Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays from AALEAD!

Happy Holidays from all of the students, families, and staff of AALEAD!

See you all in 2010!

AALEAD Maryland's 2009 Holiday Party!

On Friday, December 11th, our Maryland students, mentees, mentors and community members who have supported AALEAD this year attended our annual Holiday Party. This year we filled up the Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity in downtown Wheaton. Students from Blair and Einstein High Schools performed a wide variety of cultural dances, songs and other performances for the enjoyment of everyone.

A special thanks to The Asian Pacific America Bar Association of DC for their continued support of our students! They were kind enough to gather together books which they donated as gifts. As you can see...they were very appreciative.

Thanks to everyone who came out!!!!


Thursday, December 17, 2009


AALEAD held a mini workshop on “Sushi; its history and how to make it”, which was well attended by the students on December 3rd 2009 in DC. Students had to do a group activity at the start where they explored what Sushi means and how did it become very famous. Students found it interesting that it started from China first and became famous in Japan afterwards. They were also given orientation about the material being used especially ingredients and tools required to make it.

It was great fun for all the students to see first how it’s being done and then making different kinds of Sushi by themselves.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

AALEAD celeberates Holiday Party in DC!

AALEAD just had a wonderful Holiday celebration this Monday (December 14th) held at Martin Luther King Library in DC. It was great to see various colorful presentations by elementary school students from Thomson and Bancroft and SSP students.

Holiday Party has been the heart of celebrations at AALEAD, where students are being encouraged to share their talent with us. This time different performances included cultural dances, Xmas songs, break dance, fashion show etc.

AALEAd would like to acknowledge OBM, IMB and Deloitte for their support in terms of providing gifts donation for the elementary students. We are grateful to all the guests who joined us in celebrating the Holiday Party.

Henna tattoo workshop

On Wednesday November 18 2009, AALEAD Girls Program organized a workshop on Henna tattoo. The students learnt some interesting facts about henna and how it is used in different cultures. They also watched a video on how it’s very traditional and being done in South Asian region especially in Pakistan. They were very excited about using henna by themselves so they developed some designs and patterns on the paper, and later put it on their hands.

"We learnt that henna is used in a lot of cultures in particular South Asia, Middle East, and Northern Africa. Henna can be used on the hands, feet, and also as a hair dye. Henna is derived from a plant. Looking and designing henna yesterday was so fun everyone got into it including the boys and staff members. We hope to have another henna workshop in the future with more girls. “By the students.

“I enjoyed the Henna Tattoo Workshop a lot as I was able to express myself through the henna and learn about henna. Henna gave me a chance to doodle on my arms, unlike using pens and markers. I’ll definitely practice with henna later on.” another student

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AALEAD goes to Virginia BEACH

Dec 4th to the 6th, 2009

Watch the Community Summit Trailer!

Watch Performances!

A large number of Filipino American student organizations banded together this week to promote a "Community Summit" at the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia. These organizations worked under the name FAYA (Filipino American Youth Alliance). These students put together a full days worth of programs and workshops to discuss issues such as; cultural identity, social issues, and the future of the students' role in the community.
AALEAD was able to bring down 8 students to this event. As our students registered, they were introduced to different student organizers from the "Summit". The AALEAD students began to help with set up and organizing the workshop rooms. The workshops focused on personal stories, financial literacy, healthy lifestyles, and group dialogues. Between workshops, students began to hear from guest speakers who created the foundation for community organizing in the Filipino American community at Hampton Roads.

Following comments are from one of our high school students, David Doan:

Going to Virginia Beach was one of the most interesting trips we had at AALEAD. We learned a lot of stuff like about the Filipino culture. We learned about how to conserve money and we also put together skits and performances. We put together skits and the end of the day after all the workshops and hardworking we used to the skits to show what we learned. We met a lot of new people and the students there were awesome! The adults there were also very helpful.

After the trip to Virginia Beach, it inspired me and also my cousin to help AALEAD be as outstanding as the program down in VA Beach. The program down there is mostly student ran with little or no adult help. If we could atleast do what they are doing we can make AALEAD a better place for other people to come and join our program.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Dear friends and supporters,

You are invited to join us for our 2009 Holiday Parties!
FRIDAY, DEC 11th 5-7pm : MD Holiday Party @ Gilchrist Community Center

MONDAY, DEC 14th 5-7pm: DC Holiday Party @ MLK Library

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

116 Sack Lunches For Those Less Fortunate...Way To Go AALEAD'ers!

November 21st, 2009 seventeen of Maryland's middle and high schoolers united to create, package, and deliver sack lunches to Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless. In total 116 sack lunches were made, and each lunch included an encouraging letter hand written by the students themselves.

Two students wrote about their experience and answered the following question:
"Does helping others help me to be a better person? Why?"

My name is Kaison Wu. I come from a 100% Chinese family. I currently attend A. Mario Loiederman for the creative and performing arts. I enjoy art/chorus (electives). I am an 8th grader. I found AALEAD when my cousins went to AALEAD at Loiederman 2 years ago. This is my 3rd year in AALEAD. The first year was a blast, second year…well…okay, 3rd is undecided, it’s going well so far.Helping others does help yourself because you learn to spread knowledge to others, so they know or earn a certain need. When I help someone it helps me feel accomplished because it makes me know that I am making this world a better place.

- Kaison 8th grader

My name is JJ Querubin. I am in the 7th grade. I go to A. Mario Loiederman Middle School. The reason why I joined AALEAD is because my brother and sister were in it and my parents wanted me to join it, so I did. So when I went to the SSL hour (student service learning) to make sandwiches for the homeless, it made me a better person because knowing that people aren’t starving from food because some very nice Asian people gave them some great sandwiches. I’m not just saying that the people got food, I’m saying because my mom when she was little she was poor so she had to work at a very young age so that makes me so happy; and makes me feel like a better person.

- JJ 7th grader

Monday, December 07, 2009

December's Mentoring Event

This December, the Mentoring Program visited a museum yet unvisited by many of our pairs, and attended a Card Making Event at the US Postal Museum. Despite the weather (slushy and cold), 15 people represented AALEAD, some old friends and others new. Together, we learned special techniques for making beautiful greeting cards. The materials were bountiful, and ranged from stamps and stencils, to recycled paper samples and snowflake coffee filters.

After making two cards, we crossed the street back to Union Station, where we spent a short time looking at the model train exhibit and holiday tree, both gifts from Norway. Christine explained what the gnomes/elves standing next to the train tracks represented, and we finished with a group photo near the tree.

We hope our pairs, their friends, and families enjoy the rest of 2009!

AALEAD Maryland's Holiday Party!

Those of you who have been follow AALEAD on our blog are invited to our Maryland Holiday party this Friday!

Students and families from our Middle School, High School, Mentoring and Family Strengthening Programs will all be in attendance, as well as supportive members of the community. We are planning an exciting evening of student performances, contests and reflecting on the year to date, so if you have time, please come out and enjoy some food!
What: 2009 AALEAD MD Holiday Party
When: Friday, December 11th 5 - 7pm
Where: Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity (11319 Elkin Street; Wheaton, MD 20902)
Hope to see you on the 11th! If you have any questions or would like to RSVP, please feel free to call or email jhenry@aalead.org.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Who Loves Bubble Tea?!?

The Maryland Middle schools continued our cultural journey this week by having a presentation and activity done about China/Taiwan. We learned about the history of bubble tea, and the students were able to make some of their own to drink. Thank you to Karen, our guest, for teaching us how to make such a delicious drink. Henry from Eastern Middle School demonstrates in this video how to make bubble tea...enjoy and bottoms up!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thanks to Mr. George Cabalu, AALEAD will be a little warmer this winter

It was one of the first chilly Fall days of the year. Naturally, the office was cold in the morning, prompting AALEAD staff to activate the heat. To our dismay, the heat repeatedly refused to turn on.

Fortunately, Mr. George Cabalu, understanding the seriousness of the situation and the negative impact it would have on our community center and youth, generously offered to donate a brand new water heater. He additionally offered to have our gutter repaired. We are now rest-assured that our office and programs will be well-heated and continue to run comfortably and smoothly.

From all of us at AALEAD, thanks Mr. Cabalu!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Preparing for the Sulu Series

The Sulu Series is this Saturday at the words, beats, and life church.
There are 4-5 people performing at it. Me and Alex are one of the 5 performance.
We've been working extra hard on this slam poetry and we have only 2 days until the performance and we barely remembered all our lines. But we have confidence that this will be a great one.
We wrote about how people criticize Asians and how they always get bullied in school and on the streets. So we thought we should say something about it. It will be interesting so if you want to support me and Alex and give us more confidence in our work. It would be an honor to see you at our performance this Saturday.
The church is close to bell multicultural high school. So if you have nothing to do and want to kill time, just stop by. The Sulu Series will begin around 7-9 p.m. So Please please stop by if you get a chance. For more information just search up Dc sulu series or Contact Alex Cena. Thank You
Written By David Nguyen.

Why I keep coming to aalead.

I felt like coming to AALEAD because there is a lot of stuff to learn from all the staff at AALEAD and they help us with homework and school. The reason i come is i can meet new friends and staff at AALEAD and chill with other people after school because i don't want to be on the computer all the time so i want to come out and hang out with friends and play some ball. After AALEAD program is over and there is always food for u when u come and do a lot of programs like cooking on Thursday, meeting on Wednesday and there is like holiday events for every holiday. There is a lot of helpful staff here at AALEADthat is willing to help people with school work and others like important stuff with and i really got to thank to all the staffs at AALEADthat help me with a lot of problems i had from the past like getting kicked out of school and coming here to AALEAD and they talk to me about why did i get kicked out and i told them that i got in to fights and stuff or not wearing the right stuff for school (jeans and T shirt). The people that i am really thank for is Alex and all the otherAALEAD staffs because they have really helped me on a lot of stuff that i needed help on and if they weren't there to help me with all this stuff i wouldn't even turn out to be a good kid right now but yes there is really a lot of things to learn at AALEAD and helpful staffs that is willing to help you on anything that they can help you on. The reason why i am coming to AALEAD is that i really want to learn about how to become a good kid and not turn out to be a kid that's in a gang or like wannabe gangsta. I am trying to change that and not go that path of being one. There is a lot of things that i am going though but i am telling some of the AALEAD staff about the drama i been though, so some of the staff that can help me with they tells me whats good and whats bad.

Written by Kevin Chen

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Full Circle @ Woolly Mammoth Theatre

Thanks to Woolly Mammoth Theatre, who generously provided free tickets for AALEAD, students and staff got to see an amazing performance of Full Circle. The story portrayed "A journey through East Germany during the fall of the wall."

There really isnt one way to describe the performance, which had audience members moving from place to place. Our students had never seen something like it. One student mentioned that she "thought it was going to be a boring play, where you just sit and watch stuff" but that it was actually quite entertaining and exciting!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AALEAD helps out Martha's Table

On Saturday, November 7, a group of our mentors, mentees, DC & MD high school and middle school students participated in a sandwich making event benefiting Martha’s Table, a local non-profit serving the needs of the DC community.

Before the sandwich making process began, the group had a small lunch and also listened to a small presentation about what services Martha’s Table provides.

With the spirit of volunteerism, the group worked diligently at making and wrapping lean turkey and ham sandwiches. By the end of the event, the group donated a total of 167 sandwiches and 12 pounds of fresh fruit.

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to participate in such a worthy cause!

Monday, November 02, 2009


On October 27th AALEAD hosted its annual Haunted House at the AALEAD Center in DC. AALEAD invited elementary students from Bancroft and Thompson Elementary to share in an early Halloween celebration. High school students from Wilson, Cardozo, and Bell High school came together and built an amazing haunted maze on the second floor of the center. The Haunted House was filled with everything from students wearing scary masks, strobe lights, tons of spider webs, and scary music.

While elementary students waited their turn to enter the haunted house tour, stations were set up on the first floor to keep them entertained. There were stations to get face paint, play board games, hear scary stories, and to color in pictures. After everyone had gone into the haunted house, the elementary students got to participate in a costume contest and possibly win a$10 Target gift card. For the elementary students, Vy Nguyen won the gift card.

After the elementary students left, the SSP students got to relax with a couple of games, pizza, and music. Olivia Milholo created a scavenger hunt in the AALEAD Center and SSP student searched high and low for the clues hidden in different rooms. Kennedy Nguyen won the Halloween Costume contest and received a $20 gift card to Pot Belly's.
This year's AALEAD Haunted House was big success. We had about 30 high school students help out and around 80 elementary students come by. Thank you to all the staff and students that came out and helped. I look forward to next year's haunted house, which will be bigger and scarier!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Party Fun While Thinking of Those Less Fortunate

On Wednesday the 28th Maryland Middle School and High School had an incredible Halloween Party at the Wheaton Community Center. Students from Einstein and Blair High School got together and decorated the area with amazing fun decorations and held some exciting events and stations like face painting and pumpkin pie eating contest. It was great to see High School students and Middle School students able to interact with one another and have a great time.
Along with the party, the Middle School students from Parkland and Eastern helped to write "get well" cards to victims of the tsunami in Samoa and the flooding in the Philippines. The activity helped to remind them that their community can also extend to the global community and that issues in other countries can have impacts on our lives here in the U.S.
Thank you to all the Maryland staff helping to organize the event, and also to the students from middle school to high school. Your words of encouragement are more powerful than you can imagine, and the families of the tragedies will be thankful for your support.