Saying Goodbye to 2018 at MD Holiday Party

Last week, AALEAD Maryland Programs celebrated the end of the year at our Annual Winter Holiday Party. Youth from across MD middle schools and high schools gathered for an evening of community, joy, and celebration. The theme for this year’s Holiday Party derived from the overall program theme – “Ignite: Discover Your Passions.” Each year, the Annual Winter Holiday Party consists of community building, reuniting with friends across sites, and of course, the coveted youth talent show. This year, it was all the same… with a twist!

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Promises Kept: Thomson Family Reunion

On Friday, November 16th, 2018, we had a family reunion event at Thomson for our youth, their families, our former AALEAD Thomson staff and volunteers. Words can’t begin to express how joyous this gathering was. Youth and their excitement were off the roof and they were running up to their friends and teachers to give them a hug. You could feel a sense of community by the warmth all around the room and the way youth took ownership of their program.

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The New Kids on the Block: AALEAD expands programming to Arlington, VA

This year, we’re moving into Arlington, VA with our mentoring program and just as Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, and Danny must have felt back in 1986, we’re the New Kids on the Block (NKTOB). NKTOB and AALEAD similarities do not stop there, like NKTOB debuting their self-titled first album, AALEAD’s Youth Mentoring program will continue to provide one-on-one support to the low-income and underserved APA youth in the county. NKTOB’s iconic discography lends clues for what our expansion looks like in Arlington, VA. Our strategy for expansion is simple, follow the communities where there is the need, as this defined our expansion in Montgomery County and Fairfax County.

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Discover your passion with the 7th Annual AALEAD APA Youth Summit

The theme of AALEAD programming this year is Ignite – Discover your passions! and indeed, during the 7th Annual APA Youth Summit this year, high school youth leaders spent the whole Saturday participating in workshops that emphasize creative arts and expression, identity, community, and self-empowerment! Let’s see what our youth participants experienced and how they felt about the summit.

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