Hi friends! As some of you may know by now, I am running the 2020 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in March and raising money for a great non-profit organization, Apex for Youth. I've set a fundraising goal of $1,000 and am asking for your help in reaching that goal. Every dollar counts and is HIGHLY appreciated - please consider chipping in!
Apex for Youth is an organization founded in 1992 that provides academic / social assistance to underserved Asian and immigrant youth in New York City. It serves students from 1st to 12th grade, and aims to support them through programming and one-on-one mentorship as they improve their communication skills, progress through the school system, and eventually apply for college.
This is a worthwhile and underserved cause. ~29% of Asian Americans live in poverty in New York, among the highest of all racial categories, with the highest concentrations in senior and refugee populations. Many of those in need are not proficient in English.
1 in 2 is born into poverty
1 in 4 lives in a home where nobody over the age of 14 speaks English
1 in 4 does not graduate high school in time or at all
There is a need for organizations like Apex, and yet less than 1% of foundation and government funding goes to charities focused on Asian Americans. The model minority myth perpetuates the idea that all Asians are successful- doctors, lawyers, naturally academically inclined- not in need of assistance. Combined with a lack of political representation, this ensures that children living in poverty continue to slip through the cracks.
This cause is personal for me. My parents first came to North America in 90s, having grown up in a post-Cultural Revolution China. They came with close to no money and very few belongings, like many other immigrants. And like a lot of those others, they were escaping an untenable sociopolitical environment, leaving their families behind, and seeking a brighter future. With the help of great public resources and organizations like Apex, they eventually succeeded in finding their place in Canada. As a result, my sister and I were able to grow up in relative privilege, never having experienced true poverty.
Since moving to New York, I have met Chinese Americans in the city who came from the same province that my parents came from, speak the same dialect, and yet our lives could not be more different. I have felt and continue to feel an immense level of mixed guilt, gratitude, and sadness for the disparities I've witnessed, and giving back through organizations like Apex is the most direct way I know how to help.
Please consider donating! If I haven't convinced you that this is a worthwhile cause, please also know that I will absolutely return the favour and donate to all of your future charitable half marathon / marathon fundraisers (maybe we can do one together next time!)
For more details on Apex, please visit the website at https://www.apexforyouth.org/