Stories that Envision, Create, Transform

By Neel Saxena, Executive Director
Photos Courtesy of Saadia Ahmed

On March 22, 2017, AALEAD hosted the Aspire to LEAD fundraising event at Top of the Town in Arlington, VA. This was AALEAD’s 4th such fundraiser and my first as Executive Director. Last year I was behind the scenes and this year I had the incredible opportunity to join our youth in sharing our often overlooked stories as Asian Pacific Americans. This year’s theme was Envision, Create, Transform. For our youth, staff, mentors, volunteers, and supporters these words all have different meanings. Below are two videos and a photo of our youth speaker with some of their own stories featured at our event –


“AALEAD has made me feel empowered by knowing that I am able to make a difference in this world.”
– Tommy 


“My favorite activity was when we did the dance for the Christmas party … arts and crafts … scavenger hunt”
“I learned at AALEAD that it is fun and it could help you do your homework … how to make the chocolate heart … the history of of jazz … we should be respectful and kind to others”
– DC Elementary School After School Program youth


transformI feel the need to thank AALEAD for helping me reach my goals, and especially for helping me find myself and my passion for helping communities in need. Next fall, I will be transferring to the University of Maryland with a Community Health major and an entrepreneurship minor so that one day I can help create an organization like AALEAD, and help other families reach their dreams.
– Megan


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