By YLan Nguyen, MD Middle School Program Coordinator
Photos courtesy of YLan Nguyen
Hey everyone, I am excited to join AALEAD as a Maryland Middle School Program Coordinator! I’m moving into my fourth week as a full-time staff and my experience so far has been nothing short of exciting. The staff has been so welcoming, it’s been great working with everyone.
Recently, I graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Asian American Studies.Throughout my last year of college, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew I wanted to work directly with the Asian Pacific American community in some capacity. As Yuri Kochiyama, Japanese American Civil Rights Activist, said, “Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware.” To me, this means that understanding our histories and the systemic forces that shape our lives allows us to uplift ourselves and each other toward a just world. I spent most of my undergraduate years occupying various leadership positions in the Asian Pacific American community on-campus where I found a home away from home as well as a safe space for me to learn about my identity and background as a second-generation Vietnamese American woman.
During my last semester at UMD, I had the privilege to be an intern for AALEAD and worked closely with the great MD staff, middle, and high school youth. I joined AALEAD to support APA youth in the community. Seeing the safe, empowering space that AALEAD provides for APA youth in Montgomery County was so incredible and inspiring – I had to come back. Now, I’m excited and pumped to head into our Summer Thrive programs.
Stay tuned to hear more about what’s in store in AALEAD’s Summer Programs!