Motivation Conference will be entering the 24th year of motivating and inspiring young Asian Americans (AA) and Pacific Islander (PI) youth to pursue higher education.

Motivation Conference is an outreach program that’s geared towards low-income, under-resourced, and disadvantaged student of Asian/Pacific Islander (API) descent. We have decided together as coordinators and with the APISA core members that we will be recruiting our MC23 participants from the Bay Area.

Motivation Conference is an annual 3-day, 2-night program at the UC Santa Cruz campus that brings up Asian & Pacific Islander high school students to help motivate them in their journey towards graduation and higher education. "MC" is a non-yield program, meaning none of the participants have been accepted as students to the University of California, Santa Cruz. With this, MC focuses on bringing participants who come from underprivileged, under-resourced, and under-represented communities so we can show them that, despite the obstacles, higher education is a possibility for them. We do this through hosting a series of workshops surrounding their identity, culture, education, and self-expression in order to find their own self-agency to succeed in the education system. The communities MC targets are Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander youth, because these communities are often overshadowed by the dominant East Asian narrative under the "AA/PI" umbrella. We hope that MC participants leave the space feeling empowered and ready to firmly grasp the education that they deserve.




MC provides a variety of workshops to address factors that may be causing it. The speakers and the workshop facilitators and exposure to students that look like them it will allow for positive role models improved self-esteem and a brightened outlook on the future. MC hopes to dismantle these stereotypes by allowing students from underrepresented communities within the AA/PI exposure to counter narratives to the dominant East Asian narrative.

The theme of MC 23 is illuminating the past and igniting the future.Given that API is often unrecognized, forgotten, underrepresented, and are left in the dark because of the model minority myth, we want to shine light on our ancestral backgrounds or who we and make our presences known. This can only happen if we know our history and what we do with that knowledge. We want MC23 participants to be aware that it will be difficult to create a brighter future if we don't highlight and reflect on everything that has lead to this point. We also want to highlight our differences and struggles that are often dominated by traditional narratives.


MC strives to provide an environment that allows students to discover their potential within the higher education setting. By promoting higher education, we are allowing students to disrupt violent systems of oppression that are perpetuated on the institutional level. We aim to create a safe and brave space holistically by surrounding participants with role models they can (hopefully) look up to. The following are goals that MC is hoping to achieve through this three-day conference.

  • Allow students to get in touch with their identities and their histories (Know History/Know Self) Provide resources that allow students to see higher education as a possibility via mentorship and building relationships with college students with shared identities.
  • Teach students about mental health and healthy forms of expression to cope with generational trauma .
  • Utilize and pursue an education to make positive changes within the community Have students realize their potential outside of hegemonic forms of knowledges via 6 types of cultural capital.
  • Boost Self-confidence and ability to thrive potentially via representation and building relationships.