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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Asian American LEAD

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Human Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) supports low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth with educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership opportunities through after school, summer, and mentoring programs.

Results: For the past several years we have served 300 youth, and this year, we will serve 400 youth through our programs.

Target demographics: low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 300 youth

Geographic areas served: The District of Columbia, Montgomery County, MD, and Fairfax County, VA

Programs: after school, summer, and mentoring programs

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Ellen G.2

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been an youth at Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) for 12 years, it was an honor to have worked with the lovely staff at AALEAD. Staff members like Micah, Dia, Stephanie, Charles, etc. have guided and mentored me when I faced challenges with my own personal identity. AALEAD has also given me so many opportunities to express myself and improve my leadership with events such as Youth Summit and the East Coast Asian American Student Union Conference. Although AALEAD staff commits so much time and effort into doing their job as mentors, program coordinators, and directors, the organization often overlook the staffs' abilities. There are multiple staff members who are well qualified for their positions, but the organization still pays them little to nothing. AALEAD staff members are doing the organization's mission of supporting low income Asian American youth every second they are apart of the organization, they are all so committed to their job that sometimes they would not take sick leaves. However, with all that said I do want the organization to treat their staff with more respect. As a youth I want to say to the board members of the organization "Please try harder to know the youth you are trying to help! Without knowing us, you do not know the organization."

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience at AALEAD was amazing. In the program, I learned many new things and met many new people. I was able to become more confident and more mindful. AALEAD staff such as Charles and Stephanie really cared for us. They always asked our opinion on different ideas and current events. They also make sure our voice gets heard which is something that I don't get to experience in school. Stephanie is the best program coordinator ever. She made program fun but also insightful despite the low amount that AALEAD paid her. She has done over and beyond for us for the little budget that she received. All of her words are wisdom for us. I'm thankful to have a great program coordinator like her. she is more than a program coordinator; she is a friend; she is family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I love programs at AALEAD and it’s where I met all of my closest friends. However, the DC middle and high school programs are combined and it makes the programming difficult due to the age gap. It’s difficult accommodating certain activities to make them fun for both the older and younger youth because there may be topics that are inappropriate for the younger youth. Overall, AALEAD is an amazing organization that gave me a wonderful experience outside of school. I would also like to add that the staff is severely underpaid for the amount and quality of work that they do. Without the wonderful staff, it would not be possible to keep some of these youth for more than 3 years. Not only do they keep the youth in mind for the programming, they also can relate to us and provide the support that the youth need that their families cannot provide due to economic and/or language barriers. In summary, AALEAD is a much-needed organization in DC where despite the small community of Asian Americans, the impact of the work of the organization gives the young people in the community a place to belong and grow.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are few organizations that I know of that cater to youth like AALEAD. The program is set up in a way that isn't too restrictive and allows students to be themselves, all the while learning about their culture, personal development, dealing with societal issues, and having fun.

AALEAD fosters a positive environment that promotes individuality, growth, community, and friendship. I am proud to have volunteered for such a wonderful organization. I know they are making a positive impact in the community and around the DMV area!

1 Jessica207

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A GREAT organization. AALEAD does some wonderful things around identity development and debunking the model minority myth to better advocate for APIA youth, and building multicultural awareness and understanding. I've witnessed AALEAD youth doing some amazing things- planning large scale events that even my college students struggle to do.

As a volunteer, I've gained and am gaining so much from my mentoring relationship- my mentee prompts my own reflections onto how I engage people in my thought processes, and how I facilitate communication in my own work. She holds me accountable to keeping it real, and being transparent about my own faults (aka makes you a better person). AALEAD has some great activities and also has a great network of folks who really care and are committed to the youth and the community.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My time as a mentor has been a life-changing experience that I feel an honor and priviledge of being a part of. The organization has been like a second family to me and I'm very lucky to have this opportunity to learn and grow from my mentee.

12

Former staff

Rating: 5

In my experience with AALead I was able to share my passion for youth development by serving under a nonprofit that allowed me to engage in transformational leadership both in my staff and students. The multiple extra-curricular activities and fieldtrips allowed my students to gain holistic experiences in learning as they engaged in classroom learning and hands-on activies. Additionally, teachers and staff were able to learn all aspects of successful teaching including mentoring, classroom instruction, discipline, and youth empowerment through their six week training and implementation. Volunteers and high schoolers also became useful community resources. At the end of my six week contract, I was amazed at the large impact a small nonprofit could make through community engagement and hard work. Job well done AALead!!!!

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I attended AALEAD's annual dinner and met the students who benefit from the services, AALEAD staff, board and donors. It's a wonderful organization which greatly benefits DC's APIA community.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's a great organization. The staff is excellent and dedicated. The volunteers are nice and helpful. The students are good kids.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AALead is such a great organization. It is so needed in the DC area. They're doing an amazing job with Asian American youth in the region and are serving a population that is often overlooked but just as much in need.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AALEAD serves an urgent but under-appreciated disadvantaged community in the DC area - immigrant children from Asia and all over the world. AALEAD provides these children with cultural academic and social activities that would otherwise be not available to them

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have developed into a decent person and is continuing to be touched by the awesome works and services from AALEAD. The center and its staffs have been nuturing as parental care.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

This organization set representatives to the 2009 Service-Learning Institute. They also had a private training on service-learning with the Learn and Serve Program Officer at Serve DC - The Mayor's Office on Volunteerism. Their office members were very interested in learning to better serve their community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 0

AALEAD is an amazing organization! I was contacted by them to come and teach basic dental lessons to the children of the program. I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The children and teachers were so appreciative and really seemed to understand the importance of dental care. The children were so sweet and I can't wait to see them again soon!

4

Former staff

Rating: 5

It's been an amazing experience to see students experience their "firsts." This year, we've had students who have... -baked a cake for the first time -rode the Metro for the first time -mail a letter out for the first time -visit a company and see cubicles for the first time -do a mock interview for the first time And so much more! AALEAD's dedicated staff and volunteers are very committed to connecting students with amazing experiences and opportunities!