By Neel Saxena, Development & Communications Director
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff
Aspire to LEAD is about getting involved with Asian American LEAD to impact the lives of low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth. One of the ways to get involved is joining AALEAD at a powerful 1-hour fundraising breakfast on March 16, 2016 at 8:00 am at Top of the Town in Arlington,VA. You will learn about the amazing impact our programming is having on our low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American young people in the region and you will be asked to make a contribution to help sustain these programs. We look forward to having you attend the Aspire to Lead Breakfast Fundraiser!
Here are 3 vignette’s that illustrate the impact AALEAD programs have on youth:
“Well the biggest thing is that [AALEAD] helped me find what I really want to do with my life. Sounds pretty cliche, but it’s true. Before joining I already had my mind set. I was going to pursue programming and make all these video games and everything. But then I realized that programming is boring. And really hard. It wasn’t something I wanted to do. Then Digital Connectors came along. We had filmmaking activities, and they were my absolute favorite. Then you guys had all these opportunities like the Gandhi Brigade workshop thing and the youth summit that helped shape what I really wanted to be. I really didn’t know how much I liked film before you guys. So thanks for that.”
“I was a train wreck when I found AALEAD … or when they found me.
I had family troubles and everything just wasn’t right. I became a better
person with the help of AALEAD. Without them, I’d probably be doing
drugs, drinking, and doing lots of other stupid stuff. I consider them
family. A family that can look at me but still accept me at the same time.
A family that won’t ask me to change who I am. That’s what AALEAD has helped me with.”
“I first joined AALEAD in seventh grade. At first, I was skeptical on whether I should come to [AALEAD] or not because I was still worried about my comprehension of the English language and American culture. However, to my surprise, the people in the program welcomed me with open arms and they helped me gain more social skills. [AALEAD] made me realize that even though there is prejudice in this country, the United States is a melting pot and it’s okay to be different because each of us is special in our own way. [AALEAD also] taught me how to stay healthy, and active, how to express myself and know my identity, and how to be more aware of political issues happening around us.”