Virtual Youth Leadership Academy


The APAICS Virtual Youth Leadership Academy program, in partnership with the Close Up Foundation is a week-long leadership development and enrichment program geared towards high school students. The purpose of the program is to provide students of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage the unique opportunity to learn more about government and public policy issues impacting the AAPI community and how they can be more involved in the political process. The program will include interactive leadership development sessions, guest speakers, and networking opportunities to meet with other successful Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders.

2020 YLA Wrap-up

APAICS hosted the 2020 Youth Leadership Academy in partnership with the Close Up Foundation as a virtual program from June 14-19. 52 AAPI high school students from 16 different states and territories joined us to develop the skills and attitudes to become active and engaged citizens and reflect on how public policy impacts their lives and communities. We dove into curriculum topics ranging from Federal Government Structure to Building AAPI Political Power and Leadership. The participants deliberated on issues such as criminal justice, immigration, and climate change. We were honored to have Senator Amanda Shelton of the Guam Legislature join us as a guest speaker. The week concluded with a legislative workshop and the simulation of a Congressional debate. Students put their learnings to use by deliberating on current legislation moving through the federal government such as the VOTE Act and Original Living Wage Gap.


Leanne Rivera

APAICS YLA 2020 Participant

"After attending the APAICS youth leadership program last summer, I learned many new skills. The best I learned was probably how to speak up and be more outspoken on things we strongly believe in...My experience has further intrigued me into pursuing in Pre-Law and working with the community who unrepresented. In college, I want to start an alliance club for unrepresented minorities, in hopes of giving them a better voice. I've also personally thought about doing public service in college."

Stay Up-to-Date

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies

Congressional Swearing-In Ceremony for AAPI Members of Congress

Friday, January 29, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET