2021 GUAA Participant Info


Growing up Asian in America



The year of 2020 has left a mark on history. With the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has battled a difficult time of uncertainty, illness, loss, and inequity. However, we can reflect and implement change to ensure a brighter future. Share what your vision of the future is and what tools and lessons you think will help to propel us into a new era post-pandemic.

Use the questions below to help spark ideas. You do not have to answer any/all of these specific questions.

  • (K-2 only) After all the events of 2020, what are your dreams for your family and community in 2021?
  • What are some challenges you and/or your family faced in the last year? Did you have the resources to overcome the issues?
  • What are your hopes for the future both for you and your family and for your community more broadly?
  • How can we collectively heal and strengthen our community and society? What does solidarity look like for the future?

Please note: Participants must live and/or attend a school within the following counties: Santa Clara, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, Napa, Alameda, or San Mateo County.

Prize Information

One (1) $1,000 Lance Lew Grand Prize winner*

Nine (9) $500 Best in Class winners

We will be keeping the Grand Prize award, and one Best in Class winner will be selected to win this year’s Grand Prize and a $1,000 award. Honorable Mention winners will also be selected. All winners will have their entries showcased on the AACI website and have a chance to be featured on NBC Bay Area.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Students of all backgrounds (including Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian, Pacific Islander and multiracial ethnicities) are invited to submit entries.
  • You must be in grade K through 12.
  • You must live in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano or Sonoma County.
  • If you have won in previous years, you cannot submit an entry unless you are in a different grade/entry category now. The grade categories are grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The entry categories are Art, Essay and Video. Grand Prize winners from previous years will not be eligible to receive the grand prize again.
  • Contestants cannot win a prize in more than one category (ex. Art and Essay).
  • Children of contest judges or screeners are ineligible to submit entries.

Entry Guidelines

All entries will be submitted online this year! Please see below for the links to the online submission forms.

Art (K-12)
Format: File must be no more than 250 MB and be in .jpg, .png, or .pdf.

Materials and Media: Anything two-dimensional. All paints, crayons, colored pencils, markers, photographs, computer generated graphics etc. are accepted. No sculptures, pop-ups, or framed canvases please. Please do not include writing on your art.

Essay (K-12)
Format: Entry must be no more than 250 MB and be in either .pdf or .word format.

Length: 500 words MAXIMUM. Hand-written essays accepted, but must be scanned and submitted online. You do not have to answer every question.

Video (6-12)
Format: Videos must be 1 minute MAXIMUM. 300MB (size) max. Video files must be in .avi, .mov, or .wmv.

Eligibility: Open ONLY to 6-12th grade contestants

How to Send Your Entry

All entries must be submitted online!

Art (Grades K-12)

Please use the below form to submit your art entries:

Essay (Grades K-12)

Please use the below form to submit your essay entries:

Video (Grades 6-12)

Please use the below form to submit your essay entries:


  • You may send one entry in each category (e.g. one piece of writing and one piece of art, one video–if in 6-12th Grade). We will not accept more than one entry per category. Art is judged separately from essays, so please do not submit an entry that combines writing with art. Each entry must have a complete entry form.
  • Winning entries are selected based on creativity, originality and skill in the category. Winners are notified by the end of April and must be present at the awards ceremony to be held virtually in May 2021. Date of the ceremony will be announced separately.
  • Submitting an entry to the contest is considered a grant of license to AACI to use the materials in any manner, including the creation of derivative works without payment of a royalty. AACI is a tax-exempt non-profit organization and will only use these materials to further its charitable and educational mission.

Entries must be submitted by Friday, April 2, 2021 11:59 PM PST. Entries will be not accepted by mail or fax.

Questions? Contact AACI at (408) 975-2730 x403 or e-mail guaa@aaci.org.