Take note! This program is currently under construction. If you are interested in participating in this program, we would love to know! We are looking for both more mentees and more mentors. Use the following button to contact us and convey your interest (be sure to note in “Your Message” that you are interested in AAC):
The Asian American Connections (AAC) Initiative is a mentorship program aimed at helping new immigrants from Asia to adjust to American culture and gain the necessary skills to have a successful professional career in the Western world. This program is also intended to cultivate the next generation of Asian American professional leaders. We will connect experts (mentors) to mentees in one-on-one pairings, allowing for networking connections as well as mentorship. We will offer English language courses for those who need it.
- Help new Asian immigrants to adjust to life in America by becoming fluent in English, developing job skills, and placement in the community, online and networking..etc.
- Get skillful and professional Asian Americans to be mentors to help these mentees (A mentoring handbook is available for them)
- Advocacy for Asian American welfare and interests in American society.
- Create a Job Training center in our local and online communities for all immigrants and all those who need to improve on their job skills, not just Chinese-Americans or Asian-Americans but all Americans. When we are strengthening the weak, we are strengthening the whole.
Why Take Part in this Initiative?
We all need three types of relationships in order to grow and be healthy. One is with people like ourselves where we can relate to one another and affirm each other; we call this group of people “peers”.
The second type of relationship is characterized by giving, whether it’s devoting your time to helping someone less experienced than you or donating material possessions. Deep down in each of us, there is a sense of wanting to help others. You get just as much out of this relationship as the person who you’re giving to; giving to others helps you feel good about yourself and how you are making an impact on the world.
Some people devote large amounts of their time or even build their entire professional lives around this idea of giving. Teachers, counselors, and parents are perfect examples. Others who have not yet realized this potential or tapped into this “instinct” to help others will always feel as if something is missing. As a mentor, the Asian American Connection initiative provides an opportunity to give guidance to someone else, fulfilling your inner desire to give back.
The third type of relationship is on the other end of the previous one: it’s receiving mentorship. A mentorship relationship is having someone who has more experience than you and who does not mind revealing your “blind spots” to guide you, while at the same time still respecting you as a professional. A good mentor is someone with whom you can be honest because that person doesn’t need you but only wants to help you and to help you grow. They have no other motive than to help you. Oftentimes, this type of relationship is the hardest to find. It is only through working together in a cause that you both believe in with others that you can forge this kind of relationship. Sometimes, you may be able to find someone like that in your church (if you are religious) or a fraternity/ sorority, or just some other group to which you have pledged your allegiance to a cause. If you don’t yet have a mentor in your life, we invite you to try out this initiative and see where it will take you. If you are interested in exploring any possibility, please take this questionnaire and we will match you up to the opportunity that lies ahead for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us with any questions you have.
Who are the Mentees?
Asians who have immigrated to the United States in the last 1-7 years. (The duration of their stay in the United States is not important. We are merely using a time period as a gauge for the amount of help they need to adjust to the American life. It is not a requirement factor.) These mentees have one or both of the following needs:
- They have a need to learn English.
- They have a need to learn a new vocational skill (such as computer skills, office skill, customer service skill.)
Who are the mentors?
Mentors for the Asian American Connection network should be a member in their professional field for at least 3 years. They are someone who has the desire to mentor another individual to be like themselves in the same or similar field. They will share their journey of becoming a successful professional in that field and will provide advice. A mentor is compassionate, likes to teach others, likes to talk to other people, likes to give, and likes to help others.
- To improve the lives of new immigrants by providing them with one-on-one mentoring. This will help them to learn essential job skills so they can find a better paying job and a job that is more fulfilling for them.
- To help immigrants acclimate into their American lives by learning English and the ins and outs of American culture so they can be better workers, parents, and leaders.
- To provide new immigrants with informational resources on citizenship and other immigration-related topics.
- For mentors: to learn the Asian culture. For those Asian-Americans mentors, the goal is for them to re-affirm the culture they come from and gain new insights from their interactions with the mentees.
- We will set up English conversational classes. In these classes, mentors will be speaking partners for mentees and will help supplement the mentee’s understanding of the English language and American culture.
- We will set up webinars to address areas of particular interest for immigrant parents including but not limited to: a) How to parent your children in the American society when you are not familiar with what they learn in school. b) How to play a role in your children’s learning when you don’t know English. c) How to counsel your teenagers when they seem to be more “Americanized” than to follow the culture their parents come from? Is there a clash of cultures in their minds?
- We will set up job training classes for the new immigrants. Job training classes include computer skills such as Microsoft office (Word, Excel & PowerPoint), website design, etc. for nominal fees and tuition. These classes are supplemented by volunteer mentoring from college professors, graduate students, and people in their respective professional fields who are experienced and highly skilled.
- For those new immigrants who have graduated from our classes and for those who need it, we will provide them with job search skills and, if the opportunity exists, job placements by referring them to available jobs that match with the new skills they acquire.
- We provide job interviewing skills to help them get placed in new jobs as applicable in certain industry sectors.
Presently, we are in need of volunteer teachers to form English classes, computer classes, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Website design, or in any area that you would like to volunteer to teach. If you are interested in becoming our volunteer teacher, please fill out this form to let us know your availability.
The Origins of This Initiative
The Asian American Connection initiative came from the realization that we need to be connected with other Asians professionally. We feel there is a need within our community for a program that can assuage the “culture shock” that many immigrants feel in their new environments. It is important to balance our “Americanness” with our Asian side without delving too deep into either. The need for professional and cultural connections was exacerbated further by the pandemic-induced isolation that many of us felt. All these factors combined gave birth to this initiative.
We are not limiting this program to Chinese people only. We want to include other Asian groups and Americans, really anyone who is interested in taking advantage of this cultural exchange and professional development.