By: Jamie Fleishman, MD Middle School Program Coordinator
Photos courtesy of AALEAD Staff
Earlier this month, AALEADers from the Maryland Afterschool Programs came together to celebrate the end of their school year and all of their accomplishments! Youth and their families gathered in AALEAD’s new Maryland office at the Nonprofit Village, and enjoyed food, games, and an afternoon full of events: an award celebration honoring graduating 8th and 12th graders, youth council members, and new AALEAD staff promotions! The event started with an open dinner, catered by Mi La Cay, and then segwayed to an activity, Minute-To-Win-It.
During the Minute-To-Win-It activity, all youth and their siblings joined to participate in this multi-game activity! Youth and siblings split into 6 teams and competed in four different challenges: stacking and unstacking 12 cups, blowing the cups over with their breath, getting an oreo from their forehead to their mouth, and working together to eat Cheerios off the table. The team with the most wins from each challenge earned extra raffle tickets!
Proceeding the Minute-To-Win-It activity, AALEAD staff hosted an graduation ceremony for rising 8th and 12th graders, thanking them for their participation in AALEAD and congratulating them on their big milestones! Youth council members were also honored, celebrated, and thanked for taking initiative and being leaders within AALEAD and their community! Also, at the end of the awards, youth and staff members surprised Ari and YLan who now has officially transitioned into their new position as the Program Director and the MD Programs Manager in AALEAD!
After some heartfelt laughs and small tears, the floor was open to all, and many graduating seniors shared their journey with AALEAD and gave advice to the younger AALEADers. The celebration concluded with the raffle drawing which youth had a chance to win gift cards and of course, AALEAD swag! Thank you AALEADers and Staff for creating a wonderful year and year end celebration!