Meet APANSA, the Asian Pacific American Nursing Students Association

Meet APANSA, the Asian Pacific American Nursing Students Association

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate, members of the the School of Nursing Asian Pacific American Nursing Students Association (APANSA) shared why they’re proud of their heritage and why it is important to understand other cultures.

Kara Suarez

APANSA President, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

In light of AAPI Heritage Month, I think it is important to reflect on the significance of community & fostering a safe space for representation. To recognize the shared identity as well as grow a deeper understanding of the cultural differences and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is an incredible way to celebrate our culture. I am proud of my AAPI heritage because it enables me to share my Filipino culture with JHSON alongside providing a means of advocacy and cultural expression for AAPI individuals.

Mayu Oya

APANSA Secretary, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

Growing up in a Midwest town with few people who look like me, I struggled to figure out my identity and where I belong. But I learned to love and embrace my Japanese heritage and culture and share it with the rest of the world while empowering AAPI voices. I am proud to be an Asian American.

Serina Nguyen

APANSA Treasurer, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

I’m grateful for my AAPI heritage because I think it’s really important for me to be aware of how the historical and cultural contributions of other members of the AAPI community have paved the way to help me get to where I am today. In recognition of this month, I’m really proud that I can celebrate and share this side of my heritage, while learning about others’ identities and backgrounds as well!

Connie Yuen

APANSA Cohort 17 Representative, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

AAPI Heritage Month gives our AAPI community a platform to celebrate and share our culture with others! It’s a reflective opportunity to understand how culture and heritage plays a role in the formation of our identity and values and how that representation differs in different cultures. I’m proud to be able to play a part in fostering our AAPI community here at JHU by sharing my culture and heritage with others!

Anna Ly

APANSA Event Coordinator, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

When I immigrated from Vietnam to California, I knew that there was a big AAPI community throughout the states. I didn’t feel stranded on an unknown land knowing that I was just a few blocks away from Little Saigon – a place filled with little Asian markets, restaurants, and banh mi that tastes the same as in the motherland. Moving to Baltimore, on the other hand, filled me with much more anxiety of the unknown as I hadn’t heard about any Viet community in Maryland. Yet, coming to Hopkins, I’m glad to find myself in APANSA alongside those who share the same heritages and cultures as me. Sipping on boba in those study sessions is always a joyful time that I wouldn’t miss out on. This May, I’m proud to be a part of the AAPI community at JHU and excited to represent and share my heritage with the community here.

Tamara Phanthavong

APANSA Vice President, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

AAPI Heritage Month provides recognition and celebration of the resilience, achievements, and ongoing contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the United States. I am proud to represent the Lao American community and to honor individuals like my father, who made profound sacrifices- enduring conflict, displacement, and seeking refuge in America- to lay a foundation for future generations to succeed.

Hannah Maebelle Apostol

APANSA ’23-’24 President, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Student

Being a part of the AAPI community has enabled me to build community in a safe and inclusive space where I can relate to others and better provide support through our cultural backgrounds. It feels like we are able to have our own family away from home especially for students here at JHSON where we can share our cultures and stories with our allies!


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About the Author: Sam DiStefano

Sam DiStefano is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Sam works to bring the latest from JHUSON straight to your social media feeds and online reading.

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