Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) envisions a United States in which low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth, and youth of all backgrounds, are equipped with the tools and opportunities to define themselves and their own futures.
AALEAD focuses on healthy development and striving toward outcomes, rather than aiming to prevent destructive habits and behaviors. AALEAD staff puts youth first, providing them with choice, collaborative learning, and hands-on, project-based learning. We support youth to choose activities and how they would like to participate, make decisions on program structure and activities, plan program activities, lessons or events, and assess, evaluate, and reflect on activities. This allows youth to build self-confidence, empowers youth to take ownership and leadership of programs and see the immediate results of their responsible decisions. AALEAD empowers youth by connecting them with resources to succeed academically, choose a middle/high school, and prepare for college/future careers.
AALEAD believes all youth have the ability to succeed and make decisions to impact their education and future. The youth in AALEAD’s programs are supported in making their own educational goals, gaining confidence, and learning about their own and others’ cultures.
After school and summer programs implement a research-based program design based on concepts and core instructional strategies of Advancing Youth Development (AYD) created by the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work. AALEAD uses its 16 years of youth development experience and expertise with Asian Pacific American youth in DC, MD, and VA. AALEAD’s Mentoring Program is based on the Big Brothers Big Sisters one-on-one mentoring model.