By: Alani Fujii, MD Summer Program Intern
Photos courtesy of Various Sources
Nice to Meet Again, AALEAD!
Hi everyone, my name is Alani Fujii, and I am the Maryland Summer Programs Intern at AALEAD! I am entering my senior year at Barnard College pursuing an Urban Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies degree. I am also a former AALEAD youth! From 2011-2015, I was in the Maryland afterschool and summer programs. It is nice to be back serving in a support role, and I have been enjoying my time completely!
Getting to serve youth has been so rewarding, and this internship has been helping me figure out what type of career I want to pursue after graduation. I think of youth development work as something that serves such an important role for young people; for me, without AALEAD, I do not know where I would be. I probably would not have learned about my Asian American history, I would not have gotten the opportunities to meet mentors and role models, and I would not have met my AALEAD family in which I care so deeply about. AALEAD is a community that holds you, calls you in, and supports your growth in such profound ways that I am still feeling the after-effects.
This summer’s theme is Origins, and I am hoping that I can impact youth in a way that lets them discover something about themselves through their histories. I also want them to have fun, get to know each other, and be inspired to imagine! So far, the summer has started with a lot of team-building activities, outdoor rec, and the high school leaders stepping up to facilitate memorable experiences for their peers by leading activities and building friendships. I am looking forward to seeing the continued growth of these AALEADers!