Milwaukee Chinese Community Center YLA – 2018 Year in Review

April Fan

This year, close to 60 student members formed the 2018-19 Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) team at Milwaukee Chinese Community Center. There were a lot of returning members as well as new participants and it’s encouraging to see the continued growth of the YLA team and the participation of middle schoolers. YLA has always been a platform for youth to learn and grow. It is great to see kids utilizing that.

For this review, we just wanted to look at some of the specific events that we organized.

YLA Members Workshop

We organized a YLA Members Workshop in lieu of the Kick-Off Meeting and a Team-bonding activity. Ken Cain, an Honors graduate of Harvard Law School and author of an international bestseller, conducted the workshop on leadership and self-expression. He taught us how to be a successful leader and use effective public speaking skills.

YLA Website and Monthly Newsletter

A new YLA Website was launched this year at http://ylausa.com/. It shares information about the mission of YLA, organization structure, Newsletters and our online Lantern Magazine. In order to streamline communication, we started sending monthly Newsletters to members and their parents informing them about incoming events and dates.

College Preparation Workshop

Every year, YLA organizes a College Preparation Workshop where we invite graduating seniors and graduated YLA members to talk about their high school and college journey and share their experience and best practices for getting ready for College. This Workshop is a hit every year and well received.

This years college panel

July 4th Parade (Brookfield)

MCCC started to participate in the July 4th Parade in Brookfield to celebrate the American Independence Day. This is an effort to show we are part of the community and we take pride in being a contributing citizen.

Lantern Magazine (printed and online)

The theme of the Magazine is Chinese Dynasties this year. This is an interesting topic as it allowed the editors to research and learn the ancient Dynasties of China while writing the articles. It introduced the long history of China to the American people.

Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the biggest events that YLA participates in. YLA therefore plays a critical role in the functioning of the festival. In addition to the different YLA booths onsite, we have a team partaking in the race competing with 50+ other teams. YLA team won the 2nd place in the Emerald Division Consolation race this year. Parents and younger YLA members supported the Food, Marketing, Art, Culture and Kids booths throughout the day. It was a lot of hard work, but everyone enjoyed this outdoor event at the beautiful Lakeshore State Park! A total of 1750 volunteer hours were logged for this event.

China Lights

This was the third year YLA representing MCCC in leading China Lights. We participated a weekend celebration of the Moon Festival in the wonderful China Lights at the Boerner Botanical Gardens where over 40 new lantern displays illuminated the Park ground. Although the weather was not cooperating, we kept our spirits high and served customers in all fronts. A total of 1700 volunteer hours were logged for this event. In addition to volunteering over the Moon Festival weekend, we helped sell China Lights tickets to bring more revenue to MCCC. Through a collective effort of parents, members and our friends, we sold over 5000 tickets!

Holiday Folk Fair

Holiday Folk Fair lasted three full days, it was the longest event we need to support. Our volunteers staffed six shifts during the three-day window plus shuttle services to transport people from the Park and Ride to the site. Our parents started to prepare this event three months before by purchasing merchandise from China and finding travelers to bring them back home. They also helped set up the booths the week before and made sure all were in order for the opening day. Over 2000 volunteer hours were logged for this event! Looking back at the year, we are so proud of ourselves. Every member participated in as many events and as many hours as possible in addition to the busy schedule with school work and extracurricular activities.

YLA Yearbook

We’re planning to publish a yearbook at the end of 2018-19 school year to capture moments from our activities and events.

Overall, we are incredibly happy with what this year has brought for YLA, and we thank everyone for making it possible. Now, we are very excited for the other opportunities that we’ll have in the new year!

Pictures provided by: YLA Yearbook team