By Natie Hara, DC High School Program Coordinator
Photos Courtesy of AALEAD Staff and The DC Mayor’s Office on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA)
Happy New Year! We hope your holidays were restorative! From last year’s after school and summer programs, we at AALEAD have so much to be optimistic and thankful for. Below is a summary of one of my favorite events from the fall, MOAPIA’s Annual Toy Giveaway and Holiday Celebration!
In addition to volunteers from all over DC, eight AALEAD High School youth came together to create a festive and jolly experience for youth ages 3-12! Filled with food, games, and (of course) toys, AALEAD youth organized the toy distribution, guided young people 5 years and older to a vaccine station, and cleaned up after the event.
As AALEAD youth reflected on their volunteer experience, they were ecstatic about the opportunity to impact their community. Whether they were directing folks where to get vaccines or handing out bags of toys to youth, through their volunteer experience, AALEAD youth noted how they learned tangible skills such as organization skills and teamwork. Additionally, one youth uplifted their experience providing interpretation assistance to Chinese community members, which inspired pride that they “helped overcome that language barrier”. AALEAD youth left MOAPIA’s Toy Giveaway and Holiday Celebration feeling fulfilled and eager to serve their community again.
If you missed out on this cool event, don’t worry! We’re gearing up for another fantastic semester and there’s going to be plenty of field trips, community service projects, and more!
This semester, our theme is Crossroads through which we will be exploring the crossroads spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic and journey to find meaning and optimism in our ever-changing world. Although COVID-19 continues to affect many aspects of our daily lives, we are manifesting health, connections, and fun for everyone in this new year.
We hope you’re able to join us this semester! If you or someone you know is interested in AALEAD programs, we have plenty of open spots in our Middle and High Schools programs! Fill out an ENROLLMENT FORM and claim your spot today!