See You Soon!

By Surjeet Ahluwalia, Executive Director
Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Iorlano, Development & Communications Associate

This is the last time I will be writing all of you as Executive Director of Asian American LEAD!  Beginning November 7th, I will pass the torch to Neel Saxena, our current Development & Communications Director.

The last six years have been quite the journey for Asian American LEAD and for me personally.  I’m proud of the work we have done together:

  • AALEAD is serving more youth than ever before.  AALEAD has grown from serving 300 youth to 550 youth annually.
  • AALEAD is now truly a regional organization with its expansion in 2014 to Fairfax County, Virginia.  AALEAD maintains strong programming in Washington, DC and in Montgomery County, Maryland.
  • We have also developed a community college mentoring program to support low-income APA youth through the next stage of their education.
  • AALEAD has strengthened its performance management – ensuring all youth receive excellent programming linked to the outcomes of Educational Empowerment, Identity Development, and Leadership.  AALEAD has implemented stronger data tracking and measurement to support our success and the success of our youth.
  • Asian American LEAD has a committed Board, as well as a new Advisory Board, supporting the organization’s continued success.
  • We embarked on a campaign to diversify our revenue sources, and today AALEAD has more individual donors than ever before.  In particular, AALEAD launched the Aspire to LEAD Giving Society in 2013 and now has 39 donors who have committed to large, multi-year gifts to AALEAD.

I will continue to be part of the AALEAD family, so I’m sure I will see you all again soon.  For now, I want to thank everyone who has been on this journey with me:

To our Board and Advisory Board:  Thank you for your time and dedication to AALEAD.  Your work is the continuity that carries AALEAD forward and that has underpinned the organization’s impact for approaching 20 years.

To our financial supporters:  Thank you for making the work of AALEAD possible.  Your leadership in the community and willingness to prioritize AALEAD has made it possible for thousands of AALEAD youth to grow, overcome challenges, and live lives that also support the community.

To our mentors and volunteers:  Thank you for giving of yourselves to get to know our youth on a personal level and to make sure that individual youth know they are valued and know their worth.  We could not have as deep an impact on so many youth without you.

To our current and former staff:  Thank you for going on this ride with me!  Thank you for continually committing yourselves to raise the bar to ensure we have the greatest positive impact we can have on youth, while also working efficiently and living full lives ourselves.

To our youth and alumni:  Thank you for your strength in the face of challenges, your willingness to be open, your warm and welcoming energy, and your joy.  I have loved seeing you in programs and events, and hearing your reflections on how AALEAD has shaped you.  You will continue to create your own journeys with the support of your AALEAD family!

I can’t wait to see AALEAD’s next phase unfold.  All my best to all of you.

MD Kick Off 2015

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