By Stephanie Lim, DC Middle and High School Program Coordinator
Photos courtesy of Stephanie Lim
On one of my first Mentoring Program site visits in 2015, Ari, our MD High School Program Coordinator, joked that they had a plan to have me join the after-school program team. At the time, I’d already worked with youth and students in after-school and teaching programs, and thought that perhaps my time with that kind of programming was over. I took Ari’s words to signal a welcome to the full-time team, and an acknowledgment of the connections I’d made with the youth at that site in a short period of time. Ari was so gracious and I was grateful for their acceptance and friendship.
Well, it’s funny how things work out.
I am now officially the DC Middle and High School Program Coordinator, and it’s been a blast spending my afternoons with this group of kind, insightful, curious, and talented youth. These past two weeks have flown by, and I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the school year and our summer program. We talk about transitions at AALEAD, but I see this move as an extension of the work I’ve already been doing with our youth.
Among other things, our DC youth so far have discussed the legacy of Fred Korematsu, visited the Freer/Sackler Gallery for the second time – learning about the art of illumination from artist Lubna Zahid, and explored the small steps we take that lead us to our passions, goals, and dreams. Through everything I know we’ll accomplish together, I am glad to have this chance to spend more time with these amazing youth and get to know them better. This job is a gift that I will cherish.
I’ve now worked with the DC Elementary School Program, the DC Elementary School Summer Literacy Program, the Mentoring & Volunteer Programs, and now, our DC Middle and High School Program. I could not have learned as much as I have, nor could I have grown this much with the support of my colleagues, our mentors, volunteers, and of course, our AALEAD youth. Wish me luck. Onward!