Tag Archive: DC Secondary School Program

AALEAD students most recently led a fundraising car wash event to help Japan in their most recent natural disaster and their on going nuclear disaster.  We were able to raise more than $850 dollars!

Afterwards though, we wanted to know the “WHY?”.  So we asked them, “Why did you want to help Japan?”.  Here are their responses:

I wanted to help Japan because I felt bad for them and that we could do something for the world with troubles once and a while

I wanted 2 help Japan because of the earth quake

People lost their lives and everything they had

I did it because if that was my country, I would want people to help send money…wouldn’t you?

I just wanted to help out, to show Japan that we care for what happened to them. :]

I help Japan because I love the thing that is made from and/or come from Japan. For example eraser, sushi, origami and the Japanese dresses. If Japan disappears in the global map all of the culture from Japan is going to disappear with Japan and we won’t know anything about Japan from this generation on.

Great job AALEADers…we are so proud of you!

During the spring break, the Maryland Middle School students, Maryland High School students, and the DC Secondary School Program students came together for an amazing game of laser tag in Baltimore! Over 50 AALEAD students came to the event. Many students never played laser tag before and enjoyed it to say the least! Students were also able to play in the arcade at the venue. Congratulations to the RED TEAM and YELLOW TEAM on your victories!

Japan Relief Carwash a HUGE Success!

Over the spring break, AALEAD students took it upon themselves to organize a Japan Relief carwash event on Thursday April 21st.  Originally scheduled to be on the 19th, our students decided that they would give up the scheduled Field Day on Thursday to reschedule the carwash on that day.

Over 60 students from Maryland and DC, staff, and volunteers came out to both the Comfort Inn College Park location and the Wheaton Community Center to raise money for Direct Relief International and through the 4 hours of washing cars, a total of $602.23 was collected!  With the help of the AALEAD fundraising dinner, over $800 will be donated to Direct Relief International.  One student in particular even helped the cause by making and selling his own lemonade, what a great idea! Many students were heavily involved by being station leaders, while other students stepped up by waving signs, talking to customers, and even playing the ukulele for waiting customers.

We want to thank again Comfort Inn College Park location and the Wheaton Community Center for their generosity in providing a space for the event.  It was through your selflessness we are able to donate 100% of our donations to the charity.

some AALEAD students holding up their hand-made signs

busy washing cars at Wheaton Community Center

giant Japan flag made by Parkland AALEAD

AALEAD student made and sold lemonade to fundraise for Japan

more donations at Comfort Inn

Loiederman AALEAD girls

The car wash team at Comfort Inn


Updated as of April 20th

To start off our AALEAD Spring Break 2011, DC SSP and Maryland Programs are going to run an incredible April 21st Car Wash event to benefit Direct Relief International for Japan partnering with Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).

Our students have been so diligent planning and executing this event, and we hope that you can join us by coming to one of our 2 locations and bringing your car down to get washed between 10am-2pm.  We are asking for a minimum of $10 towards donations.

1. Comfort Inn 9020 Baltimore Avenue College Park, MD 20740

2. Wheaton Community Center 11711 Georgia Ave Wheaton, MD 20902

If anyone would like to volunteer please email Edison Park, Maryland Middle School Coordinator, at

We would like to thank Comfort Inn and Ellen Araujo for their incredible generosity, and the Wheaton Community Center with whom we could not have done this.

Comfort Inn is located in 9020 Baltimore Ave. in College Park Maryland only 1 mile from the University of Maryland and 8 miles from DC.  For more information contact the sales office at 301-474-8906 or check out their information pdf here.

Look forward to seeing you at the car wash!

Spring Break AALEAD 2011

This year MCPS and DCPS have the same Spring Break schedule, and what better way to celebrate than an AALEAD Spring Break week of activities?!

SSP, Maryland programs, AALEAD mentoring, volunteers will all be working together to provide students with a enriched academic, community service, and fun week.

We have a great list of activities planned for the students, so be on the lookout for details coming soon about each days festivities.

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!

Goodbyes from Masoora!

Hi, I am Masoora (an Atlas corps fellow from Pakistan).  I had worked with Asian American Lead as Girls Leadership Program Coordinator in Washington DC. Today when it’s my last day, it just seems like a dream and I am really sad that I won’t be here physically but I will be certainly here in spirit. I am really blessed to spend all this time with AALEAD staff and students which welcomed me and accepted me in their extended family. I cannot express my gratitude for everything that they have done for me.  AALEAD is indeed one of the best organizations and the way they support students here through different program is just amazing. I have seen students grow and take leadership roles in their schools and community which has motivated me enough to replicate this model in Pakistan.

It has been a year and four months of my fellowship with Asian American Lead and just wondering that time did fly in my case as it just seems like yesterday when I joined AALEAD in September 2009. I remember the initial months in AALEAD when I had no idea of after school programs, youth culture in US, how to build relationships with the high school students and at times when I got over whelmed, I used to think whether I would be able to contribute or complete my one year with AALEAD. But here you go I not only completed one year but extended for four more months.

There have been a lot of good moments be it program time with the students, chats with the staff during lunches, discussions with colleagues, attending other programs at different sites of AALEAD, enjoying different events or playing games with the students, working with the interns and volunteers, extensive summer programs or team meetings etc, I have learnt so much from everyone around and enjoyed my time fully.

I wish AALEAD the very best and look forward to hear great news in future. Below is the link for a short video on my experiences and work with AALEAD.

Hope to meet you all sometime again in life otherwise facebook is a very effective tool to be connected especially if its that far like Pakistan!

Secondary School program (SSP) just had an end of their exciting fall programs for 2010. A lot of new things have been happening like shifting to the new building, new students joining the program, our monthly events etc. Following are some of the highlights from the SSP fall programs during last two months at AALEAD in DC.

The latest event was DC holiday party on December 17th 2010. High school students helped in organizing this party for the elementary school students through their performances and facilitating different work stations including cleaning up at the end of the event.

Students helped in wrapping the gifts (more than hundred) donated by different donors for the elementary school students

Giving a surprise birthday party & farewell  to the Girls Leadership program Coordinator, Masoora

AALEAD SSP Program is thankful to the Art of Living Foundation, DC who organized a free introductory workshop for our high school students to explain about one of their programs for the youth all over the world. YES is a dynamic, holistic program using yoga, meditation, breathing and interactive group processes to reduce stress, increase energy, build confidence and empower students to achieve their best.

AALEAD took few high school students at the annual DC Lights on event where they helped on the registration desk, shared with people about AALEAD & its Secondary school program plus they enjoyed the presentations from different students from after school programs in DC.

Secondary School Program also had different activities on different days like tutoring nights on Mondays where students can get help from our volunteers for their home work, assignments and college preps. An hour of reconnecting youth workshops every Tuesday discussing about different issues concerning the youth from stress management to the suicide prevention. We also had different workshops under the theme of agents of change on every Wednesday and cooking classes every other Thursday prepared and facilitated by the students.

We look forward to the new year and upcoming programs at AALEAD but for now Happy Holidays!

AALEAD started its Girls leadership program as a pilot project in October 2009 developed by Masoora Ali (an Atlas Corps fellow from Pakistan). The overall objective of the program was to empower the young Asian American females in the area of Washington DC. In order to build and strengthen their leadership skills, we engaged them in various positive activities like workshops on Self esteem, confidence and awareness, inviting different guest speakers and role models from the community, focus group discussions on different gender issues, field trips to different organizations and universities etc. AALEAD provided a safe and healthy environment to the young students so that they can feel comfortable in sharing their issues.

AALEAD invited different stakeholders including students and volunteers to be a part of the celebrations and reflections on December 8th 2010. While celebrating the successes, there were also reflections on different challenges, areas for improvement and future direction of the program.

Below are some of the comments from the students on how the program had an impact on them:

“Girls Leadership program helpedme to learn a lot by meeting new people ” by a student in grade 7th

“I have become more vocal” by a high school student.

“It helped me open up more and prepared me with my speech” another high school student

“We learnt to be more confident about ourselves” by two students in grade 9th

I have realized the importance of team building through different games.

I learnt how to be more social. I still have a way to go but it was a step forward.

The program has been a lot of fun where we had girls time and we could discuss about various problems openly.

“The field trip to Boston motivated me to start applying for the colleges in time” by a high school student

Furthermore,  AALEAD staff also thanked the volunteers, interns and different guest speakers who had contributed a lot  from time to time beacuse the program might not had that much impact without their support.

AALEAD extended its program to one of the middle schools this year in Washington DC. The program was offered to the students in grade 6th during the lunch breaks on every Wednesday from September till December 2010.

The fall program explored about the cultures and facts about different Asian countries with the special emphasis on cultural festivals. We also tried to introduce some games, greetings and food from the particular country that made the lesson plans very interesting and interactive for all the students.

At the end of the fall program, students had a chance to work on a calendar project together where they chose a country and made a title page for each month with different information on that particular country.

We have had very positive response from the students. According to their feedback they have not only enjoyed and learnt during AALEAD programs but emphasized on how it helped them for their geography classes.

AALEAD is thankful for the great support from the school administration especially from Ms. Neil and Ms. Berkey at Deal Alice Middle school.