Student Leaders and Inspiring Stories

We Are All #TeamAllStars

ASAS | 21 March 2024

National Storytelling Day was this week, and we love a good excuse to share a few of our stories with you. Read on to learn more about our student leaders, dedicated staff, and the donors who believe in our people and mission.

Students Serving Communities

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is a nationwide program that provides students with the resources and tools to be advocates for themselves and champions for their communities. YAB members (yabbies, for short) form strong bonds with their peers and mentors, attend a week-long leadership retreat, and spearhead service projects like food banks, clothing drives, and neighborhood clean-ups.

At ASAS Washington, D.C., yabbies help chapter staff and board members evaluate existing programs and create new initiatives and service projects that have a local impact. They also develop strong relationships with their mentors throughout the year and then hone peer-to-peer coaching skills by working with their classmates.

“The Youth Advisory Board helps students develop social skills and foster meaningful relationships by exchanging ideas with young people from different neighborhoods and cities across the country. All-Stars gives them a safe environment where they can share transparently what’s going on and be empowered to find ways to change their environment.”Daniela Grigioni | Executive Director, ASAS Washington, D.C.

Every July, yabbies from across the country meet on a college campus for All-Star Leadership University (ASLU). Older students present what they accomplished throughout the year and share their insights with the new class to help them chart a path for continued progress. Guest speakers and expert panels help to equip participants with the skills and resources they need to be leaders at their chapter and in the communities where they live.

We’ll be checking in with yabbies throughout the year, and we look forward to sharing all the details from this year’s All-Star Leadership University!

Leading with Values

Albert Einstein once said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” In that spirit, our LA-based national team recently celebrated its first ever Values Week. Team building and recognition activities were inspired by the All-Stars core values: being proactive, accountable, entrepreneurial, transparent, and collaborative.

“This was a group effort that spanned across teams and departments. Employees sat down with one another, talked, laughed, and shared specific examples of how they saw their colleagues embodying the different values. Everyone at ASAS, regardless of their location or role, strives to support our students through these values.”Mary Sanchez | Director of Human Resources, After-School All-Stars

The week also provided an opportunity to recognize the importance of our team members and celebrate their individual and collective accomplishments. We extend a special thank you to Andrea Bazán (ASAS President) and Ben Paul (ASAS CEO) for taking part in Values Week and always putting our people first. Go, Team All-Stars!

If you’re interested in joining our amazing team and being part of a positive workplace culture, visit our careers page to learn about current openings, including Controller and Senior Accountant, two key positions on our national team.

Meeting Students Where They Are

This issue, we’re excited to kick off a segment that will introduce you to some of the partners, thought leaders, and supporters that provide the tools our All-Star students rely on. As you will see, these individuals support ASAS for various reasons and in various amounts. But they all make a unique impact. After hearing their stories, we hope you will consider joining them in giving.

Growing up in Chicago, Spark O’Connell understood the importance of providing students with a safe and nurturing environment outside of school. This past October, his desire to support organizations that empower young people brought him to an After-School All-Stars event in Los Angeles.

The event included performances by a dance troupe featuring All-Star students. Their skill and choreography were incredible, but what inspired Spark most was his conversations with the students after their performance, when they talked about how ASAS has positioned them for success as students and future leaders.

Supporters like Spark play a vital role in providing our students with innovative enrichment programs. Your donation, no matter the amount, will help us continue to create safe spaces for All-Stars to learn, thrive, and explore their talents.