OCA Youth

OCA Youth, Pittsburgh Chapter, is comprised of teens ranging from 7th to 12th grade. Through participation in community service, educational/learning events, and leadership building activities, we hope to empower our youth to be able to face obstacles in our future with confidence and certainty.Some of our annual events include a tour of the UPMC hospital, Relay for Life, a trip to the Carnegie Science Center/UPMC Sportsworks, and volunteering at the Tzu-Chi/OCA soup kitchen. These activities allow our members to build necessary skills that will stay with them for their entire lives. We learn to be open minded about everything, all the while keeping our core beliefs in check. We brainstorm, discuss, and exchange ideas, so that we can build on each other.

OCA Youth is a wonderful opportunity to meet other Asian-American teenagers with these similar goals. With the support of the other members, we are able to grow into conscious, contributing, and productive citizens of humanity who learn to proudly embrace and celebrate both our Asian heritage and the American society that we live in. 

Note: It is not necessary to be a member of OCA Performance Ensemble to be a member of OCA Youth.

Medical & Dental Clinic

OCA, with support from UPMC and Tzu Chi Foundation, holds an annual Free Medical Clinic. Many Doctors and medical students volunteer in areas for dentistry, internal medicine, urology, allergy, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and OB/GYN along with comparable number of nurses and supporters.

Chinese Nationality Room

In 1926, then-Pitt Chancellor John G. Bowman asked Ruth Crawford Mitchell to mobilize immigrants to help design rooms to honor the ethnic traditions of their homelands. The Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning were thus born and they turn 80 this year. At the time, immigrants from 43 nations populated Western Pennsylvania, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on June 12, 2006. There are now 26 museum-quality classrooms. Nineteen rooms was built by 1957 and between 1987 and 2000, seven more were constructed under the directions of Mrs. Maxine Bruhns. Each Nationality Room is decorated to represent their culture prior to 1787, the year the University of Pittsburgh was founded.

The Chinese Nationality Room Committee conducts fundraising every year to fund scholarships to study in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Pitt Study Abroad Scholarship

Congressional Award

For many years, OCA has encouraged young individuals to apply for The Congressional Award, which is the United States Congress' award for young Americans. The program is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive and open to all 14- to 23-year-olds. All Participants have a chance to earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals and each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you'd like to try for the first time and you move at your own pace - on your own or with your friends. This award honors you for achieving your own challenging goals. Regardless of your situation, you can earn the Congressional Award. The Congressional Award has no minimum grade point average requirements. It accommodates young people with special needs or disabilities who are willing to take the challenge. OCA is proud to continue to bring this program to our youth as well as locate advisors and validators. Every year, Congressional Award recipients are honored on stage at our Lunar New Year Banquet. If you know of an outstanding young individual that would like to participate, use the information below to register today. For assistance finding an advisor please contact Marian Lien.

Register Online

  1. Complete the online registration form.
  2. Submit the registration form after you review your information.
  3. Please only submit the online registration form once
  4. Print out the waiver that confirms your registration. If you did not print the confirmation waiver, you may print a new waiver here.
  5. Sign the Waiver
  6. Mail in the completed Waiver and $15 Registration Fee (check or money order made out to The Congressional Award) to:

The Congressional Award

P.O. Box 77440

Washington, DC 20013

Register by Mail

  1. Print out the Registration Form
  2. Complete the Registration Form
  3. Sign the Waiver after you review your information
  4. Mail in the completed Registration Form and $15 Registration Fee (check or money order made out to the Congressional Award) to:

The Congressional Award

P.O. Box 77440

Washington, DC 20013

You will receive a Registration Packet in the mail within 4 - 6 weeks of the National Office receiving your Waiver. You may begin setting your goals with your Advisor and working on your activities as soon as you sign the Waiver. Record Book pages are available here!

Please contact the National Office via phone at 1-888-80-AWARD or via email if you have any questions about registering for the Congressional Award.

President’s Volunteer Service Award

In 2003, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too.

The PVSA has continued under each administration, honoring the volunteers who are using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our nation. Led by the AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, this program allows Certifying Organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers. Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out the links below and the frequently asked questions located here. Eligibility Requirements.

OCA Pittsburgh is a Certifying Organization. If you're an OCA Member who would like to apply for this award and volunteer with OCA, please contact

Asian American Heritage Committee

The Asian American Heritage Committee is an organization sponsored by the Federal Executive Board of the Federal Government. Two of its many objectives are to (1) make the public aware of the valuable contributions to our society being made by Asian Americans, and (2) to promote awareness and understanding of the various cultures of Americans of Asian background, who are the fastest growing minority group in our nation. The Committee itself is an all volunteer group, consisting of federal employees and members representing each participating ethnic group with the Asian American Community. These groups presently include Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnamese and Singapore. All ethnic groups whose heritage stems from the Asian and Pacific Island areas are welcome to join.

The committee meets on a monthly basis to plan its activities. These activities, for the most part, occur during May when the President of the United States proclaims the month as “Asian American Heritage Month.” The two main activities planned are: (1) a day’s cultural celebration at the Heinz Regional History Center on Smallman Street, and (2) a student awards banquet at a local restaurant on Mount Washington. The cultural celebration consists of artifacts displays, handicraft demonstrations and stage performances. The performances include Martial Arts, dancing and fashion costuming from the various Asian cultures. The awards luncheon is held in May of each year, at a local restaurant on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh, PA. It honors outstanding high school students of Asian American background. These dedicated students are setting the pace for our high schools in academics, extra curricular activities and community service. It is fitting that we honor these future leaders and call public attention to their success, which stems from dedication, strong family ties and support, which are part of the Asian Culture.

The following Asian American organizations are represented by the Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board’s Asian American Heritage Committee:

  • Organization of Chinese Americans
  • Japanese Association
  • Filipino Association
  • Korean Association
  • India Community
  • Indonesian Association
  • Thailand Association
  • Bangladesh Association
  • Vietnamese Association
  • Singapore Association

If you are a member of an Asian ethnic group not represented by the Committee and wishes to participate on the Committee, or if you merely would like to know more about us or any of the above organizations, please call David C. Seery, the current Chairman of the Committee, at 412-395-4556 or Donna Micuch at 412 – 395-5348.

Get Out the Vote (GOTV)

As 4% of the state’s eligible electorate, Asian Pacific Americans make a difference with our voices when we choose to vote. We've gathered information and materials for you to use to help you make an informed decision in this most important election year.

Absentee Voting

You can apply for absentee voting if you are registered to vote and if you qualify. The County Board of Elections must receive absentee voting applications no later than 5PM on the Tuesday before Election Day.

Voter ID Requirements

Only first time voters must bring a photo ID to the polls. Acceptable IDs include:

  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or PennDOT ID card
  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
  • ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

If you do not have a photo ID, you can use ID that includes your name and address. Accepted forms of non-photo ID include:

  • Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill
  • Current bank statement
  • Current paycheck
  • Government check

Language Access

Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act requires certain jurisdictions to provide in-language voting materials in areas with a significant number of limited English proficient voters.

Learn more about Section 203 and see if your county or jurisdiction is covered here.

Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act states that, "Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter’s choice, other than the voter’s employer or agent of the employer or office or agent of the voter’s union.”

It is your right to bring your own interpreter to the polls, if you so choose.