By Kabrina Wright
The Summer Youth Leadership Program, or SYLP for short, is a program organized by the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation, a nonprofit organization of the Northwest Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post. SYLP is a three-week program designed for Asian American teens to find out what it means to be Asian American in our times and what it means to be a leader on top of that.
The things that are discussed include clashes of our Asian heritage and customs with the American ways that are all around us.
During the three weeks, we get to meet and talk to many prominent and successful Asian American leaders in our community. The speakers talk to us about what it was like to be Asian as they were going through life to get to where they are now. The stereotypes that people have about Asians comprise one of the biggest discussed topics.
Tough questions like “How can we stop this?” and “Have you ever experienced this?” are asked and talked about in a safe and open environment.
All of the activities are geared toward building bonds with the other people in the program and helping each other to find what it is to be a leader and an Asian American.
We also got to go to places such as the Wing Luke Museum and the Danny Woo Community Garden and meet people like Bob Santos and Lori Matsukawa. ♦