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