Feedback

Blog

Tag Archive: Maryland Mentoring Program


The Art of Painting and Mentoring

By Christina L., Current AALEAD Youth
Photos Courtesy of Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff

A couple of weeks ago, I had the wonderful chance to go to the Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) DC Office on the Metro and do therapeutic painting with my mentor and other mentee/mentor pairs. We had pizza, which was SO good, and other snacks.

Painting was a lot of fun and very relaxing for me considering all the testing that I had going on. We sat in a comfortable silence, and I decided to paint something related to my identity. I did a blend of colors on a rainbow. It represented all of my different shades of personality such as sass, humor, friendship, charisma, loyalty, charm, etc. My mentor and I did paintings for each other where we picked our own quotes for each other’s paintings and gave it to one another. In the future, when we do this again, I would like to personally choose a quote that I think represents my mentor well and give that to her as a gift.

Having a mentor has been really great so far. My mentor, Ha, is really helpful, and she really understands me. We talk all the time, and we have so much in common! Since she is older and also went to the same high school as I do, it helps that she understands and knows about what I have learned. I can share everything that’s going on at school with Ha, and she helps me focus on my studies. We also watch a lot of the same TV shows and are into the same hobbies, such as movies and music. Since I’ve gotten to know her, I’ve really benefited from everything she has taught me, and I’m excited to participate in more activities with her this year.

Overall, we had a successful afternoon that helped me to calm and ready myself for my exams and breathe. I had a great time and am even buying my own painting supplies so that I can paint on my own. I can’t wait for the next art event!

By Yuqiong L., Current AALEAD Youth
Photos Courtesy of Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff

At the end of last month, I went on the White House Spring Garden Tour and visited the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the White House Kitchen Garden, and the South Lawn of the White House with two other Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) mentoring pairs. The gardens were very pretty and huge! I used to think the White House was small, but now, I know the White House isn’t small at all. The first thing I saw was the back of the White House and the podium where President Obama makes his speeches about important topics in the United States. It was awesome to see the gardens at the White House!

What I liked most about the White House gardens was the porcelain water, especially how it goes up in the fountains and the ducks that live in the pond. It’s so pretty and gorgeous! President Obama also planted vegetables in the White House Kitchen Garden so he can make salad. It was really fun to be out during that weekend since the weather was awesome and nice. I’m glad I got to spend the day with my mentor, Nancy, and the other mentors and mentees.

My experience with my mentor has been great so far. We have been matched for three months. Nancy is really nice, friendly and helpful. During this event with AALEAD’s Mentoring Program, I got to know her better and spend time with her. It was really hard for me to talk with Nancy at first because we just met. Lots of things were very different since I have had one other mentor before, but I am getting to know her better and better as time goes on. I also like that Nancy knows Cantonese because it helps my parents when they try to speak with her. Nancy always hangs out with me, and we have lots in common. She has taught me a lot about leadership skills and shared her own life with me. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go on the White House Spring Garden Tour, hang out with my mentor, and meet some new AALEADers during this event. I am also thankful for both my former mentor and Nancy because without them, I wouldn’t be a great leader now.

By Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff
Photos Courtesy of Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff

This past weekend, eight AALEAD mentoring pairs joined us for a wonderful day filled with ice skating, fun, and friendship at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink! It was a gorgeous day to be outside, and mentors and mentees were all smiles as they laced up their skates and enjoyed a beautiful day on the ice.

Since mentoring pairs across the DC Metro area were invited and some mentors and mentees were meeting each other for the first time, we kicked off the event with an interactive ice breaker. Mentors and mentees were each given a set of six questions and asked to get to know as many people as they could. Lots of laughter and conversation could be heard across the rink as youth and mentors learned more about one another and created new friendships along the way.

It was finally time for our mentors and mentees to make their rounds around the rink! Some mentors and mentees showed off their skills and glided gracefully across the ice, while other pairs held on tightly to each other’s hands. Though it was the first time some of our mentees had ever gone ice skating, they all made so much progress over the course of our session! By the end of the event, all mentees were able to skate on their own, and a few of them were even able to skate backwards and do cool spins and twirls, too!

AALEAD’s Mentoring Ice Skating is an annual event that our pairs and staff look forward to year after year. Aside from simply enjoying one another’s company and sharing fun moments together, pairs have the opportunity to continue building community while also being present for some of the mentees’ first “steps” – literally and figuratively. Ice skating truly highlights what it means to be in a mentorship – mentors are not only there when their mentees fall, but most importantly, they’re oftentimes the first to help pick them up.

Thank you to all of our mentors and mentees who were able to share in this amazing, sunny day with us. We hope you had fun and look forward to seeing you again soon!

By Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff
Photos Courtesy of Angela B., CSF-DC

Every January, Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) celebrates National Mentoring Month in honor of our committed mentors and the positive impact that they have on our youth. Last week, we held our second annual Mentor Appreciation Month Celebration at the Verizon Center Dewar’s 12 Coaches Club with five partner organizations: Capital Partners for Education (CPE), the DC College Success Foundation (CSF-DC), For Love of Children (FLOC-DC), the Mentor Foundation USA, and Mentors, Inc.

This was a great opportunity to collaborate with other community-based organizations doing wonderful work in the greater DC Metro area. In addition to celebrating all of our amazing mentors, we were also honored to announce AALEAD’s Mentoring Hero of the Year, Jessica L. We are so proud of all of our AALEAD mentors and the accomplishments that they have made with our youth over the past year!

As we wrap up National Mentoring Month, we wanted to give a shout out to all of our current and former mentors who have made and continue to make a difference in the lives of our young people and community. The work that we do is not possible without you, and we truly appreciate all of your efforts in ensuring that our youth have opportunities to succeed. Happy National Mentoring Month, and we can’t wait to celebrate with all of you again next year!

Interested in reading more? Check out our mentors’ stories here: Elizabeth, Su, and Tippa!

Mentoring Matters: Su’s Story

By Su L., Current AALEAD Mentor
Photos Courtesy of Tina Ngo, AALEAD Staff

Thank you all for celebrating National Mentoring Month with us! A huge shout out to Su and all of our former and current mentors and volunteers who have invested their time and energy into our youth. The impact that you have made on our students is immeasurable, and we can’t wait to celebrate again with you next year! Thank you so much for all that you do. We hope you enjoyed this series, and Happy National Mentoring Month! -Tina Ngo, Mentoring & Volunteer Program Coordinator

In 2013, I found myself in a great position to be a volunteer: I had a strong commitment to give back to a community in need and the time to do so.  While I always had the former, the latter always seemed to be out of reach for one reason or another.  Through the company I worked for then, Deloitte, I found Asian American LEAD (AALEAD).  Their mission resonated with me, and I signed up to be a mentor.  I knew I wanted to be a mentor because I have seen the value of mentoring first hand—a cousin-turned mentor who guided me through my first year of college and a supervisor-turned mentor that exemplified what a leader should be.

Li is my mentee.  She is an intelligent, sweet, fun, and driven 17-year-old.  Since Li is an excellent student, our goals have geared towards doing community service together, trying new things (we are currently trying to tackle a list of ethnic foods we haven’t tried before), and working towards Li’s next exciting milestone: college.  We’ve also spent many times talking over frozen yogurt or hot chocolate—some of my favorite moments with her because we can simply catch up, listen to each other’s stories, and relax.  It’s also these moments where I feel humbled to have a mentee— especially that she can come to me and share what’s on her mind.

Before I met Li, I certainly had my doubts in my ability to be a good mentor.  I like to think that our time together has proven me wrong—we’ve managed to learn together what works for us.  Collectively, Li and the AALEAD Mentoring Program have given me the opportunity to work with great people, have some fun (of course!), make new connections, and strengthen my confidence as an effective helper.  I’ve also watched Li grow personally and couldn’t be more proud of the young adult she is becoming.  It has been a wonderful experience thus far, and I look forward to all that’s in store for us in the upcoming year.

Check out Elizabeth’s story here and Tippa’s story here!