There aren't many weeks I am not scheduled to emcee or attend some kind of event outside of work. Last year at this time, I had double booked - racing from emceeing the Asian American Journalists Association's annual Trivia Bowl to the Palmer House Hilton to change into an evening gown in the bathroom before emceeing the annual gala dinner for the Chicago chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans.
This year, I skipped the AAJA event since they didn't need me to emcee and got quite a surprise while hosting the OCA gala. I've served on the Advisory Board of the Chicago chapter for several years. While working in New York, I connected with OCA chapters in NY, New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester County. It's a solid non-profit organization that I am proud to support. And I know many members support me by watching WGN. That's reward enough.
After introducing all of OCA's Scholarship winners on Saturday, I moved on to the awards for OCA Mentors and Advocates. I had no idea I would be among the recipients. What an honor and surprise! As I mentioned in my unprepared acceptance speech, giving back is not something I expect awards for. Thank you to all members of OCA and OCA Chicago President George Mui (pictured). Congratulations to the 2011 OCA Scholarship recipients:
Kathy La, Northern Illinois University
Connie Lu, University of Pennsylvania
Payal Patel, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Ada Tong, University of Illinois - Chicago
Emily Tran, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
Lekui Xiao, University of Illinois - Chicago
Hana Yoon, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign