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tip-and-jacki

Tip and Jacki dedicated their wedding gifts to AALEAD

– How long have you been involved in AALEAD?

Jacki: I have been involved with AALEAD since 2011, when I volunteered to serve as an external evaluator to one of the programs. When that project officially wrapped up spring of 2012, I was determined to stay involved in some way because of what I observed – a dedicated staff and board, bright students, and a real feeling of community.

Tip: I met a former AALEAD staff member around 2009 during a youth community event in Maryland. After learning more about AALEAD, I saw an alignment of values in working with underserved youth.

– Tell us about a youth/experience you remember at AALEAD.

Tip and I were at the talent show in MD in 2014 and one of the students dedicated the song, Titanium, to an AALEAD staff member we knew. Talent shows are hard, especially as a youth trying to put yourself out there and try something new. It really showed me how much the staff at AALEAD impacted these students. Further, Tip recalls a staff member sharing about personal reasons for working with AALEAD at an AALEAD 101 session with a small group of other interested individuals. She shared some of her story at the session and how her work is a way to give back. This type of “full circle” impact is what draws us both to AALEAD.

– Why dedicate your wedding gifts to AALEAD?

When planning our wedding, the most important aspect was to spend time with the people that mattered most to us. So, when the topic of gifts/registry and all of that came up, we felt that we didn’t need more things. Rather, we wanted those funds to go towards a cause we both cared about, and could go towards making a real impact for youth. We immediately thought of AALEAD. We saw our own families, communities, and stories reflected in the people and the organization.

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