Tag Archive: Maryland Middle School Porgram

By Lynda Nguyen, AALEAD Summer Development & Communications Intern
Photos Courtesy of Lynda Nguyen, AALEAD Summer Intern

Asian American LEAD summer has officially started!
Yesterday was the kick-off event for AALEAD Summer Fusion: the summer program for our Maryland middle and high school students. It was a day spent dancing, rapping,…and hot air ballooning? (which was probably my most favorite activity, take a look!)

As I stated in my last blog post, I am a former AALEADer (cerca 2007). Yesterday was my first time in an AALEAD program since I graduated. It was such an amazing experience to not only meet the students that are so actively involved in AALEAD, but to also see our very passionate staff in action. Between meeting new students, and embarrassing myself during icebreaker time (don’t ask), yesterday felt like a reintroduction to AALEAD.

After being gone for so long, the visit renewed my sense of community. The students were willing to take on new challenges, willing to learn, willing to try; it reminded me of my experience at AALEAD. I was always encouraged by AALEAD staff, always introduced to new things, new ideas. Summer program was not just another way to occupy my time, it was the place that helped me grow, explore, and most importantly, lead. Now, as an alumnus, seeing that again first-hand reaffirms why I wanted to come back.

As an organization that seeks to help Asian American youth, AALEAD heals the community from within. Through special programming surrounding the arts and leadership-building, AALEAD helps foster creativity, entrepreneurship, and tenacity in its students. AALEAD is such a special place to me. Though so many years have passed, the heart of the organization is still the same, evidence that AALEAD is truly something exceptional.

To the Maryland staff and students: Thank you again for such a warm welcome. I will be back for another visit before you know it, cannot wait for the rest of the summer!

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! 


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

Students in the Maryland Middle School program, as well as other from schools we haven’t yet begun to serve, begain their summer program at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center last week. This year’s program centers on several on-going projects which include focus on space exploration, computer program and art.

The main focus of our summer program continues to be “Health and Wellness”, so student get ample opportunities for outside exercise and we’ve schedule guest speakers to talk about nutrition and fitness.

After a few team building exercises where we got a chance to meet one another, We’ve already begun several cooperative programs with Pyramid Atlantic and VisArts that we’re hoping the youth in the program will be very engaged with. Check back often for more updates!