FedEx celebrates APIA scholars

Every May in the United States, we celebrate the historic and cultural contributions of individuals and communities of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent.

APIA Scholars is an organization that has elevated the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community for 20 years by providing APIA students with access to higher education and resources. This cultivates their academic, personal and professional success regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or financial means. Since2007, FedEx has been a Leadership and in-kind partner to first generation or low-income APIA students seeking higher education.

FedEx supports four-year scholarship awards to ten students per year, as well as funding for the Professional Mentorship and Career Development program. Financial awards combined with mentoring and personalized support to find internship and full-time positions help students stay in school and kick-start their careers.

See what the scholars had to say about their experience and learn a little more about them.


Tessa Rayne Palafu

Hawai’i Pacific University, BA in Political Science and Psychology (Graduated May 2023)

Hometown: Hawaiʻi

Pathway to college: I grew up in Hawaiʻi, mostly in low-income neighborhoods. My family struggled financially, and we often had to live with family and in shelters. But, one thing I always knew was that I wanted to go to college. I knew this was the way I could help my family and they encouraged me to do well in school, too. However, no one else in my family had ever gone to college, and some never graduated high school. I was incredibly confused about the entire college process, but with the help of my amazing high school teachers and counselors, I slowly navigated the process. During my senior year of high school, I applied to multiple colleges and scholarships. Thankfully, I was accepted to [a] university and received scholarships that would provide me with financial assistance. I committed to Hawaiʻi Pacific University, studied there for four years, and recently graduated with a BA in Psychology and Political Science.

FedEx Scholarship: Receiving the FedEx scholarship was a huge relief not only to me, but my family. We did not have any money to help pay for college, so I had to find ways to support my education. I was so incredibly blessed to receive the FedEx scholarship which provided financial support throughout my four years in undergrad. Without FedEx, I would not have been able to focus on my education and successfully graduate. This scholarship helped me achieve a lifelong dream.

Plans Post-College: I am currently working as a research assistant at the Bakers Center for Children and Families, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate. I plan to apply for Clinical-Community Psychology PhD programs to enroll in fall 2024.

Froilan Camacho

Oregon State University, Animal Science Major, Animal BioHealth Option (Pre-Vet)

Hometown: Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

Pathway to college: I'm one of a few students in my class who made the step to go to [a] university in the U.S. mainland; most stayed to go to college back home. I am a first-generation college student – I didn't realize that was a big deal to some people, but I see the value now [to be] recognized as that. Even though I wanted to do a few years at my college back home, we don't have the resources or a curriculum for my degree specifically. I don't regret my choice in coming to college here because of the opportunities I've had in my first year. I've wanted to be a veterinarian since I was four years old. I grew up pretty much on a farm. I had a lifelong upbringing of wanting to be involved with animals -- I didn't want to work with people. [Animals] deserve everything in the world. They need to have similar rights as humans. We have a vet back home who is about to retire, and there is no chance of us having a vet in the next few years. We use a lot of taxpayer dollars to fly in vets from other countries to do things like spay and neuter clinics, vaccinations, etc. because we lack those resources. As a Pacific Islander, community is important to our culture. I want to go back home, open my own clinic, and support my community in that way. I want to do as much as I can with the animals back home, and of all my personal animals, I miss my goats the most!

FedEx Scholarship: For me specifically, it's the same reason for every scholarship – every little bit helps. For [Pacific Islanders], not many of us can pursue higher education. This is primarily due to the cost.I appreciate everyone who contributes to our community in our pursuit of education to further advance our abilities because we do have a lot of potential, it's just our gap of access to resources being limited.

Plans Post-College: Go back home and open my own clinic and serve my community, get into vet school first – specialize in ER and shelter medicine (that takes another three-four years) – and potentially stay at OSU vet school. I want to do a lot of advocacy work outside of my track to becoming a vet. Culturally, I wouldn't have a say in the most controversial things in terms of decolonization. With a doctorate, I can be a vet and still do a lot in terms of keeping my culture alive and see my people’s practices are being revitalized.

FedEx Commitment to the AAPI Community

At FedEx, our goal is to drive change by investing in organizations seeking long-term, systemic solutions to the challenge of creating a just society and economy that works better for everyone. To learn more about our investments, download our new DEI Fact Sheet detailing our work with organizations in the AAPI community.