Many children in New York City come from struggling immigrant families. Their parents often work seven days a week, do not have time to spend with them at home, did not attend college, and do not know how to navigate the American education system. Language barriers and racial issues often affect their confidence in school socially and academically. Statistically, APA children are the most bullied ethic group around the country and in New York City one in three will not graduate high school on-time or at all. With limited exposure outside their neighborhood, these children have difficulty imagining what is possible for their future.
Apex for Youth delivers possibility to children from underserved Asian communities in New York City. We recruit professionals to volunteer to be positive role models for these youth. Through mentoring, education, and athletic programs, our volunteers guide and inspire our youth to overcome the many challenges they face. In our 20 years, thousands of volunteers have served thousands of youth, many returning to volunteer themselves.
My background is very relatable to APEX students. My parents are both immigrants. They worked full time and had rather lengthy commutes everyday back and forth Queens and Manhattan's Chinatown. My father was an accountant to Chinatown's small business community, so during tax season, I would see them even less frequently. Looking back at my adolescence, my relative success could have easily been derailed due to a lack of guidance and structure. The path to a bright future should not be so unpredictable. Apex helps mentees make right decisions when no immediate role models are otherwise available.
--Photo credit to Ben Ko Photography: http://benkophotography.com
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