By Vi Bui, Mentoring & Volunteer Programs Coordinator
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff
It feels like summer programs have just started but our Virginia youth have already closed out their program by giving their final MIC CHECK presentations. Here’s a recap of what they’ve been up to this summer!
Our Youth Program Coordinators (high school leaders) headed off to Orientation Camp to learn about leadership, team-building, and workplace readiness.
This year our YPCs (Youth Program Coordinators) were tasked with facilitating icebreakers and team building activities for their younger peers, developing two workshops on mental health and food around the world, and leading their teams in creating their MIC CHECK projects. This week they worked together in pairs to develop their activities and workshops.
This was our first week of programs with middle school and high school youth.They kicked off the summer by learning about the different ways to tell our stories, including Asian American poetry, visual art, and film. They began working on their MIC CHECK project by creating a magazine “cover story.” This week’s field trip was a park clean up project.
Monday, we were challenged with a power outage but managed to make do with what we had to keep our programs going. We did team building activities and adapted lessons so it can be facilitated even without computer access. Youth discussed Asian stereotypes in media and worked on planning their Street Food from Around the World lesson. The next day we ate delicious food from Vietnam, Korea, Italy, South Asia, and Peru. On Wednesday, one of our community college program’s volunteer coaches also came in to talk about peer counseling and career exploration. This week’s field trip was a joint regional field trip with Maryland and DC for the first ever AALEAD Amazing Race scavenger hunt in DC.
Youth learned about South Asian Dance from our new VA Middle School Programs Coordinator, Pallavi, and local chef Bobby Pradachith did a lesson and cooking demonstration on Lao fermented fish sauce. Teams finished up working on their MIC CHECK projects and gave their final presentations on the last day. Three teams made video projects with themes of cultural identity and home, and one team wrote a collection of poems on identity and stereotypes. These projects will be featured at Youth Summit this upcoming fall. This week’s field trip was a museum day in DC. VA Programs visited the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as a stop by the Asian Pacific American (APA) Literature Festival at the National Portrait Gallery.
But wait, there’s more! Although programs have ended we still have a lot to look forward to this week including our Virginia Programs closing celebration and a trip to Six Flags.
Have a great summer!