Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Washington Post Best Practice Award Ceremony

On Thursday, June 24th of 2010 The Washington Post and The Center for Non-Profit Advancement Co-Hosted their Annual Best Practice Award. This year Asian American LEAD was one of the 5 finalist along with Byte Back, The Children's Inn for NIH, Global Impact, and PHILLIPS Program for Friends and Family for the Best Practice Award.

With such a small organization and a handful of employees, AALEAD closed down their office and headed over to the Washington Post building where the event was being held. With all the support from every employee, AALEAD stood out as a very supportive, passionate and loving organization, "Even as an intern with 2 weeks under my belt, going to the Best Practice Award Ceremony with the entire office, no one was left behind, spoke true to the relationships that define AALEAD not only as an effective non-profit but also as a loving family." says Summer Intern Ruth Le.

The event was so intense, the Host of the event even called it a "Grammy award ceremony for Non-Profit organizations" as oppose to "Non-Profit Idol", "Oscars", and "Academy award." A very well made video of all the finalist were shown at the beginning of the event that definitely showcased all the wonderful things that each non-profit had to offer. This lovely, intense video was made by WeYo. During the event everyone was so anxious to find out who amongst the 5 finalist have won the Best Practice Award; everyone was ready to jump out of their seats. Two weeks prior to the event The Center for Non-Profit Advancement have already chosen the winner, building the anxiety up in every organization in trying to figure out if they have won or not. Winning the Award came with a cash prize of $10,000.00 and a full scholarship to attend Georgetown University.

Unfortunately, AALEAD did not win the Best Practice Award 2010 but they did receive a beautiful, clear, glass plaque award. Just becoming a finalist for the Best Practice Award has sent AALEAD spiraling upward; they have been receiving wonderful offers from multiple organizations. These offers brings about a new stage for AALEAD. “...Although we were not chosen to be the winner, it was the entire process that proved to be the most rewarding – being able to concretely identify and list the many best practices we are currently using, which has helped us become the successful organization we are today,” expressed Rick Chen, Manager of Development, who along with Kendra Lee (Programs Coordinator) and Rosetta Lai (Executive), poured their heart and soul into the paper work that took place 8 months before. "Although this was our first time applying, we did great for making it this far, as a finalist. We will use where we are today as a baseline for continuous improvement. Excellence is a journey, the process intrinsically is rewarding in itself. Although, it would be great to be recognized as a winnder. We can set as a goal." proclaimed Rosetta Lai.

AALEAD is now looking forward to another great year with hopes in creating better programs and reaching out to more students. "It's not about the award, it's about how well we all work together to create this organization. I am really proud of everyone, especially Rick, Kendra and our board, especially Hansel," Rosetta Lai stated.

We all wish AALEAD the best in the future. "I just know that they will always do great, everyone is so passionate here," says Summer Intern Pam Vang.

Top: Rosetta and Hansel during interview
Middle Top: All employees waiting by table stand
Middle Bottom: All employees anxiously waiting to hear who the winner is
Bottom: Rosetta and Hansel with the Host and Board of Directer accepting Finalist Award

Other photos from the event...

Top Left:
Christine and Masoora
Top Right: Jonathon, Don, Lan, and Alex
Middle Left: Raj and Yamir
Middle Right: Jonathon, Rosetta, Elissa, Ruth, and Pam
Middle: Christine, Masoora, Yamir, and Jessica
Bottom Left: Micah and Jessica
Bottom Right: Hansel, Host, and Rosetta
Bottom Bottom: Chut and Hansel

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Intro to Intern 2!

Hey! I'm Ruthie, one of four new summer interns at AA LEAD!

Hailing from the home of the Red Sox, Boston, MA, I just finished my first year at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, studying public policy and law. It's my first time in DC and I think I'm falling in love with it, for me it's a mix of west coast/east coast mentalities.

I love rain, playing and watching sports, adventuring to new places, youth enrichment, jamming on the piano, bass and vocals, meeting new people and learning new things.

All of the interns have been anxiously planning and waiting to start hanging out with the students and learning from them while teaching them some things we've encountered too.

Feel free to ask me anything else, I might just surprise you!


Hey all, I am Chut. I just came back from college and I am working at aalead for the summer. I grew up in DC and graduated from Bell. I been in and out of AALead since I was a kid. Some of the things I like to do are boxing, learning history, football, and biking. See you guys soon.

Left: My posse brother Ibrahim Right: My brother Tuan


Hi everyone! I'm Elisa, one of the other interns here at AALEAD (just intern, not intern1 or intern2). I just graduated from Harvard where I volunteered with a bunch of afterschool and mentoring programs for youth in Boston's Chinatown. Although I went to school in the Northeast, sunny California will always be my home!

Some facts about me:
1. I don't drink coffee (I relied on energy drinks for those college all-nighters)
2. I've never gone surfing (a common question asked to Californians)
3. I LOVE Jamba Juice and almost always (99% of the time) order the same thing
4. I've definitely forgotten how to ride a bike (trust me, I tried)
5. My favorite stuffed animal as a kid was a toy platypus.

Curious about anything else? Feel free to start up a conversation with me!

P.S. As the image above suggests, my favorite meal is brunch!

hello AALEAD!!!

I'm Intern 1 but you can call me Pam (not Pammy). I am currently a student at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and is spending the next month and half here in DC with the TFAS program. I am excited to be working with the AALEAD youth this summer!!! can't wait to meet them all and implement all the new ideas I have everyday, well most of them.

A few personal things about me.. I love starbucks (iced white mocha anyone?)
, I enjoy playing football, and Shopping (stress reliever, the mall is my track). Just a few years ago I started to really get intouch with my artistic side again so, back at home I have my own web design company and maybe one day I'll start my own clothing line, a bakery shop, and a photography studio!

Meet PinkPink
and NiNi, I miss them dearly, they're my babies. I got news yesterday that NiNi lost her first tooth :) she is only 3 months and PinkPink is 2 years old. Since we're on age, I am 21 and enjoys going out to eat, SUSHI!?!?!? welps, school in DC is intense and I should be studying right now for my midterm later on today.

I'm really enjoying my time here at AALEAD with all the extremely, passionate employees, LOVING IT!!!!!


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

AALEAD participates in Fiesta Asia 2010

On Saturday May 22nd, AALEAD staff, students, and volunteers particpated in the 5th Annual Fiesta Asia Street Festival on Pennslyvania Ave. There were lots of games, cultural exhibitions, and even a flash Bollywood dance (Look for the AALEAD orange shirts!)

AALEAD also proudly carried our banner in the Festival's parade and cheers of "AA-LEAD! Take the LEAD!" filled the air.

Thank you to all the staff, board members, volunteers, and mentors who came out for this wonderful event. And special thanks to Christian Oh and Wuiping Yap for making AALEAD's particpation in this event possible.

See you again next year!

Visiting Kaboom and meeting with Roopal

Girls Leadership Program organized a field trip to Kaboom on May 26th 2010, where the students got a chance to meet Roopal as an Asian American female professional and also to know about Kaboom which is a national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds.

Roopal gave an introductory tour of the office and explained about Kaboom to the students. They liked the environment of the office which was very colorful and refreshing.Later on, they heard from Roopal about her professional background and her experiences.

Thanking Roopal for her time and having the girl s at Kaboom!

Students reflection on Karaoke experience

On May 20th 2010, we (AALEAD Girls Leadership Program) spent the Thursday afternoon at a Karaoke bar in Virginia . We had a very fun crazy afternoon where we enjoyed singing our heart and soul out. There was a variety of songs including hip hop, ballads, rap. We even tried singing in Korean but could not complete it. While singing, we also had snacks and enjoyed eating Kimbap, Dok bokki.

Afterwards we went to a Korean café named Shilla and we had a chance to taste two Korean desserts one of which was PatBing Su.

This will be an unforgettable experience and we all hope to do it again. Kamsamnida AALEAD!!!!!! (Thank You in Korean)

By GLP Students

Raising awareness on HIV/AIDS, Cancer while helping children at Children's Hospital

For 2 weeks, the Maryland Middle School and DC Elementary After School programs collaborated to help Children's Hospital to raise toys, books, and activity books for their little patients. Through our staff member Carol Hazelwood who has volunteered at Children's for over 16 years, we were able to connect with the hospital. As the middle school AALEAD'ers raised the donations, the elementary AALEAD'ers decorated bags to hold the items. Both programs also helped to fold 1000 paper cranes inspired by Sadako Sasaki's story, Thousand Paper Cranes. While we collaborated, the students also communicated with each other through short videos. They were able to talk to each other and say "hi" through these video recordings. Each week the middle school AALEAD'ers were so excited to see the elementary AALEAD'ers.

The Middle Schoolers were able to raise over 60 items!!!! Below is a video from two students, Thao and Alex, who took it upon themselves to go around their neighborhood and raise donations.

This is just one of several stories of how students really took responsibility to help Children's Hospital. AALEAD is so proud of our students for thinking of others above themselves! GREAT JOB EAS and MD MS! You guys Rock!!!!