By Diane Bui, MD Program Coordinator, and Keo Xiong, MD Programs Manager
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff
As AALEAD Maryland staff prepare for another year of after-school programs, we have many positive memories to reflect on and are excited to create new ones moving forward.
This past year, AALEAD has seen tremendous growth. We began after-school programming in Fairfax County, VA; revitalized the DC middle and high school program; brought two new directors to the leadership team; and recently onboarded five new staff to the programs team. As AALEAD expands into new areas, we still remain committed to serving even more youth in down-county Maryland. This academic year, we will operate in two additional Montgomery County middle schools – Julius West and Roberto Clemente – bringing AALEAD youth development programs to ten schools throughout the county.
To reach our organizational goal of serving 550 low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth, including youth at our newest sites, we have added a staff to our Maryland team. Diane Bui joins us as a program coordinator and will develop and facilitate programming at Julius West and at her own middle school alma mater, Roberto Clemente.
Born in Germantown and brought up through the Montgomery County Public School system, Diane’s multicultural background has shaped who she is today and her passion for supporting youth in the county. Knowing early on that she wanted to work in a field that would allow her to help others, she went on to study business management and early childhood education at Elon University. After graduating, Diane moved to Australia, where she had opportunities to travel throughout the country and southeast Asia. It was through her travels that Diane gained perspective on how Asian Americans are perceived around the world. Upon her return to the States, Diane joined AALEAD in order to support Asian American youth in the community, bringing her education, experiences, and knowledge full circle back to a school that supported her own growth and development ten years ago as a middle school youth.
After nearly a decade of after-school, summer, and mentoring programs in Montgomery County, we are thankful for the many school and community partnerships that have developed and supported our work to serve low-income and underserved APA youth. Most importantly, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to serve so many young people; once an AALEADer, always an AALEADer. It is with great excitement that we welcome another group of youth to the AALEAD family and look forward to many more years of partnership and friendship in Maryland.