2023 APA Youth Advocate Teen Free Leadership Training
- Empowering AAPI Youth is a half-day interactive seminar for Asian American and Pacific Islander high school students where they will:
- Network with peers and mentors
- Understand AAPI history and identities
- Participate in a college readiness panel
- Learn to become an AAPI advocate and more!
This year, the seminar was led by Michelle Cai, the newly appointed Program Director for OCA-WHV Youth programs. The seminar began with opening remarks by Jaclyn Liu, the President of OCA-WHV. She provided insights into the history of OCA as a national non-profit organization and emphasized the commitment to fostering leadership, cultural awareness, and advocacy among AAPI youth. Dr. Bing Dang, the VP of OCA-WHV Youth Programs, then discussed the various youth activities organized or sponsored by OCA-WHV.
After an interactive Ice Break, the first session was presented by Ashley Dang and Ruhi Khanna from MAANGO, an OCA sponsored student group who focuses on AAPI history research and education Initiatives. They shared their unique experience and discussed common challenges that AAPI youth students face. Through slides and Q&As, they provided deeper insights on the root cause of the bias, discrimination, and hate toward AAPI communities and promoted a sense of pride and connection among the participants.
The second session focused on college applications and was led by a panel consisting of Henry Yuan, Victor Cai, Catherine Can, and Michelle Cai. The panelists shared valuable advice on selecting the right college, crafting compelling application essays, and navigating standardized tests. Using an interactive mobile app, the panel engaged the attendees by soliciting questions and displaying them on a large screen.The participants then vote for the order of the questions through their smart phones. The engagement was fun and interactive.
The last session was delivered by Johan Hernandez Saris, who was invited by OCA National to teach financial literacy for the high school students. This session equipped the participants with essential skills in money management and credit building as they are transitioning into adulthood.
Throughout the seminar, attendees had the opportunity to network with their peers and potential mentors, formed bonds and shared experiences as AAPI youth advocates, also enjoyed delicious Asian food. Upon the completion of the training, the attendees were granted a certificate signed the OCA National President, Linda Ng and the Executive Director, Thu Nguyen.