About Us

The Organization

AAPI Youth Rising is an organization founded by middle-schoolers. Our mission is to take small actions to make positive change in our communities. In March 2021, AAPI Youth Rising organized a 1,200+ person rally in Berkeley, CA to bring awareness to the increase in xenophobia against Asians in America.

During AAPI Heritage Month 2022, we launched our ONE DAY OF AAPI HISTORY lesson about the untold stories of Asians in America. We volunteer to teach our lesson to classrooms across America. We have taught in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Massachusetts. We are scheduling schools for Fall 2022.

Last year we launched the ONE/180 pledge in support of at least one day of AAPI history + culture during the school year and we organized the Our Diverse Voices youth art showcase in support of learning about our diverse histories.

During AAPI Heritage month when we spoke with TODAY Show, Washington Post, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, Teach For America and many others.

Also you can Watch us on the first primetime special about Asians in America “Together As One” by Soul of a Nation on Hulu or ABC.

TIME Magazine wrote a feature about us here. We are also proud to be the 2022 Partner Organization for American Girl‘s first Chinese American Girl of the Year, Corinne Tan. Thanks for stopping by!


Berkeley Proclamation in honor of AAPI Youth Rising

In May, 2021, the City of Berkeley awarded AAPI Youth Rising with a proclamation acknowledging our work to better our community through youth action. Thanks to Councilmember Robinson and Councilmember Kesarwani for supporting our communities and for nominating us. Thanks to the entire City Council for this honor!

Shout out to AYR honorees: Anna Hill, Bee Norton Tsang, Mila Cavagnaro, Juno Yu, Siwoo Rhie, Charlee Trenkle, Cam-Ly Nguyen, Timothy Hamp, Shubh Doshi, Surina Pugh, Stella Chua, Aashiana Gupta, Cooper Hong and Mina Fedor.

Youth Board

Mina, Founder + Executive Director

I spoke about the rise in xenophobia against the AAPI community due to COVID-19 at my school assembly at the beginning of the pandemic back in 2020, at a time when no one was talking about it.  After a year of witnessing the increase in anti-Asian sentiment and violence toward my community, I decided to take more action. Originally I had a little idea to hang a sign in support of the AAPI community over the I-80, one of the busiest intersections in CA. This small idea evolved into the AAPI Youth Rising Rally.

On March 28, 2021 community members representing the diversity of the Bay Area came together in solidarity with the AAPI community at our rally in Berkeley, CA. Originally, I had hoped for 70 participants. To my surprise, over 1,200 participants joined the crowd. On a bright and sunny day, we heard from many brave youth as we raised our voices. A first-grader even spoke up! We then marched to the SF Bay Pedestrian Footbridge and hung our signs on the overpass while we heard motorists honk in support. It was an inspirational day for all of us. In that moment, we realized that even as middle-schoolers, we can make a difference. These small actions add up.

College Preparatory School, Oakland CA, Class of 2026

Anna, Editor in Chief

My favorite memory is from way back at the beginning of our group, where we were all sitting around the table in Mina’s yard, making buttons, designing the website, and writing some posts from our newly formed Instagram together. We were all laughing because none of us had any clue as to what we were supposed to do. At that moment, we were all together in unison, sharing our confusion and excitement as one organization.

Lick Wilmerding High School, San Francisco CA, Class of 2026

Aashi, Creative Director

Getting involved with your community can help it become a better place to live for all community members.

Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland CA, Class of 2026

Charlee, Communications Director

I believe it is important for young people to get involved in their communities because we are the future, and if there is something that you believe is not right, you can do something about it.

Albany High School, Albany CA, Class of 2026

Siwoo, Social Media Manager

My favorite memory with AAPI Youth Rising was when we got to present our slideshow for the Boys and Girls Club, sharing it with others was a fun experience.

Head Royce School, Oakland CA, Class of 2026

Jaslene, Website Manager

I help the AAPI Youth Rising website by using my coding knowledge to update pages and modify graphic design. I aim to support the cause overall because, as an Asian-American, it is very important to raise awareness against injustice to help better the lives of minorities.

Burlingame High School, Burlingame CA, Class of 2026

Maxwell Wong, Project Director

I’ve enjoyed supporting AAPI Youth Rising as a supporter through attending the rallies and speaking on behalf of AAPI at conferences. I enjoy debate, playing the piano, and learning languages.

Head Royce School, Oakland CA, Class of 2025

Cooper, Finance Director

I ask all of you to I ask all of you to consider getting yourselves more involved in activism. At first I was apprehensive, like many people are, but making that first step of going to an event and contributing to making the world a better place is absolutely amazing and is already going above-and-beyond what most people do. 

Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland CA, Class of 2025

Sean, Community Outreach Director

I like listening to music, reading, talking to his bird and hanging out with his family. I hopes that through AYR, multiple young voices will be able to spread diversity in the world and make it a better place.

Montessori School of El Cerrito, El Cerrito CA, Class of 2027

Ethan Su, Middle School Director

Ethan is interested in the AAPI youth community because he enjoys learning about people’s experiences, and understanding where they are coming from. Ethan is interested in applying game theory principles to real life scenarios for racial and social justice. During his free time, he likes to read about historical facts and quantum physics.

Mandarin-Immersion School, San Francisco CA, rising 8th grader

Not listed: Troy, Community Outreach Director


Ambassadors and Chapter Leaders

Saanvi Mukkara

Chapter Leader Saanvi: “I’m a high schooler in Texas who loves debate, art, and meeting new people! I love Mexican and Thai food, and am a hardcore boba enthusiast. I think it’s very important for youth to be involved in advocacy and legislation, since younger generations often bear the brunt of bad decisions in the future, and therefore should be involved in decision making processes to prevent inequity.”

Independence High School, Texas, Class of 2024

Angely Xiong

Chapter Leader Angely: “I love traveling, badminton, reading, and video games! I’m passionate about public speaking and writing and I also enjoy gardening and volunteer work. I believe it’s extremely important for youth to speak up so our voices can be heard, especially during a time where it may seem like our voices are insignificant. I founded the Asian Pacific Islander Students Association at my school and would love to continue to get myself and my community more involved to create social impact as AAPI Youth Rising has done.”

Nicolet High School, Milwaukee WI, Class of 2024

Annie Huynh

New Ambassador Annie: “I’ve been keeping up with AAPI Youth Rising for a couple of months now and I love the dedication that goes into their work. I want to learn more about my community and how we can combat certain global issues. I also am trying to push myself this year to get out of my comfort zone.”

Impact Academy of the Arts and Technology, Hayward CA, Class of 2025

Ethan Su

Chapter Leader Ethan is interested in the AAPI youth community because he enjoys learning about people’s experiences, and understanding where they are coming from. Ethan is interested in applying game theory principles to real life scenarios for racial and social justice. During his free time, he likes to read about historical facts and quantum physics.

Mandarin-Immersion School, San Francisco CA, rising 8th grader

Soha Mahapatra

Welcome to New Chapter Leader Soha: “In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, reading, and listening to music. (My favorite song is Hotel California by the Eagles!) I also like to keep up with current events and world issues, as well as find opportunities to speak up. I think it’s important for youth to speak up because we are the future and we deserve a say in the world we’re living in. I love how AYR gives individuals like me who want a chance to speak up a platform to do so, as well as ways to collaborate with like minded individuals.”

Mount View Elementary School, Maryland, Class of 2026

Arpita Guha

New Chapter Leader Arpita Gupta is a youth activist who is motivated and passionate about helping the AAPI community. She shares that as a Bengali-Hindu she has seen firsthand what my community has gone through first hand and the hate crimes and she shared news articles about protests at her temple. Arpita serves on the Shelby Township youth advisory board and has held numerous leadership positions. She loves public speaking and is the President of her Model UN Club.

International Academy East, Michigan, Class of 2023

Kristie To

Kristie joins us from Irvine, CA! “In my free time, I enjoy playing percussion, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with family! I was immediately drawn to AAPI Youth Rising for the organization’s mission to make positive change in our communities by their various accomplishments such as establishing the ONE/180 pledge and organizing a Stop Asian Hate rally of over 1,200 people.”

Irvine, California, Class of 2024

Lin Wei

New Ambassador Lin Wei was drawn to AYR because we give young generation people a chance to speak out for the problems in the society, to bring awareness to different issues and to enlighten young people. Favorite Music: Japanese pop & Rock One Ok Rock is her favorite band! She also likes cats, like a lot of us here at AYR!

Oakland Technical High School, Oakland CA, Class of 2025

Sean

I like listening to music, reading, talking to his bird and hanging out with his family. I hopes that through AYR, multiple young voices will be able to spread diversity in the world and make it a better place.

Montessori School of El Cerrito, El Cerrito CA, Class of 2027


Monthly Member Highlights

Johann

Johann is passionate about AAPI Youth Rising activities. In his free time, he enjoys participating in Robotics competitions and building Legos.

Stanford Online High School, Class of 2026

Cooper

I ask all of you to I ask all of you to consider getting yourselves more involved in activism. At first I was apprehensive, like many people are, but making that first step of going to an event and contributing to making the world a better place is absolutely amazing and is already going above-and-beyond what most people do. 

Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland CA, Class of 2025

Nahla

As our youngest contributor, Nahla created a video presentation for her class about speaking up and standing up for what you believe in. We are inspired by you Nahla!

Black Pine Circle School, Berkeley CA, rising 6th grader

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