2022 Youth4Am Closing Ceremony Speaker Highlights

Last edited August 28, 12:47 PM EST

On Saturday, August 6th, Youth4AM celebrated the completion of our fourth annual SHSAT and Public Speaking Camp with over 200 parents, students, and esteemed speakers, including the following:

Edward Braunstein, New York State Assemblyman representing the 26th Assembly District in Queens, New York.

“I just want to congratulate all the graduates of this program today on finishing this leadership course and I will be remiss if I don’t provide a piece of advice. That little piece of advice is sometimes taking on challenges that make you nervous. For me, you don’t realize what you’re good at if you don’t try. It’s important not to be afraid of failure and try.”

Linda Lee, City councilmember of New York City's 23rd City Council district

“Hi, my name is Linda Lee, City Councilmember for the 23rd district out here in eastern Queens. I just wanted to congratulate you and … to thank Youth4AM. We need more of these programs for sure. And as an Asian American myself, I take great pride in being celebrated and recognized. So thank you so much Youth4AM for having this youth program, and we continue to look forward to hearing your successes. Thank you so much.”

John Liu, New York State senator since 2019

“I just want to say that there are lots of issues facing our community and you’re front and center in all of our efforts… I also want to take this opportunity to encourage young people to think about completing high school or college as it may be and going on the next step in their educational career as otherwise but it’s important to remember that being part of a community… means always looking to see how you can give back… We need that more than ever with years of a global pandemic and we all understand how much anti-Asian hate has increased so it’s all about responsibilities, and you’re responsible to get back and make our community voices heard.”

Toby Stavisky, New York State Senator, representing the 16th district since 1999

“By background, I am a former high school teacher so I understand how important the program is both completing the SHSAT and leadership question portion. You receive training not just in the subject matter in how to pass the exam but also in leadership skills. Civic involvement and civic engagement are so important and we’re always looking for new faces of young people to become active in the community and to volunteer your services while they’re going to school so I congratulate you on completing this program, and I wish everybody a successful college application.”

Grace Meng, U.S. representative for New York's 6th congressional district since 2013

”I hope that you guys make the most of this opportunity… I wanted to be here to thank all of our volunteers for the tremendous service that you are doing for our city, for the Asian American community, and for our future leaders. I know that you could be easily doing other things that might seem more fun, but you’ve decided to dedicate your time and energy to this very noble cause to make sure that every student here in New York City has an equal opportunity as others to attend the best schools here in the city.”

Sandra Ung, New York City Council member for the 20th district

“I know that a part of your program is to talk about civic engagement and I think that is so important as you are going forward in your career, and I know all of you guys will do great… So as you go on your careers… I hope you will always remember the community you come from…the local community that supported you, to always think about ways you can give back… whether that be running for office, joining your community board, or joining a civic organization. Or simply helping out your fellow Asian Americans.”

All speakers praised the hardworking students for rigorously preparing for the SHSAT and for using their voices to educate others about social issues, like NYC spending vs results in different education districts.

The ceremony concluded with testimonies from students and from TAs and Leadership Team members who helped run the program. You can view the testimony videos here.

Youth4AM would like to thank everyone for their support of our program and wish for the best of luck for the 2022 SHSAT!

2022 Youth4AM Opening Ceremony Speaker Highlights

Last edited July 29, 12:47 AM EST

We are proud to announce that Youth4AM’s fourth annual Opening Ceremony was a great success. We invited all parents to come out and cultivate the next generation of Chinese students and leaders. The seminar delved into diverse opportunities available to prospective teacher assistants accepted into our Leadership Program, and the experiences of interns in each of our departments: Academics, Administration, Future, IT, and Marketing. This year’s Speaker Night also featured the following: We welcomed nearly 200 attendees and numerous esteemed guests who spoke on the topic of equal educational opportunities. 

As the founding president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York, Wai Wah Chin has been actively advocating for the equal rights of New York citizens, especially in regard to equal educational opportunities. In addition, she is an advocate for the Asian American community and addresses the problems faced by Asian Americans in New York.

“if you want to talk about something that’s institutionalized, what’s happening on the street there comes from what’s happening in the school rooms when the Asians are told you don’t belong here … I think that we have to step back and say if we care about this kind of prejudice and bias, we have to stop it right at where the selection happens in the elementary schools, the middle schools, the high schools, and college because that actually trickles down further into your jobs and your board representations.”

As the former Co-President and the Co-Founder of PLACE (Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education) NYC, she has helped open up numerous opportunities for the students of New York. She advocates for challenging academic courses for all students and believes all students, no matter their background, can succeed.

“Many of our families don’t really have backup plans and really allied with the school system to deliver placements that are appropriate for all of you. You have to do the best you can … Get involved and understand what is happening.”

Ann Hsu is the chairperson of the SFUSD (San Francisco Unified Board of Education) and the former president of the Galileo High School PTSA. In more recent years, Hsu has formed the Chinese/API Voter Outreach Taskforce as a response to her disappointment in the performance of the current school board. She wanted to allow more voters to contribute to the elections, including non-citizens.

“Students were in front of the computer for months and experienced much loss of not just academics but also social skills and life skills. So I started paying attention to our school board and lo and behold, many of us parents found that the education board didn’t even think this was a problem, didn’t even realize or acknowledge that there was a problem … what were they doing? … I had enough so I in a group with other Asian Americans got together to really educate our population on the importance of engaging in politics. And that’s what I want to highlight to all of you, is that when you get to the voting age…to really learn who is affecting your day-to-day.”

Selena Chu is the Co-Vice Chair for the SFUSD Parent Advisory Council (PAC) as well as the Chair of Ulloa Elementary School’s School Site Council (SSC), a member of SF Parents Coalition, and a member of the Chinese Parent Advisory Council (CPAC).

Chu first started contributing toward improving the public education system when the COVID quarantine began, when she made suggestions for the SFUSD regarding when her kids will be allowed to go back to school, but soon faced backlash from commissioners. She then decided to get involved with the school board recall group and, after months of rallying, tabling, and hanging door hangers, helped form the API/Chinese American New Voter’s Registration Task Force. The group registered 546 new voters after 1.5 months and, at last, three school board commissioners were recalled and victory was achieved for the parents and students of the SFUSD.

“I really want to encourage our students, don’t let the administrators or other people tell you how you should feel. If you feel like you are being discriminated against and it leaves you with a bad feeling then that’s how you feel. We need to have an open dialogue. Tell someone, speak to someone, and share our feeling. Don’t be ashamed of yourself.“

Connie Hsu is the ex-Co-President of Stuyvesant’s Parents’ Association (PTA) and the president of the Chinese Outreach Association. She is also on the advisory board of the American Educated Chinese Foundation (AEC), which is a nonprofit organization that provides services to train Chinese American students into global leaders. The students tackle a variety of global issues like environmental sustainability. 

“In the past four years, I’ve talked to many parents and students so I understand that for many of our students, especially the ones in specialized high schools, that life is not easy. It’s pretty tough, especially with the stress coming from schoolwork and now … college applications. They feel a lot of pressure to do a lot of things.”

After the speakers’ insightful presentations, each department within Youth4AM offered a glimpse into the inner workings of the program. Furthermore, parents got the opportunity to meet their students’ TAs. Thank you to speakers, students, parents, and TAs for making this event possible. 

Youth4AM has experienced significant leadership team growth, with more college students accepted into the program this year via the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). In 2021, 5 college students were admitted, and in 2022, we have accepted 25+ college students (at least 6 from Binghamton, 4 from BU, 4 from CMU, 2 from NYU, UM, Columbia, etc.). Half of our students are former members of Youth4AM and chose to stay to learn. We are optimistic that our continuing expansion will help to improve the quality of the program and train high school students in tutoring and management more cohesively. Youth4AM sincerely invites all parents to come out and cultivate the next generation of leaders.

2022 Youth4AM Opening Ceremony
and Speakers Event

  Last edited July 3, 2021 1:12 AM EST

MEET THE SPEAKERS

Wai Wah Chin

Founding President

of

Chinese American Citizens

Alliance of Greater New York

Yiatin Chu

Co-president, Co-founder

of

PLACE NYC

Ann Hsu

San Francisco

Unified Board of Education

Member

Selena Chu

SFUSD

Parent Advisory Council

Connie Hsu

Stuy PTA

Co-president

New York Residents Alliance is proud to bring back Youth4AM for its fourth year! To kick off 2022’s summer session we will be hosting an opening ceremony on July 5th between 7 and 9 pm. Among the speakers are:

RSVP here. We hope to see you there!

Youth4AM’s Teacher Assistant Seminar

Last edited May 12, 2022 7:43PM EDT

On May 7, we hosted a seminar for prospective teacher assistants to learn more about the roles available to them if they are accepted to join our Leadership Program this summer. Leaders from all departments presented and addressed the various expectations and responsibilities that joining their teams would entail. We highlighted all of the benefits of becoming a TA for the Youth 4AM SHSAT summer program, and we ended the session with a Q&A. We highly encourage any and all high school students eligible to apply, and we can’t wait to welcome you into Youth 4AM!

Youth4AM's Annual Gala

Last edited April 19, 2022 3:47PM EDT

Youth4AM’s Annual Gala was a success! This was the first gala that NYCRA has held since the start of the pandemic and we were so excited to see everyone! We were able to present many awards to select youth leaders and community educational council (CEC) leaders. All the speakers gave great speeches and presentations. The gala commemorated the unity of the Asian community as well as the need to continue to keep the SHSAT in NYC. A warm thank you to every student, parent, and CEC that came out. There will be more amazing events like these in the future to come!

2022 SHS Seminar Recap

Last edited April 16, 2022 08:25PM EST

On Saturday, April 2nd, 2022, we held a Specialized High School Seminar to inform students and parents about some of the high schools that kids can go to in NYC.First off, we went through a presentation about Youth4AM, our SHSAT preparation program for middle schoolers. Edward Wu discussed our tutoring methods, our results, and what makes our program unique.

Next we went over the actual structure of the SHSAT. Anna Fang discussed the various sections the SHSAT is split up into and some various tips to utilize when taking the test.

We then moved onto the actual high school showcase! For each school, we had a representative (usually from that school) present the basics and the quirks of each high school. There was then a short Q&A for the speaker to answer anything the audience had to ask. Here are the representatives we had for each school:

  • Erica Liu for Stuyvesant
  • Vicky Liu** for Townsend Harris
  • Melody Chen for Brooklyn Tech
  • Josie Nakatani for Brooklyn Latin
  • Henry Wang for Hunter
  • Joe Ren for Queens High School for the Sciences
  • Erica Liu** for Bronx Science
  • Evelyn Jiang for Staten Island Tech

** Because some of our previously-decided speakers were not able to make it, these people presented information for the high school even though they did not attend it.

Here’s the recording of the SHS Seminar, in case you couldn’t make it!

2022 Youth4AM TA Webinar Interest Meeting

Last edited April 08, 2022 10:34PM EST

Have you been thinking about applying to volunteer at Youth4AM? Are you interested in becoming a TA at our program? But first, don’t you want to learn more about our program before applying? There are so many opportunities offered here at Youth4AM. JOIN US ON MAY 15TH AT 6PM FOR OUR TA INTEREST MEETING! Let’s explore all the possibilities offered here at Youth4AM as well as how you can chime in to help your community today! All of your lingering questions will be clarified! Sign up with this registration form!  Looking forward to seeing you guys there! GOO YOUTH!!

2022 Youth4AM TA Webinar Interest Meeting

Last edited April 08, 2022 10:34PM EST

Have you been thinking about applying to volunteer at Youth4AM? Are you interested in becoming a TA at our program? But first, don’t you want to learn more about our program before applying? There are so many opportunities offered here at Youth4AM. JOIN US ON MAY 15TH AT 6PM FOR OUR TA INTEREST MEETING! Let’s explore all the possibilities offered here at Youth4AM as well as how you can chime in to help your community today! All of your lingering questions will be clarified! Sign up with this registration form!  Looking forward to seeing you guys there! GOO YOUTH!!

2022 Youth4AM Specialized High School Online Seminar

Last edited March 23, 2022 7:55PM EST

Are you still confused about how the specialized high school admissions process works? Are you wondering about what extracurriculars are offered at each of the specialized high schools? What about the teachers or the workload? Please join us on April 2nd from 8:00pm to 9:30pm for our online seminar led by high school students from the very top high schools in NYC. From their own experiences, they will cover the admissions process, answer all of your lingering questions, and provide personal insight into their daily high school lives. For more information, check out our event flyer and register here! Can’t wait to see you there!

2021 Closing Ceremony Summary

Last edited September 16, 2021 10:10 PM EST

And that’s a wrap on Youth4AM’s third annual SHSAT and Public Speaking Camp. With a turnout of over 150 participants, Youth4AM’s virtual closing ceremony included many memorable speakers such as Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Congresswoman Grace Meng, City Council Candidate Linda Lee, Assemblyman William Colton, Senator Andrew Gounardes, Councilman Peter Koo, District 25 CEC Member Joseph Chou, District 26 CEC Member Albert Suhu, District 28 CEC Member Lu Zhao, and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein.

All speakers commemorated the hardworking students for their perseverance and dedication towards not only preparing for the SHSAT, but also for using their voices to educate others against social issues. Students utilized skills from the camp to prepare two detailed presentations regarding Asian hate, which included the history of asian hate, portrayal of the inaccuracies of asian stereotypes, as well as how to stop asian hate itself. 

Distinguished students–Ella Chen, Melanie Chen, Roland Chia, Maxwell Derella, Christy Fu, Brandon Hu, and Selina Zheng–were recognized for their achievements in our camp with a certificate signed by Senator Toby Stavisky. Youth4AM would like to thank everyone for their support in our program and wishes for the best of luck for the 2021 SHSAT.

10 Things You Can Do To Stop Asian Hate

Last edited June 24, 2021 11:43 PM EST

Ed Jones AFP via Getty
  1. Educate yourself! Learn about the history of ever-present Asian hate, and how stereotypes and media portrayal feed into this cycle
  2. Learn how to intervene safely- distraction tactics, draw attention 
  3. Support local asian owned businesses
  4. Be loud. Loud does not just mean volume in protests or other events. Make use of your voice in the most effective ways possible. 
  5. Speak out against hate crimes or issues that you witness
  6. Don’t be afraid to attend protests- they are a key way to use your voice 
  7. Participate in local government- know your local politicians, vote in every election
  8. Do not forget that unity is powerful. Your peers, relatives, and fellow allies are here. They will stand with you and you all will empower others.  
  9. Be picky with those you surround yourself in. Surround yourself with those that inspire you, and push you to fight for change. They can play a big role in your ideas and actions.
  10. Do not let setbacks dull your passion. Sometimes situations do not work in your favor, but it does not mean it is an indicator to quit. Perseverance and resilience is key when it comes to fighting for justice- nothing happens overnight. 

2021 Youth4AM Speaker Night Highlights

Last edited June 9, 2021 9:41 PM EST

The third annual Youth4AM Opening Ceremony and Speaker Night has ended. See what this year’s esteemed guests had to say on the topic of #StopAsianHate!

Yu Lin – NYC Council District 38 Candidate (Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Greenwood Heights)

“Without a voice in the public, we are nothing to the public.” 

Having experienced and witnessed numerous forms of racism, Yu Lin acknowledges that Asians have a higher income than the national average, but higher income does not equate to having a voice. Instead, the solution is to learn to actively demonstrate Asian power through civic participation. Be loud or lose your voice in the political world. 

Kenny Xu – Author of An Inconvenient Minority

“Your education doesn’t determine everything in your life.”

Like Yu Lin’s message, Kenny agrees that despite Asian American financial standings, participation in the political world is important. However, Kenny also calls out a common Asian mentality toward education: “If you work hard, you can be anything”. He argues that education doesn’t determine everything in your life. Multiple CEOs were C students and yet are successful today. The message is that you can’t just be smart to succeed. Learning to be valued and trusting in your values is just as important. Companies can replace certain workers. Be the kind of worker that possesses invaluable skills that companies can’t replace.

Jack Liang – Tech Entrepreneur, Model, and Activist

“Expanding your horizon is key, and you can’t be what you can’t see”

Jack emphasizes the importance of Asian representation in his modeling and activism coming from his experience of racism and hatred growing up. His advice to the audience is to be proud, love yourself, love the people like you, don’t be afraid to be different, and be picky with whom you surround yourself with because the people you’re with can affect your perspectives and attitudes.

Teresa Ting – Actress and Activist

“If you are passionate about something, you should just put your heart and soul into it”

Having a background in psychology, Teresa witnessed the bystander effect, a phenomenon where the presence of others discourages individuals from intervening in a situation, as the level of Asian hate crimes increased drastically nationally. She encourages the audience to educate, act, and equip themselves in ways to effectively help in situations of need. In addition, she explains how she never anticipated for the Main Street Patrol to be as successful as it is now, but it only goes to show that you do not need to be afraid. Don’t underestimate the power of people. Unity is powerful. People will stand with you and you will empower others when you follow your passions.  

2021 Youth4AM Opening Ceremony
and Speakers Event

Last edited May 28, 2021 15:36 PM EST

The third annual Youth4AM Opening Ceremony and Speaker Night is upon us! This year’s Speaker Night has the following esteemed guests that will speak to the topic of

#StopAsianHate.

MEET THE SPEAKERS

Yu Lin

NYC

DISTRICT 38

CITY COUNCIL

CANDIDATE

 

ENTREPENEUR

Yi Chen

NYC

DISTRICT 25

CITY COUNCIL

CANDIDATE

Jack Liang

FOUNDER

OF

COLUMBUS PARK

RALLY AGAINST HATE

 

TECH

ENTREPRENEUR

Kenny Xu

PRESIDENT

OF

COLOR US UNITED

 

AUTHOR OF

AN

INCONVENIENT

MINORITY

Teresa Ting

FOUNDER

OF

MAIN STREET

PATROL

 

ACTRESS

Picture of City Council hopeful Yu Lin
Yu Lin - NYC Council District 38 Candidate

Yu Lin – NYC Council District 38 Candidate

(Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Greenwood Heights)

“We have to be seen and be heard. In the US, this is done by exercising our political power. Together we can flip a state. As the largest group that others label, ‘undecided’, we are the ones who hold the power to decide which way an election can go. This is tremendous power, but only if we exercise it. And when we do, is when they’ll know we exist. Respect isn’t always given, so we must command for it.”

Yi Chen - NYC Council District 25 Candidate

Yi Chen – NYC Council District 25 Candidate

(Elmhurst and Jackson Heights)

“Now more than ever, we need effective leaders that will do what it takes to keep our communities safe, save our small businesses, protect our seniors, and provide our children with the very best education they deserve.”

Jack Liang - Tech Entrepreneur and Activist

Jack Liang – Tech Entrepreneur and Activist

To further empower the Asian community, Jack left his full-time job at Instagram. He was a startup advisor and led tech initiatives around SMB ads. Jack was the founding organizer of the Columbus Park Rally Against Hate, where the event drew out 10,000 people. He also organized Times Square Take Over – a historic rally Rihanna partook in, which had Stop Asian Hate across the prominent billboards.

Kenny Xu - Author, Activist

Kenny Xu – Author and Activist

His writing attracts a following among both the conservative/libertarian and Asian American communities. However, An Inconvenient Minority is written to reach an even larger audience, as the Harvard case has grabbed mainstream national attention. The book comes when the nation wrestles through a racial moment where difficult questions about racial identity politics are at the forefront of our culture

Teresa Ting - Actress and Activist

Teresa Ting – Actress and Activist

Founder and creator of Main Street Patrol, she was inspired to start the group in February 2021 after learning about the violent assault on a Chinese woman on Flushing’s Main Street. Along with the tremendous rise in hate crimes against Asians in the US, this incident catalyzed Teresa to mobilize and step up to protect her community.

We look forward to a night of learning and growth. See you there!

2020 Youth4AM Summer School Virtual Graduation Ceremony

Team Presentation Timestamps

Academic Team: 59:41

IT Team: 1:15:42

Future Team: 1:46:11

Communication Team: 1:54:41

2019 Youth4AM Summer School Graduation Ceremony

2019-05-10 SHSAT Assembly Hearing

2019-05-01 City Hall Hearing