Youth Mentoring Program Spotlight

By Emily N., Current Mentee and Ha Nguyen, Development & Communications Associate

Photos courtesy of AALEAD Staff

Since its inauguration in 2002, the National Mentoring Month campaign is held and observed every January to raise awareness and promote youth mentoring in United States. This week, we are highlighting the AALEAD Youth Mentoring Program that gives youth in the ages 10-18 the opportunity to be matched in a one-on-one mentorship with a caring adult from the community. Oftentimes, Asian American youth lack the support needed at home, with families who may not have the skills or time to provide support, and at school, being overlooked as a youth in need due to the impacts of the model minority stereotype. Mentors help to fill that gap by serving as an additional support system to our youth!

Emily is currently a ninth-grade student at Annandale High School. In an interview with NBC4 during Asian American Heritage Month in May 2018, Emily expressed that it can be a lot of pressure being the oldest child of two immigrant parents from Vietnam who do not speak much English. However, she also shared that she wants to become a mentor and eventually helps first generation students like her! When Emily was in 8th grade in January 2018, she was matched with her mentor, Suka through AALEAD’s Youth Mentoring Program.

“My name is Emily and I have to say that my mentor Suka is the best mentor. She has always told me that I should love myself. I am not a very confident person and tend to shy away easily. However, Suka keeps on telling me that it is okay to be the bold and really extra friend. As a resolution for 2019, Suka also challenges me to learn to love myself for my flaws.

Suka and I have been together for a year and I am glad that I have someone who knows how to deal with my extra self and I hope that she views me the way that I view her: a sister!”

Interested in learning more about the Youth Mentoring Program?

Contact Vi Bui at for further information

and/or submit a Youth Mentoring Application

Stay tuned on AALEAD’s Blog posts and Social Media Platforms this month to learn more about other AALEAD’s Mentoring Programs and the impact of mentoring on a young person’s life!

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