AAPI Weekly Highlights: A Better Bargain for Students


AAPI Highlights, August 12, 2013

Welcome to this edition of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) Highlights. Read about the student loans bill signing, the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Oak Creek, how commonsense immigration reform will help foster entrepreneurship and create jobs, and other agency announcements.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with troops at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 7, 2013.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with troops at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 7, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A Better Bargain for Students

On Friday, President Obama signed into law the bipartisan student loan interest rate compromise, which advances our nation's commitment to students by cutting rates on nearly all new loans this year – saving a typical undergraduate student $1,500 over the life of his or her loans. This legislation allows borrowers to benefit from the low interest rates currently available in the marketplace, guarantees that borrowers are able to lock in these rates over the life of their loans, and protects future borrowers by capping how high rates can rise. The signing of this legislation is a key victory for students, one in which Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle came together around the important mission of keeping college affordable for American students and their families. Read more about the student loan interest rate compromise here.

A Nation of Immigrants and Entrepreneurs

On Thursday, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Karen Mills met with local business owners and leaders from the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce to discuss how commonsense immigration reform will help foster entrepreneurship and create jobs for workers, not only in New York, but across America. In a blog post, Administrator Mills notes that commonsense immigration reform has three pillars: smarter enforcement and continued border security; a path to citizenship for those who work hard and play by the rules; and an updated legal system that allows us to attract and retain entrepreneurs from around the world. Read more about Karen Mills’ meeting.

A Mom’s Trusted Voice on Health Insurance

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote on the White House blog about the roles mothers play in maintaining their family’s health, saying “As a mother and grandmother, I know how a mom’s voice is critical to maintaining the health of her family—and that’s true even after her kids have grown up into young adults. And as a trusted voice in the lives of their children, moms can play a vital role in getting the word out about the exciting new options for affordable, quality health coverage becoming available this fall for their children and other families in their communities.” Read Secretary Sebelius’ full blog post.

WHIAAPI Announcements

Blog Post - HEY! Do you Have Health Insurance?

This summer, staff at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders had a chance to work with ten hard-working interns. Seeing the need for youth to get involved and using their experience working with student groups, the interns developed Health Engaged Youth (HEY!). HEY! engages youth about the opportunities to get enrolled and covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The program also empowers youth to serve as HEY! Ambassadors and spread the word about health insurance coverage to their peers, family, and community. Through these passionate young leaders, we can work together to ensure our community has access to affordable health care. Find out more about HEY!.

Blog Post - Living in Chardhi Kala: One Year after the Shooting in Oak Creek

One year ago, a lone gunman entered a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and senselessly murdered six worshippers and seriously injured several others, including Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy, who was shot 12 times at close range while attempting to save others. In the last year, individuals and communities around the country have come together in a national conversation about how to respond to crimes of hate and to ensure the safety of all our communities – from Oak Creek to Aurora to Newtown. That conversation continues, and is the reason why the President supports a plan to reduce gun violence through executive and legislative action. Last Monday, White House Office of Public Engagement Advisor Gautam Raghavan joined the remembrance outside the gurdwara in Oak Creek for the six worshippers whose lives were lost in the shooting and stand in solidarity with a broad coalition of faith leaders and civil rights advocates, elected officials and law enforcement, and gun safety advocates and victims of gun violence from Tucson, Virginia Tech, and Newtown. Read the full post.

Agency Spotlight - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Expanding Services for LEP Communities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) creates strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. To achieve its mission, HUD has committed to increasing the number of AAPIs with access to linguistically appropriate resources. Over the past year, HUD has translated over 100 vital documents into 16 different languages, including Khmer (official language of Cambodia), Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. HUD continues to identify vital agency materials that should be translated into AAPI languages, train HUD staff on the use of the agency’s interpretation line, promote the existence of HUD translated materials in the AAPI community, and track their utilization. In addition, HUD expanded its limited English proficiency (LEP) website to feature factsheets, housing brochures, and other agency forms in Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Read more about HUD’s work and their agency plan.

Agency Announcements

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Meeting - August 28, 2013

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) will meet on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. CDT to vote on the Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy (Plan). The public is invited to attend the Council Meeting.

The meeting will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Chair of the Council, will preside over the meeting, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be in attendance as a Council member and host of the meeting. Council representatives from the other Gulf States and participating federal agencies will be in attendance. Read more about the meeting including the agenda.

A New Way to SHOP for Small Business Coverage and Get Help

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new HealthCare.gov program that simplifies the process of buying health insurance for your small business. And now there’s a new way to get help with your health insurance questions– the Health Insurance Marketplace Small Employer call center. Call right now to get your SHOP and small business questions answered by a customer service representative at 1-800-706-7893 or (TTY: 1-800-706-7915 ). The call center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Find out more about SHOP.

Department of Labor Awards More Than $5 million in Job Training Grants to Help 1,900 Homeless Women Veterans, Veterans with families

The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service today announced the award of 22 grants, totaling more than $5 million, to provide about 1,900 homeless female veterans and veterans with families with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers. The grants are being awarded under the department’s Homeless Female Veterans and Veterans with Families Program. "These grants will offer the opportunity for a better life, providing the training and skills needed to find a job and housing,” said Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. “Our veterans have sacrificed for our nation, and job training programs offer them a path to participation in society and success in the workplace.” Read more about the grants.

Grant Opportunities

Improving Diabetes Management in Young Children with Type 1 Diabetes

The goal of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support research to develop, refine, and pilot test innovative strategies to improve diabetes management in young children with type 1 diabetes (5 years old and under). At the end of the funding period, there should be a well-developed and well-characterized intervention that has been demonstrated to be safe, feasible to implement, acceptable in the target population, and, if promising, ready to be tested in a larger efficacy trial. Applications close February 19, 2014. Award ceiling is $1,400,000. Read more about the FOA.

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace

The Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program welcomes proposals that address Cybersecurity from a Trustworthy Computing Systems (TWC) perspective and/or a Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). In addition, SaTC welcomes proposals that integrate research addressing both of these perspectives as well as proposals focusing entirely on Cybersecurity Education. Award ceiling is $10,000,000. Applications close on October 15, 2013. Read more about the opportunity.