A Journey in Snapshots: AALEAD Youth Take On Philadelphia and Baltimore

By: Ari Pak, MD Programs Manager

Photos courtesy of AALEAD staff


QUIZ: What does the “E” in AALEAD stand for? No cheating!

(scroll down for answer!)


ANSWER: If you answered “educational empowerment,” you know your AALEAD trivia! Five points to your team!


The last weekend of April was a chance for us to really focus on the “E” of our mission – to support youth with access to knowledge, resources, and support to make their own decisions about their educational path. You’re invited on the trip-in-photos!

TL;DR version: Youth illuminated their own ideas of what they’re looking for in a college, what they’re definitely not looking for, and how to develop their own direction in a higher education setting. Through attending the overnight college tour, AALEADers developed a deeper understanding of their own goals and of each other. We also saw some pretty cool stuff!


AALEAD youth are welcomed by members of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition at the University of Pennsylvania! AALEADers hear what it’s like to attend this Philadelphia-based university from current Asian American students at UPenn. One can hear the rising roar of cheers reverberating from the stadium where the nationally-famous Penn Relays are taking place. Small groups of runners warming up for their races whizzed past our group throughout the day. Extra point if you can spot the runner in the photo!




Trivia Bonus: Do you know which park this replica on UPenn’s campus is based off of?






Youth end their tour of UPenn at the Pan-Asian American Community House office. They learn about resources available to first-generation college students, students of color, and institutional resources which could support them during their college career.


Fun fact: the walls to the left of the rainbow flag are draped in hand-made paper cranes. Can you see them?



 After many hours at UPenn, youth and staff took the scenic route around Philadelphia. We stumbled upon the Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens — an interactive art gallery made of mosaic-ed materials and words of inspiration. Youth and staff took some time to relax, explore, and get creative.

Not pictured: AALEAD youth experience their first Philly Cheesesteaks!






On Sunday, youth trekked through a slightly-more suburban and slightly-less-sunny Johns Hopkins University campus. Students from Johns Hopkins Taiwanese American Student Association led youth around campus and discussed the ins and outs of JHop.






Some interesting finds at Johns Hopkins included…

Finding a really good listener

Finding a place where your mind becomes illuminated – Johns Hopkins Library Reading Room

Finding a place where it’s okay to have your head in the clouds – Johns Hopkins Observatory

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