Archive for January, 2011

This year our Annual Dinner will take place from 6:00pm-9:00pm on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at:

Silver Spring Civic Building
1 Veterans Place
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
(GPS: use 8525 Fenton St.)

The Civic Building is noted near the red “A” marker:

Due to a scheduling change with one of our featured VIPs, registration will open at 5:30pm with reception to begin at 6pm. Our program will start promptly at 7pm with the presentation of the Washington LEADer Award to Montgomery County Executive, Ike Leggett.

Regarding logistics, if traveling by Metro, the closest stop is Silver Spring (red line). If driving and using GPS you will want to type in: 8525 Fenton St., Silver Spring, MD, 20910. The Civic Building is across from the Regal Majestic Theatres and there is an ice rink directly in front of the building. There are several public parking garages in the area, including one that is adjacent to the Civic building near 825 Ellsworth Drive.

Join us as we highlight the personal success stories of our students, introduce you to our VIP hosts, and much more. At our event, you will have the opportunity to network among some of Washington’s top business and government leaders who are all committed to  serving the needs of Asian American youth.

Featured Guests:

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch as keynote speaker, the first Asian American in US history to hold the rank of ambassador, as well as president and founder of US-China Education Trust (USCET).

Washington LEADer Award recipient: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett

Comedian: Dan Nainan (

Master of Ceremonies: Kathy Park, Anchor/Reporter from ABC7/WJLA TV and NewsChannel 8.

Individual Ticket: $125
Table of Ten: $1000

Contact: Rick Chen
(202) 884-0322 x 104

Please enjoy the photo highlights from last year:

MLK Day at Pope Branch Park

On  January 17th, AALEAD’s SSP students spent MLK Jr. Day of Service at Pope Branch Park. This community service event was put together by the Environmental Justice & Community Partnerships Program. The event started at 9am and continued up until 1pm. Our students were able to plant a couple of trees near the Pope Branch Park Tributary and clean garbage . We definitely had a great time and we got free DC water bottles, donuts, and coffee!

MLK Jr. Day of Service in Maryland

This year, the MLK Jr. Day of Service was on Monday January 17th.  In Dr. King’s honor, Maryland AALEAD High School and Middle School came together for our 3rd annual Toiletry Drive and Care Package event to benefit Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless.

This year is the 25th year anniversary of the holiday and we discussed how the vision of Martin Luther King Jr. affected not only the African American community but also the Asian American community.

27 students, volunteers, and staff came out to create over 70 toiletry care packages.  Thank you to all those that donated supplies, staff, volunteers, and of course students!

This MLK Jr. Holiday one of our very own AALEAD mentoring program pairs – Nikki and her mentor, Beadsie – got the opportunity to volunteer with President Barack Obama and the entire first family! Nikki and Beadsie participated in a community service project organized by Greater DC Cares as part of their “Mentoring Matters” initiative. Volunteers gathered at Stuart Hobson Middle School and worked diligently to paint murals, inspirational sayings on the walls, and college logos on canvases in an effort to prompt students to think and talk about higher education. Nikki and Beadsie worked in the school cafeteria, where in addition to the canvases with college logos, volunteers painted images of “exercising fruit” on the walls. They were soon joined, in a surprise visit, by the President and his family. “This is part of what America is all about,” Obama told reporters at the school, “…this kind of service project is what’s best in us. We’re thrilled with everybody who’s participating.”

Nikki and Beadsie both got an opportunity to speak with the President, shake his hand, and snap a few photos. Nikki said that volunteering with the Obama family was “very cool” and added that she thought the president was “very kind” and that they talked about school. “Nikki and I were excited about doing service on Martin Luther King Day and to be at a site with lots of other mentor-mentee pairs from across DC” said Beadsie, “ It was a bonus that we were able to paint with the Obama family!”

Thank you to Greater DC Cares for organizing this great event! Thank you to the Obama family for taking time to volunteer!

It was a busy week for our Bancroft students before the winter break. They had been preparing their Christmas carols for the AALEAD Holiday party and the Stoddard Baptist Home. Our teachers were sometimes overwhelmed by the students’ energy level every time they heard the fast music of the Christmas songs. Sometimes the teachers just allowed them to jump and dance crazily just to get their energy level to go down first before teaching them the correct steps of the song. Our teachers can testify to the fact that it was not easy combining 1st to 5th Grade in one performance. But, we needed to teach these students how to use their energy not just for their own enjoyment but to help make others happy. Every practice time, we challenged them that they needed to give their best so that the elderly people in the nursing home will enjoy watching their performance.
When December 16th finally came, it snowed in the morning and the teacher who was the main person teaching the students the songs and steps texted us just before our program that she was not feeling well and could not make it to the nursing home performance. We were tempted to cancel the nursing home caroling, but this would mean that our students would miss this opportunity to serve the people at the nursing home. We decided to go ahead with the activity, and we were so glad that we did! Our students performed in all three floors of the nursing home, performing to different crowds on each floor. We were encouraged to see the mutual benefits of having this event for both the students and the elderly. First, the students really enjoyed each performance even with the limited space they had to do their dance. Secondly, seeing the smiles and hearing the applause from the elderly and staff of the Baptist Home made our hard work worth it.
We all left the Stoddard Baptist Home happy for allowing us to sing them Christmas carols for the last four years now. We are looking forward to next year so that we can visit them again.

5th Annual Pope Branch Park Clean-up

This year AALEAD is looking for mentors and mentees, staff, friends, and students who would like to participate in the 5th Annual Pope Branch Park Clean-up. This event will last from 8:30am to 1pm on January 17th.

This Community Service Project celebrates Dr. King & the memory of the late Joseph Glover, Founder & Chair of the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance to restore & beautify the Pope Branch tributary of the Anacostia River. We will clean-up trash & debris from along the creek & surrounding park, remove invasive plants & plant 12 trees. We will have a shuttle service courtesy of the Earth Conservation Corps meeting volunteers at the Potomac Metro stop (Orange & Blue lines) from 8:30 am to 9:30 am to Pope Branch. Volunteers will be shuttled back at the end of the event.

We will be meeting at AALEAD  (2100 New Hampshire Ave NW) at 8am. We will walk to Columbia Heights metro at 8:30am. If you are interested in coming please contact Alex Cena at

Here is a blog about the event and let me know if you have any questions please let me know.

A Tribute to 2009-2010 AALEAD Volunteers

In honor of the nationally recognized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, I am proud to announce that AALEAD volunteers served over 2,000 hours last year. Through the selfless act of simply giving their time and talents, volunteers served in a number of capacities for our organization this past year.

Just to highlight a few great volunteers:

September 2009-Thomson Elementary students learned how to play the Guitar

November 2009- Mentors, students, and other volunteers participated in making sandwiches at Martha’s Table.

December 2009- Who can say no to Bubble Tea? Karen Kirkup came in to show Maryland Middle Schoolers how to make Bubble Tea.
Watch Henry show us how:

October 2010- Employees from Accenture came out on their day off to paint the hallway of the New DC Headquarters. Big thanks to Accenture, our staff and students love the new colors!

For more information on how to volunteer at AALEAD, please fill out this Interest Form OR email Duabhav Lee, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator:

What are you doing for MLK day? Maryland AALEAD is hosting a toiletry drive to benefit Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless – Click here to learn more!

Our 3rd Annual MLK Day of Service will be on Monday January 17th, 10am-12pm at the MD AALEAD Office.  For our third year, we’re again doing a toiletries drive for the homeless in DC and MD to benefit the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (  We are looking for donations.

Have an upcoming work trip and a large bag?  Why don’t you go ahead and take that second bottle of shampoo and donate it…we won’t tell anyone.  Has your great-uncle been hoarding sealed toothbrushes since he lived through the dental care shortages in the late 50’s?  …round ‘em up and bring ‘em out.

Individual soaps from airplanes, terrible Christmas themed band-aids that you’ll never use, Sponge Bob washcloths that your grandmother got for your 37th birthday…anything, we can use it.

Here are some examples of items we’re looking for but keep in mind, these are just examples, you’re not required to buy these specific items or any items at all, they are just for an idea of what we can make use of.





Heat-Aid Electrolyte Tablets

Alcohol Prep Pad

We can also use any toiletry item that you or your family and friends may have lying around and not need any more: washcloths, band aids, full-sized shampoos or soap, toilet paper, disposable razors, chewing gum etc.

You may donate by either mailing the items to 11141 Georgia Ave Suite #215 Wheaton, MD 20902 before January 15th, or drop them off to the above address.  For special pick-up for donations, please call 301-942-9333 or email

If you have any questions please call 301-942-9333 or email

Take a look at our previous MLK event from our previous blog posting