Memories at AALEAD: An interview with Lisa, a 5th Grade AALEADer

By Charles Kuo, AALEAD DC Elementary School Program Coordinator, and Lisa, AALEAD Youth
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff

As we approach the end of the school year, AALEAD staff and youth reflect on the memories we have made this past year. We also congratulate many of our youth who are transitioning to new schools. Lisa, a 5th grader at AALEAD Bancroft, has been a part of AALEAD for the past four years and will be going to middle school in the fall. In this interview with her, Lisa shares her story, her experience, and her memories with AALEAD.

Lisa with her classmates


What is your name?

My name is Lisa. I am in the 5th grade and I am 11 years old

When did you start coming to AALEAD:

I joined AALEAD when I was in 1st or 2nd grade.

How would you describe yourself before you came to AALEAD:

Before I went to AALEAD I was less calm, not very confident, and worried a lot about homework.

How would describe yourself after going to AALEAD?:

I’m not worried about homework any more and I am more calm


Would you ask someone new to the school to join AALEAD?:

People should go to AALEAD because everyone (especially our teachers and volunteers) is kind, helpful, and caring.


Most memorable moment from AALEAD?:

When Mr. G gave us food every Friday. I remember having lollipops and chips. It was good because I was starving and we all got to eat together. A more recent memory was when our volunteer Ms. Stephanie 2.0 was helping everyone and caring for everyone. When she left it didn’t feel the same. We all miss her.  I cried when she left, I was the only one.

Lisa w. Mr. G & AALEAD


What advice do you have for your peers or teachers?:  

To Youth:

Dear Everyone, Try your best and work hard. You can succeed if you focus and believe in yourself. I am still a work in progress and I’m still trying my best.  


To Staff:

Keep doing what you’re doing. I am thankful for all the teachers and volunteers who have been a part of my AALEAD life. Thanks for trying your best to keep us crazy children together.


How would you describe AALEAD in one word and why?

I would say “fun” because the teachers try their best to make fun activites. They’re fun but we still learn and the rules stay the same. In Asian American LEAD, there are multiple people from different cultures. If all of us were of the same culture, we wouldn’t learn from different cultures and religions

FY16 Bancroft Year End Fun Photo

Did you enjoy your experience in Youth Council? (note: Youth Council is a governing youth body in programs. They lead by making decisions for the site)

I enjoyed being on Youth council. This is my second year on the council and my first year as President. I enjoyed youth council because we could discuss and make our own opinions and there were no right or wrong answers. I would encourage other AALEAD youth to be on the youth council because you shouldn’t feel shy about sharing your own opinions and it’s a good opportunity.


What will you miss about AALEAD?

I’ll miss the teachers, staff, the food, the parties and field trips and the free Wi-fi too. I’ll miss the teachers/staff because they helped me with homework and lessons. I’ll miss the parties because that doesn’t happen in Middle School. The Wi-fi because well, it’s free.


At AALEAD, we continue to cultivate a safe and positive space for our youth. More importantly, we hope to give youth a sense of belonging. Lisa will always be connected with our AALEAD community and we look forward to creating more memories with her!

FY16 Bancroft Year End Photo


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