“Changes begin with me, but if I want to be an advocate, I need to start to make change happen in my own school, community, and home.” — ASAP Youth Leader, 12th grader
“Everyone has his or her own voice and ideas that should be heard. There is power in numbers, and the more voices we have the more visible we become. ASAP wants to create a collective and distinct voice by bringing together the voices and experiences of NYC’s Asian Pacific American youth.” — ASAP Youth Leader
In 2004, CACF established a youth leadership program, Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP). ASAP supports the future generation of leaders by providing them with the opportunity to build their leadership and advocacy skills. CACF believes that youth have a fundamental role in creating positive change for the Asian Pacific American community.
ASAP Youth Leaders engage in policy advocacy through an education reform campaign and participate in activities that improve their literacy skills, civic participation, and college eligibility. ASAP Youth Leaders work to improve their school and communities by raising awareness and providing recommendations on educational issues that affect Asian Pacific American students in New York City. ASAP encourages youth to create a collective voice, advocate for themselves and lead in their communities.
Each year, CACF recruits ASAP Youth Leaders from New York City public high schools to represent the diversity of New York City’s Asian Pacific American student population. They represent the neighborhoods and schools of all five boroughs, and range in age from 14-19. They are ethnically diverse but work together to form a pan-Asian youth voice in NYC. The ASAP commitment is for the duration of the academic year. Recruitment starts in April with the application and an interview process in June/July. If selected, you will attend a Summer Institute in the end of August. The program starts in September where ASAP leaders meet once a week throughout the school year with the program concluding in June.
Between March and April in 2016, CACF worked with ASAP youth leaders to canvass and survey the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens to collect information on tobacco use and its impact on young people in this neighborhood.