Lael and Arden

Lael received the Liz Jackson Award and scholarship from the Asian American Alliance. Liz Jackson was an iconic Asian American leader who founded the Asian Fest celebration in Indianapolis and Asian Services of Indiana. She was a supporter of immigrants and a leader in the nursing profession as well. She recently passed away.  The Asian gentleman who introduced Lael was close to Mrs. Jackson and got very emotional. His voice got even shakier when he read some of what Lael wrote in her application. Mike's chin was wobbling too. This is the part Lael wrote that really choked everyone up, "I know my career goal will be complete when I am able to personally help orphans that are in the same orphanage where I came from. As a Chinese American adopted girl, I feel like I have a responsibility to make a difference in the country that gave me life, even if they were not able to keep me." If you've read about Lael's hats for orphans project, you know that Lael has already made that difference. But I have a feeling she is a long way from being done.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and his wife Winnie, who is originally from the Phillipines, presented the award to Lael.  When Lael saw the First Lady of Indianapolis she said, "I want to look like her when I get old."  I guess Mrs. Ballard would consider that a compliment?

And then there is Arden. She also got her share of publicity recently, but for a different reason. She fought leg cramps and a tough opponent to pull off a huge win and as a result her tennis team beat last year's sectional champs to advance to this year's sectional final. The local paper wrote a great article about Arden's win. I'm pretty sure her Dad can recite it word for word.

Arden tennis 2013
By Jake Thompson
AVON — With her teammates tensely and nervously awaiting the outcome of every point, Plainfield’s Arden Allen came through for her squad. With the Quakers’ match in Thursday’s tennis sectional semifinal against conference rival Mooresville tied at 2-2, Allen overcame leg cramps and enormous pressure to down her opponent 7-5, 6-4 and advance Plainfield into today’s sectional final.
“I was like ‘This is my night, I’m going to win this no matter what,” Arden said. “I didn’t want to lose my last match if this was our last match.”