Tag Archive: DC Secondary School Program

We Need Your Old SmarTrip Cards!

Are you about to move out of the DC metro area and don’t know what to do with your old SmarTrip cards?  Is your wallet too heavy and do you need to shed some cards?  Did you find another mode of transportation and would love to donate your SmarTrip card to an organization that could do even more with it?  Then, you’re in luck!

AALEAD is currently collecting SmarTrip cards to benefit the Asian American youth in Montgomery County and in DC.   Metro fares are always increasing, and students in Maryland don’t have the benefit of a student discount on metro fares, we are in need of kind-hearted citizens to donate their SmarTrip cards in order for AALEAD to provide more opportunities for youth in the greater DC area.

Every year we offer unique field trips, community service opportunities, and large events which are in various parts of the DC region.  Help us reduce travel costs in order to invest more into our students’ lives and spend less on metro expenses.

If you would like to send us your SmarTrip card, please email Edison Park at or call 301-942-9333.  Donation Receipts will also be available upon request.

Please act now and help us provide greater service to our youth.  Thank you!

Thanks to the incredible generosity of Ki Ho Wilson, AALEAD was invited to field a youth team for the 10th Annual Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival.  Our team was made up of Middle and High School students from both Maryland and DC programs, who trained together for weeks before our competition this past weekend.  The students overcame long trips, rain outs, rescheduling and a very long day of racing to consistently improve their times as the day went on.

Overall, we all had a great time and got to represent AALEAD among the more than 70 teams that competed in the Dragon Boat Race.  Check out a few photographs below and see our team in action!!

Hey there, from new intern Drew

**Meet Our other Summer ‘11 Interns!: Sandra, JeffElan, and Kendra!**

My name is Drew and I will be helping out Alex this summer with SSP and the mentoring program. In the fall I will be a senior at Eastern Michigan University and am studying Political Science and Nonprofit Administration. I’m in the TFAS program and am originally from a town no one was heard of called Elmore, Ohio. Everyone so far has been super welcoming and helpful and I’m excited for the summer program to begin. I really enjoy biking and running, but I doubt I’ll have time for much of that this summer. One quick fun fact is that my family trains and breeds australian sheperds and great danes.

Hope to meet you soon,


AALEAD at Fiesta Asia!

On Saturday, May 21, 2011, AALEAD students went to the Fiesta Asia in Washington D.C. It was a bright, beautiful, sunny day and our AALEAD students were super involved in the festivities. Some students walked around to enjoy the different food and performances, while others actually performed!  Some of our AALEAD students had the opportunity to perform for the first time on stage at Fiesta Asia! They performed a Filipino cultural dance called Tinikling. The students had been rehearsing for several weeks after programs, but picked up the dance rather quickly. They danced with confidence, grace, and had fun in the process. Great Job Tiniklers!   

In addition to our very own students performing, even some of our staff members had a short cameo in some performances!  Jonathan Henry, AALEAD Maryland Program Manager, participated in a short martial arts demo with our AALEAD student and Alex Cena, AALEAD D.C. Secondary School Program Coordinator, performed on stage with a short rap performance.  After all of the performances, AALEAD students, AALEAD alumni, staff, mentors, volunteers, and several AALEAD families marched in the cultural parade. There was a sea of orange shirts, smiling faces, and a chant that was heard by everyone watching the parade. Great job to all of our performers and thank you to our staff, mentors, and volunteers for making this day one that we will never forget! 


Dragonboat Event Being Rescheduled

Due to the weather and past rainy days, the water levels of the Potomac have reached a flood warning.  The event has been rescheduled at a later time and day.  Once that is announced, AALEAD will also announce it with another blog posting.

Thank you for your patience and support.

But please join us for Fiesta Asia this weekend, as that will still be going on!

For the past 5 weekends the AALEAD Warriors dragonboat team have been preparing for our big event on May 21st in DC where they will get to compete against out youth teams in a group race.  They have been hard to work practicing their timing, their strengths, and also getting to know each other.

This year AALEAD is proud to have 20 of our DC SSP, MD High School and Middle School AALEAD students representing the team to hopefully bring home several medals.

Below are some pictures from our practices…

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!