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PROMISED LEADERS OF TOMORROW

OVERVIEW

APCC’s Promised Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) Youth Program helps at-risk, low-income Asian and Pacific Islander youth in Pierce County stay in school and graduate. By providing mentorship, wrap-around services, educational support, and cultural connections, we help them overcome barriers, guiding them on the path to success in school and in life.

 

NEED

Washington is a growing kaleidoscope of races and ethnicities, with a continuously increasing enrollment of Asia Pacific youth in schools each year. Racism, stereotypes, bias, and cultural misunderstanding can cause a disconnect between schools and students, contributing to gaps in academic achievement that might not be readily recognized and addressed. Our PLOT Youth Program helps bridge this gap.

When we first started the program in 2010, only about three-quarters of Asia Pacific students graduated in the Tacoma School District, Pierce County’s largest district.  According to the Washington OSPI, the dropout rate for Asia Pacific students was 24.8%, including a huge 41.4% dropout rate for Pacific Islanders.  It is well documented that youth who do not finish high school experience lower income levels, higher unemployment rates, higher rates of incarceration, and many other disadvantages. 

For over a decade, we have worked hard to help move the needle – the 2020 graduation rate for Asia Pacific youth in Tacoma was raised to a record 88.9%. But while these graduation rates have improved, there is still a higher dropout rate among Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian students.  And many individual students, no matter their ethnic background still struggle in school due to significant challenges and barriers in their lives.  As more and more Asia Pacific students enter high school, it is even more important for the PLOT Youth Program to continue to help those students to graduate and stay on the path to a brighter future.

PROGRAM ACTIVITIES

The PLOT Youth Program helps Asia Pacific youth stay in school and graduate, especially low-income, at-risk youth.  Our students include first-generation immigrants and refugees, English language learners, foster children, LGBQT youth, youth involved in the criminal justice system, youth experiencing homelessness, and any youth who need support. We help them to overcome barriers such as gangs, violence, family dysfunction, cultural and language barriers, behavior problems, and other issues so that they can focus on school and achieve higher aspirations. 

To support these youth, we provide mentorship, wrap-around services, educational support, and cultural connections to help students overcome these challenges.  Students attend our weekly After-School Group at Lincoln, Foss, Mt. Tahoma, Franklin Pierce, and Clover Park High Schools.  Here we provide tutoring, help with school work, job-readiness and life-skills workshops, leadership and team-building activities, cultural education, and other activities. In addition to the After-School Group, we provide career counseling, college and financial aid support, summer learning, community service, and civic engagement opportunities. In special circumstances, we provide case management for those students who are facing more serious challenges or critical situations such as violence, homelessness, drug or alcohol issues, anger management, or other issues. We also offer resources to students and their families and often serve as a liaison between students, families, and the schools for improved progress.

 

Program Activities at a glance:
  • After School Tutoring and Youth Leadership Group

  • Tautua Youth Group

  • Asia Pacific Youth Summer Learning Program

  • Summer Job Opportunities 

  • Community Resources

  • Mentorship

  • Civic Engagement

  • Volunteer Opportunities

  • Case Management

  • College and Career Guidance

  • Youth Conferences, College Field Trips

  • Many other youth projects and activities!

 

Schools we work with:
  • Lincoln HS

  • Oakland HS

  • Mt. Tahoma HS

  • Foss HS

  • Stadium HS

  • Washington HS

  • Franklin Pierce HS

  • Clover Park HS

  • Bates Technical HS

  • Washington Youth Academy

  • First Creek Middle School

  • Other Alternative Schools in Pierce County

 

For More Information

Students and families who are interested in any APCC Youth Program activities, please contact our Youth Program Manager, Mrs. Sinoun Hem at (253) 383-3900 or email her at sinoun@asiapacificculturalcenter.org.