Just before the beginning of the school year, students in our Maryland High School Program got together for an orientation BBQ. As part of our theme of the year, “Get Involved….in Dialogue, Government, and Community” students focused on dialogue and talked to each other about programs and offered the coordinator suggestions for the new year. Overall it was a great day for food, fun, discussion and a little bit of volleyball! Welcome back AALEAD students!
Students in AALEAD have been spending their hard-earned summer vacation with us this year, in a wide variety of summer programs that are running in Maryland and DC.
Currently, Maryland Middle School and High School Programs, as well as DC Elementary School and Secondary School Programs are all running our usual, high-quality summer programs with cultural identity workshops, resume and college application assistance, field trips, art projects and much more, but we’ve also added two new programs to our summer catalog this year!
Our Mentoring Program is working with our high school students to bring our Workplace Mentoring Program to summer. Each week, students have been going to the IBM offices in downtown DC to meet with mentors to go over job preparation, college applications and resumes. By participating in these weekly mentoring workshops, these students are getting the opportunity to get advice and feedback from well-established professionals.
AALEAD is also working with One Economy to implement the Digital Connectors Program (http://www.one-economy.com/what-we-do/digital-connectors) this year. 15 talented and motivated students from AALEAD’s Maryland and DC programs are going through training right now to help spread technological awareness to low-income, immigrant and other neighborhoods that don’t have access to this technology.
Check back in as the summer progresses and see updates from all of our programs!!
Some of the DC SSP students on a trip to the movies.
AALEAD’s Digital Connectors review their material before starting their community outreach.
Maryland and DC’s High School Programs review resumes with their workplace mentors at IBM’s DC offices.
Maryland Middle School Summer Program hard at work on a project at the Wheaton Rec Center.
On Saturday, March 26, 2011 AALEAD students from the Maryland High School program attended the first annual youth job fair in downtown Silver Spring. They spoke with different organizations, applied for jobs, and used some networking skills they learned during after school programs. The students also handed out their resumes and were able to experience their very first job fair. After the job fair the students were able to enjoy some Vietnamese Pho for lunch which was their favorite part! Good luck AALEAD students! Cross your fingers and hope for some call backs and interviews. All of you were great!
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AALEAD is pleased to announce the appointment of Surjeet Ahluwalia as its new Director of Operations. Rosetta Lai commenting on the selection of Surjeet, said, “The strength of AALEAD is the quality of our service delivery model, customized to meet the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian American youth and children. In Surjeet, we found the combination of passion, training and experience.”
Because of the special needs of the population that the organization serves, AALEAD carefully recruited over the last two months to find a candidate that would not only be able to monitor and ensure the effective and consistent delivery of quality programs and services, but also improve and take AALEAD’s programs to the next level as the organization continues to expand to serve more low-income Asian Americans. Based on Surjeet’s past nonprofit and volunteer experiences, AALEAD is confident that she has both the skill set and cultural sensitivity to fulfill these goals. Over the last 10 years, Surjeet has worked to build and strengthen several non-profit organizations as well as a local government agency. Most recently, she was project manager for the Health Impact Fund, a proposal to increase innovation and access to life-saving medicines globally. She was a project manager with AmericaSpeaks, where she managed several large initiatives to engage citizens more directly in governance, as well as with the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency. Surjeet spent one year in Mumbai, India as the start-up Director of Operations for Teach For India, based on the Teach For America model. She has also served as a mentor and an afterschool program counselor. Surjeet has a Master’s in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester.
Each year AALEAD sets aside a couple of days to reflect on the previous year, plan for the coming year, and yes, have some fun (otherwise known as “team building” ).
We spent our first morning Maryland reflecting on the accomplishments and challenges of this past year. Then, after a delicious dim sum lunch, we headed off to Wheaton Regional Park for AALEAD Gladiators. The games opened with moving renditions from various musicals by several staff members (also known as what happens when you are late to an AALEAD retreat). For the games, the Expendables faced off with the A-Team in a series of epic battles of wit, skill, and brawn.
Day two started off with the construction of Rube Goldberg Machines:.
and continued with an informative presentation by Tatisha from Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc about strategies for managing difficult behaviors. We finished the day by discussing outcome measures and goals for the coming year, and selected themes for programming.
All told, it was very productive, yet also refreshing, two days. Many thanks to the planning committee – Jonathan Henry, Edison Park, and Christine McCann.
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
We had a wonderful first Friendraiser this past Tuesday, which took place at The Irene reception room in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The event was specifically held to benefit the DC Secondary School Program. Over 40 guests were in attendance to learn about our mission and hear compelling program experiences from our student representative, Nipa Islam. Throughout the evening, attendees networked while enjoying wine and delicious hors d’oeurves, courtesy of MeiWah Restaurant. Some of those highlights are documented in the photos below.
We want to particularly recognize the following guests for coming out to showing their support for AALEAD and the Secondary School Program:
AALEADership Circle members
Julia Chang Bloch
Amy Hoang Wrona
N. Minh Le
Janet Lai Cam
Starting in March, AALEAD teamed up with IBM to host a 5-class workplace mentoring pilot program. 10 of our MD high schoolers signed up to be testers for the program, and were matched with IBM employees from across the DC region. This Thursday, May 6, we will celebrate its completion by talking about internships and job shadowing (and having a small party)! Other topics we covered were how to create a résumé, interview skills, and workplace ethics.
Look for a workplace mentoring video, edited by one of our high school participants, soon to come! In the meantime, here are some pictures of our pairs deep in conversation.
The Loiederman students in Maryland experienced for the first time for many their first Korean dumpling. We were able to share about the culture of Korea, the lifestyle and food.
Korean dumpling is such an important part of Korean culture, it is the one food eaten on Chinese New Year throughout all families. The students made some beautiful creations, and they were able to enjoy the fried treats the next day.
Beware, the pictures may cause some hunger pains
During the spring break, Maryland AALEAD programs had a great day of sports, fun, and BBQ at Wheaton Regional Park. It was a beautiful, perfect day to enjoy some fun together.
We had a lot of food and fun games like Red Rover, flag football, basketball, and just hanging out and getting to know each other.
Thanks to all the students and parents that came out, and especially to the new AALEAD’ers of this year meeting and getting to know others from AALEAD.
And also thank you to the volunteers and staff of AALEAD that came out to help!