Young AAPI Leaders Convene for the Fifth White House AAPI Youth Forum

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Young AAPI Leaders Convene for the Fifth White House AAPI Youth Forum

On July 9, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), the White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE), and the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) hosted the fifth White House AAPI Youth Forum and launched the second year of the Initiative’s E3! Ambassadors youth engagement program. Over 150 young AAPI leaders attended the event, along with leaders in the Administration and community organizations throughout the country.

Participants at the Fifth White House AAPI Youth Forum

Participants at the Fifth White House AAPI Youth Forum on July 9, 2015. (Photo by WHIAAPI staff)

The Youth Forum brought together student leaders, young professionals, and advocates working within the federal government and in the community to discuss issues important to AAPI youth. We look forward to announcing the 2015-2016 E3! Ambassadors at the end of the summer. Interested applicants are encouraged to view the application at bit.ly/ApplyE3.

The Youth Forum opened with the official launch of the application for the 2015-2016 class of E3! Ambassadors. The Department of Education’s E3! Ambassadors Program equips young leaders with the opportunity to work with the federal government to brainstorm and implement their own unique ideas to help improve the overall quality of life for AAPIs across the country.

The inaugural class of 31 E3! Ambassadors came from 29 different cities and together they organized more than 55 events during the 2014-2015 year. E3! Ambassadors hosted youth leadership summits on campus, created ongoing dialogue in their communities about issues like bullying prevention and mental health resources, and organized panel discussions and Google hangouts on a variety of important topics affecting AAPIs across the country.

During the opening session of the Youth Forum, participants heard from Kyle Lierman, Assistant Director of Public Engagement at OPE, about key youth initiatives such as the It’s On Us Initiative. And Parag Mehta, Chief of Staff to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, addressed the group about the need for the AAPI community to seek solidarity with other communities and the pressing issue of gender equality. Mehta summed up his keynote by stating, “Progress doesn’t happen in a moment, it happens in a movement.”

Deputy Director Jason Tengco moderated a discussion with Juliet Choi of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Kana Enomoto of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Grande Lum of the Community Relations Service at the Department of Justice. Panelists shared their career paths and offered advice on pursuing careers in public service.

Following the opening session of the Youth Forum, participants convened in issue-focused workshops on education, mental health, pathways to public service, and immigration. In these breakout sessions, participants worked with their peers to engage on issues that are relevant to their campuses and communities. The day included a wrap-up by June Kao of ECAASU on ways to stay connected.

E3

The Youth Forum brought together student leaders, young professionals, and advocates working within the federal government and in the community to discuss issues important to AAPI youth. We look forward to announcing the 2015-2016 E3! Ambassadors at the end of the summer. Interested applicants are encouraged to view the application at bit.ly/ApplyE3.

Bessie Chan is an Advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.