Growing up Asian in America

Hosted by AACI and in partnership with NBC Bay Area, Growing Up Asian in America (GUAA) is an annual art contest, including video and essay, that reaches thousands of Bay Area students, grades Kindergarten to 12. Founded 26 years ago, GUAA encourages young Asian Americans to take pride in their identities, and helps others understand the varied experiences of our youth growing up in the Bay Area’s diverse communities.


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.


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.


*Grand Prize winners from previous years will not be eligible to receive the grand prize again*

Partners and Sponsors

This contest could not be possible without the partnership of our amazing partners and sponsors!


Community Partners

Visionary Sponsors

Creator Sponsor

Raul Gorospe

Patron Sponsor

Special Support

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Other Support

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Media Sponsors