By Chloe Sakr
The Asian Cultural Festival was electric, exciting, and insanely fun. Being apart of REACH and volunteering at events like this is always an opportunity I am eager to take part because it allows me to not only meet students from other high schools and counties, but also be apart of the Asian American community of Central Florida. Being able to do a double shift was a great way to see the whole festival come together, flourish, and then come to a close at the end of the day. I love participating in volunteer groups because it’s fun to see how all of our work behind the scenes helps it come together and orchestrate while we ourselves, are making new friends and bonding with each other. Entertained with live music and dancing, we were able to make sure everything ran smoothly while being able to enjoy the food and performances. As a new member and officer of REACH, I am slowly becoming more assimilated into the Asian American community to expand my involvement and learn about other Asian cultures and other Asian countries.
By Jiselle Lee
On Saturday June 1st, the Asian American Heritage Council (AAHC) held the Asian Cultural Festival at Enchanted Nights Banquet Hall.
Each May, AAHC holds this event to celebrate Asian Pacific American Cultural Heritage Month, a time where Asian Americans can come together to celebrate their cultures.
The venue is filled with booths to showcase business vendors, ethnic cuisines and merchandise that are representative of Asia. A cultural show is presented by the various Asian countries, such as China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and more.
In addition, sponsorship of the festival benefits the AAHC Asian Student Achievers’ Scholastic Awards. Held in November, the scholarships awarded at the event will honor and recognize deserving Asian American students for their academic excellence and outstanding community service. REACH members are encouraged to apply for these scholarships, as they are extremely beneficial to high school students planning for college.
For REACH, the Asian Cultural Festival always marks the beginning of the new term for our Executive Board. During the preparation process, we undergo a transition of power from senior officers to new officers. This event is the perfect opportunity for the officers to learn the ropes of volunteering with REACH. Through job shadowing, the high school coordinators can pick up on the tips and tricks that in-charges have acquired from their years of volunteer experiences with REACH.
In conclusion, the Asian Cultural Festival is always a fun event to take part in. Over the next few events, the new officers will be able to teach incoming members everything that they have learned from volunteering with REACH by the time the Asian Cultural Festival comes around next year.
By Praveen Sundar
For the 2019-2020 term of REACH, Jiselle Lee and I have been elected as Co-Presidents. We are very excited to work with each other, as well as with the officers of REACH in order to expand our community outREACH. Together Jiselle and I will be overseeing specific high school coordinators as well as certain Vice Presidents. This is so we can each spend more time and be more attentive towards certain areas. By paying more attention, we can improve the work that all of the officers as a whole do.
We have many plans for the new term, all of them will be in order to have enlarge our presence within the community and be able to further help the community. One of my biggest goals for this new term is to increase our social media presence, mainly on Instagram. Social media plays a large role in society today, yet REACH has not been utilizing our social media to its full capabilities. My plan is to have the officers handle the REACH Instagram and post/discuss about their daily lives, demonstrating the wide varieties of the Asian American high-schooler life. This will allow us to show how our culture impacts us everyday as well as increase our social media presence.
Together Jiselle and I have also planned to be more outgoing within the community itself. We hope to accomplish this by having more REACH socials and by volunteering for smaller events. Both Jiselle and I are super excited for this term to kick into gear, we know that with this awesome officer board we’ll be able to make this an awesome term.
By Anthony Chung
So my watch has ended. (Like that Game of Thrones reference huh?)
My name is Anthony Chung and I am the, now, Past President of REACH of Central Florida from the 2018-2019 term. The experience as a whole has provided an enrichment of my own abilities as a leader and characteristics that will propel me through life. It has developed my character, put me through many many strenuous nights, and all in all, has been worth absolutely every second of the hard work I had put in. Being REACH President has given me friends for life and an experience I will never forget.
As is tradition, our final meeting was the send-off for our Senior board members, the announcement of the new President(s) as well as the introduction of many new officers ready to make a change in the world as we had done just the same. We began with giving Awards for each of the past Board members, to recognize them all for their own hard work along with a small gift as presented by our Sponsor, Mrs. Pauline Ho. We also introduced a new award this year, as we gave an opportunity to have each of our Board Members vote on somebody who they believe was a large part of the heart and soul of REACH of Central Florida. Megan Trinh won this award, and very well deserved as well.
After the presentation of the awards, I officially stepped down from my role and allowed the next term’s Co-Presidents to take over and run the rest of the meeting. Jiselle Lee and Praveen Sundar did a stellar job in continuing the excellence REACH has always provided. After the new officers were introduced and announced, along with the rest of the board, we celebrated a great year with food provided by Viet-Nomz!
I can say with confidence that the future of REACH is bright, and I am exceedingly excited to see what is to come.