Asian American LEAD (Leadership Empowerment And Development for Youth and Family)

Asian American LEAD (Leadership Empowerment And Development for Youth and Family)

AALEAD programs fill the resource gaps in schools and community programs for AAPI youth in the DC Metro Region through existing partnerships with local school districts. AALEAD has a 20+ year track record of supporting this population and has plans in place to reach more youth. AALEAD provides the youth

Asian American LEAD (Leadership Empowerment And Development for Youth and Family)

AALEAD programs fill the resource gaps in schools and community programs for AAPI youth in the DC Metro Region through existing partnerships with local school districts. AALEAD has a 20+ year track record of supporting this population and has plans in place to reach more youth. AALEAD provides the youth with the tools and resources to address their social and emotional well-being before they fall into situations that require intervention. As a BIOPC-focused organization, AALEAD is committed to embracing a diverse set of opinions and values. While the majority of AALEAD’s leadership, staff, and board members are AAPI or multi-racial, the organization is committed to building and sustaining a multicultural community that fosters equity, diversity, and inclusion amongst all cultures and identities. It will achieve this by nurturing a positive organizational climate through professional development, education, policy, and practice. Youth leadership and program direction have always been important components of AALEAD programming. Youth input is collected throughout the year to evaluate effective and impactful program topics and engagement styles. Feedback is collected both informally during programming days, and formally through mid-year and year-end anonymous surveys. Surveys evaluate the youth’s perceived improvement or skills gained in identity development, leadership, and educational empowerment through participation in AALEAD programs. Staff provide youth with opportunities to choose program workshop content and focus areas, leadership opportunities to lead team-building exercises and youth-created workshops, and elicit youth feedback on programs consistently to ensure that youth voice and need guides the content provided. AALEAD differentiates itself in that it creates skilled leaders who take proactive, committed approaches to community issues. It commits to engaging youth in on-the-ground efforts that alter the storyline for AAPIs. AALEAD participates in initiatives that ensure youth learn how to apply leadership behaviors in job opportunities and generate positive social change. These experiences will one day transfer into a workforce to move forward with critical community concerns and improve societal conditions. We have also added resources to support our youth and their families with coping with the dramatic rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes, increasing COVID-19 vaccination knowledge and completion, and learning about COVID initiatives and resources to reduce “school hesitancy” to get youth re-engaged with in-person learning. Overall, AALEAD seeks to create a community that encourages robust interpersonal connections amongst youth, staff, and the community regardless of income, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, spiritual practice, geography, mental and physical status, and age.

About the Organization:

AALEAD programs fill the resource gaps in schools and community programs for AAPI youth in the DC Metro Region through existing partnerships with local school districts. AALEAD has a 20+ year track record of supporting this population and has plans in place to reach more youth. AALEAD provides the youth with the tools and resources to address their social and emotional well-being before they fall into situations that require intervention. As a BIOPC-focused organization, AALEAD is committed to embracing a diverse set of opinions and values. While the majority of AALEAD’s leadership, staff, and board members are AAPI or multi-racial, the organization is committed to building and sustaining a multicultural community that fosters equity, diversity, and inclusion amongst all cultures and identities. It will achieve this by nurturing a positive organizational climate through professional development, education, policy, and practice. Youth leadership and program direction have always been important components of AALEAD programming. Youth input is collected throughout the year to evaluate effective and impactful program topics and engagement styles. Feedback is collected both informally during programming days, and formally through mid-year and year-end anonymous surveys. Surveys evaluate the youth’s perceived improvement or skills gained in identity development, leadership, and educational empowerment through participation in AALEAD programs. Staff provide youth with opportunities to choose program workshop content and focus areas, leadership opportunities to lead team-building exercises and youth-created workshops, and elicit youth feedback on programs consistently to ensure that youth voice and need guides the content provided. AALEAD differentiates itself in that it creates skilled leaders who take proactive, committed approaches to community issues. It commits to engaging youth in on-the-ground efforts that alter the storyline for AAPIs. AALEAD participates in initiatives that ensure youth learn how to apply leadership behaviors in job opportunities and generate positive social change. These experiences will one day transfer into a workforce to move forward with critical community concerns and improve societal conditions. We have also added resources to support our youth and their families with coping with the dramatic rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes, increasing COVID-19 vaccination knowledge and completion, and learning about COVID initiatives and resources to reduce “school hesitancy” to get youth re-engaged with in-person learning. Overall, AALEAD seeks to create a community that encourages robust interpersonal connections amongst youth, staff, and the community regardless of income, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, spiritual practice, geography, mental and physical status, and age.

organizational budget

$1 MILLION - $2 MILLION

existence for

21-25 YEARS

The Issue:

The mainstream image of AAPIs is that all achieve high levels of socioeconomic success and academic achievement. AAPIs are often portrayed in the public as the “model minority.” Unfortunately, this portrayal is a myth and overshadows the reality of the many disparities among the AAPI community in income level, educational attainment, and poverty rate. The AAPI community is made up of numerous communities that have varied migration histories, cultures, languages, socioeconomic statuses, educational attainment levels, and experiences. This diversity can be seen through disaggregated data points of the AAPI population. The implications of oversight, socioeconomic concerns, and racial inequities among AAPI youth relate to the minimal distribution of support and resources for this population at a time when the population is the fastest-growing in the nation. AALEAD programs fill the resource gaps in schools and community programs for AAPI youth in the DC Metro Region through existing partnerships with local school districts. AALEAD has a 20+ year track record of supporting this population and has plans in place to reach more youth. AALEAD provides the youth with the tools and resources to address their social and emotional well-being before they fall into situations that require intervention. There are no other free, organized out-of-school time activities that support low-income and underserved AAPI youth with academic development and social-emotional learning. AALEAD provides access to the resources and supports underserved AAPI youth need to achieve equitable outcomes through its evidence-based program model that provides opportunities for youth to express their cultural heritage, learn how to self-advocate, and actively participate in activities of self-expression. Through the promotion of leadership, advocacy, and public speaking skills; exposure to career pathways; and the opportunity to connect through peer mentorship, youth can make positive decisions and see the immediate impact of their actions. In turn, they develop into confident, engaged, caring, and responsible community leaders. As we reach our 25th year next year, we are excited to continue supporting our youth.

The Solution:

AALEAD offers After School, Summer, and Mentorship Programs that support three focus areas for equitable youth outcomes, Educational Empowerment, Identity, and Leadership by engaging youth to move towards accomplishing the following: 1) Educational Empowerment - Youth connect with resources to succeed academically, choose a middle or high school, and prepare for college/future careers. Youth are connected to academic/college-related resources through workshops, participation in college tours, learning financial planning, and the support and engagement of parents/guardians. 2) Identity - Youth gain a better appreciation of their personal identities and cultural histories and develop healthy self-concepts and lead productive lives. Identity is about giving youth the tools to develop pride in themselves and where they are from. Staff give youth the space to feel comfortable and confident in their cultural backgrounds and experiences and learn to find their place as community members. Youth participate in informational workshops led by other youth on their ethnic backgrounds and staff coordinate various workshops on cooking ethnic cuisines and the meaning behind the dishes. Youth also engage in cross-racial workshops and events from museum visits, film viewings, and engagement with other youth of different backgrounds. 3) Leadership - Youth develop leadership skills and take on more leadership positions in their schools and communities. Leadership is about giving youth every opportunity to help develop skills and experiences as leaders. Whether it is taking on a program responsibility, planning an activity, or public speaking, staff give youth opportunities to own their programs now and build leadership skills for the future. Youth are given the platform to make decisions, take action, and see results in their own programs and organizationally.

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