By Ari Pak, MD High School Program Coordinator
Photos courtesy of AALEAD Staff
What’s better than free candy? Spending Halloween with MD AALEADers, trick-or-treating for that candy together, and finishing the night off with a movie!
The night started out warmly as youth arrived at the MD AALEAD office, equipped with inventive costumes and an appetite for a good time. Many folks from different schools met for the first time and connected over shared interests. It was a sight to see such unorthodox pairs bonding: an Oven and “Something From My Imagination” connected over sharing similar backgrounds and senses of humor! Who’d have known!
After adding the final touches to their costumes, AALEADers ventured into the chilly night with a map and a mission to get as much candy as possible. One high school youth took the lead on guiding the group through the winding neighborhood streets. Three other high schoolers stepped up as group leaders to ensure that everyone was safe during our trek. One highlight was the house with an unexpectedly-mobile “scare crow” that sent some of the AALEADers running and screaming as it jumped up from its sitting position toward them. Laughter ensued after the moment of fear passed and the AALEADers took it in stride, continuing to collect candy from houses, albeit more cautiously.
After an hour of collecting various sweets, we headed back to the AALEAD office for the AALEADers to count their spoils. Being Halloween, dinner and a spooky movie was in order. Everyone enjoyed their food over laughs, gasps, and sighs during the ups and downs in the movie Coraline.
Despite the piles of candy collected, the sweetest part of the night was seeing AALEAD youth from all different schools and of all different ages and backgrounds coming together to create a warm, welcoming, and joyous space. Nights like this are what remind us of the beautiful community members that AALEAD has, each one bringing something special to the table. What a treat to spend Halloween with such wonderful people!