations. He is currently a member of the Multicultural Advisory Committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Visiting Faculty at Spear Education, a continuing dental education center.
Gwynne Chow Tuan, Fundraiser
Born in Shanghai, Gwynne moved to Washington, D.C., in 1949 with her family. During her 30-year professional career, she was a development executive for Regional Plan Association, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, Asian American Federation and China Institute in America and the development director for the Committee of 100. Additionally, Gwynne volunteered extensively in the Asian American community through the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Renwen Society and helped to raise critical millions that enabled the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), a small, grassroots, community museum in Chinatown that tells the vital story of the Chinese diaspora and more than 160-year history of the Chinese in America.
Apex was founded in 1992, and through its various academic and social programs, each year its robust network of volunteers donate more than 6,000 hours of service to reach more than 200 Asian American youth from almost 50 public schools throughout New York City. Now 20 years later, Apex boasts a 99 percent college attendance rate and thousands of youth alumni.
About Apex for Youth
Founded in 1992, Apex for Youth is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit that seeks to empower youth to be well-rounded, productive members of society by recruiting professionals to volunteer as their mentors and teachers. Through year-round one-on-one mentoring, affordable test preparation classes and culturally sensitive afterschool programming that provides sustained engagement for students from fourth to twelfth grade, Apex connects youth with positive role models who inspire them to create and achieve their goals. In the past two decades, through Apex, thousands of volunteers have served thousands of youth, many returning to volunteer themselves.