Victoria L. Chan is the daughter to Chinese immigrant parents. Originally based in New York City, she graduated with a double major in Political Science and African American Studies from Syracuse University. Victoria is a proud sister of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. Victoria speaks about some of her experiences as a member of an Asian Interest Sorority, “Committing myself to an Asian interest sorority meant making a lifetime decision to empower young women and uplift my community. We are constantly being scrutinized and stereotyped by Asian women, which is why it is important to work hard to break barriers. College is a scary place, so finding a family and a place to call home is very important. One of the most important aspects about being a leader in Greek lettered organizations is the concept of Greek unity. College is a time to explore different opportunities and experiences. My chapter collaborated with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at Syracuse on lots of events and both organizations won fraternity and sorority of the year together! We must step outside of our comfort zones and intentionally learn about others in order for us to grow as people.”
Victoria has worked as Jackie Chan’s executive assistant and has traveled from Mongolia to Miami, from Singapore to Spain, assisting in earthquake and drought relief efforts to being on the international promotional tour of “The Karate Kid” remake.
She has been involved with non-profit performing arts programs since 2000. She has worked with the Britney Spears Foundation, American Idol, the Jonas Brothers Foundation, RUN4LIFE, 50 Cent’s G-Unity Foundation, Jackie Chan’s Charitable Foundation & Usher’s new Look Foundation. In 2011, she launched “elicit 4tography”, dedicated to helping non-profit organizations. She has been featured in the Hollywood Reporter, MTV, People Magazine, Daily News, VH1, and Empire Magazine. She was most recently mentioned in PeoplePets.com for the Jackie Chan Charity Bear Project, which she launched to benefit the JC Build a School Foundation.
Victoria currently works as the Graduate Assistant of Greek Life at the University of West Georgia. She enjoys writing poetry and practicing yoga in her free time.
Clair Kuriakose, Distinguished Sister Euphoria of Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. founded Shingari’s School of Rhythm on 2008 after she graduated form Saint John’s University. Clair was captain of the SJU Bollywood dance team, Raaz and wanted to continue her passion in Indian Bollywood dance after her studies. After she moved back to Texas, she started she started Shigari’s School of Rhythm in hopes to share her passion for dance for the younger generation. The school now has many locations nationwide including Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles! In 2013 Clair started a new online branch to the school in hopes to spread Bollywood dance worldwide. The online branch, www.bollywoodtrainer.
The National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) and the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) and Active Minds are excited to announce a new partnership to bring mental health education and awareness to Asian and Asian-American students on college campuses. Through the Friends DO Make a Difference initiative, collegiate chapters of NAPA will have access to programming and resources to promote mental health, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking in a community that may face cultural and language barriers when accessing treatment.
“We identified that mental health is a significant and unaddressed issue for many of our member organizations,” said Brian Gee, Executive Chair of NAPA. “We are excited to partner with two prominent organizations in the field of mental health to equip the collegiate leaders we represent with skills and knowledge needed to recognize and refer peers who might be struggling.”
“Research has shown that Asian students on campus with mental health problems are significantly less likely to be receiving treatment than their peers in other racial/ethnic groups,” said Sara Abelson, Senior Director of Programs at Active Minds. The Friends DO Make A Difference initiative aims to have NAPA members start a series of dialogues and activities on a range of topics, recognizing that mental health is a part of their everyday lives. NAPA chapters participating in the Friends DO Make a Difference initiative will train chapter officers and advisors to identify signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and host events with their membership to connect them to mental health resources on campus. Upon completion of mental health training and programming, chapters will be recognized with a Friends DO Make a Difference Seal of Distinction.
“The Friends campaign was designed to raise awareness of mental health among Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. The hope is to make campuses a safe place to talk about key issues as students learn how to support each other. We are excited to work closely with NAPA and Active Minds to develop student leaders who will advocate on behalf of mental health,” said DJ Ida, Executive Director of NAAPIMHA. “By working with the next generation of leaders, we hope to reduce stigma and open positive dialogue about mental health for years to come.”
“We are excited to partner with NAPA and NAAPIMHA to reach an important and often underserved community of students when it comes to mental health awareness,” said Sara Abelson, Senior Director of Programs at Active Minds. The Friends DO Make a Difference initiative will support Active Minds’ mission to empower students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help seeking.
About the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association
The National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) is an association of collegiate fraternities and sororities with an interest in culture and serving the APIA community. The organization serves to advocate the needs of its member organizations and provides a forum to share ideas and resources within its members. NAPA supports the development of positive relations through open communication with interfraternal partners to enrich the fraternal experience. Learn more at www.napa-online.org.
About the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. NAAPIMHA’s mission is to promote the mental health and well being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Since its founding, NAAPIMHA strives to raise awareness of the role of mental health in an individual’s health and well-being, especially in Asian American Pacific Islander communities throughout the country. For more information visit: www.naapimha.org.
About Active Minds, Inc.
Active Minds is the young adult voice in mental health advocacy. By supporting a rapidly growing network of hundreds of student-led chapters at colleges and universities, Active Minds empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. Active Minds is a national nonprofit headquartered in Washington D.C. Follow us on Twitter @Active_Minds. For more information visit: www.ActiveMinds.org.
The National APIA Panhellenic Association (NAPA) is pleased to announce that Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. has joined the Association as its 13th member organization. The sorority was approved for membership in November and was formally seated at the Association’s annual meeting on December 7th, 2013.
Sigma Sigma Rho was established in December 1998 and currently has established chapters across the country. Its national philanthropy is the awareness and prevention of domestic violence.
Kiran Wadhwa, Sigma Sigma Rho’s National President, commented, “We highly value and respect NAPA’s standards and significance in the Greek world. Sigma Sigma Rho takes much pride in being able to work alongside other NAPA organizations to give back to the community and make a difference in our collective future.”
NAPA Executive Chair Brian Gee welcomed Sigma Sigma Rho stating, “The addition of Sigma Sigma Rho Sorority to the Association is evidence of the incredible growth of the cultural greek movement and the critical role our organizations play in the lives of our members and in the communities which we serve. Their membership reinforces the diverse needs and interests of college women. Fraternities and Sororities are the largest leadership development organizations on colleges across the country and we look forward to Sigma Sigma Rho’s collaboration with our member organizations in our effort to advance the fraternal movement.”
NAPA was founded in 2005. NAPA serves to advocate the needs of its member organizations and provide a forum to share ideas and resources within its members. NAPA supports the development of positive relations through open communication with interfraternal partners to enrich the fraternal experience.