Apex for Youth’s 27th Anniversary Awards Gala, held on April 17 at Cipriani Wall Street, celebrated the absolutely vital role Apex plays in the lives of underprivileged immigrant youth. For many of Apex for Youth’s mentees, dreams are a luxury that they are unable to afford. Many immigrant families in New York City cannot provide the support, stability, and financial resources for their children to dream audaciously. The statistics of the communities that Apex serves are astounding: There are almost 140,000 Asian public school students in NYC, more than all the Asian students in Boston and San Francisco combined. One in two is born into poverty. One out of three students live in homes where no one over age 14 speaks English. One in four doesn’t graduate on time or at all. Despite Asians being 13% of NYC’s population, less than 1% of government funding goes to charities focused on the Asian community.

Through mentoring and tutoring, Apex transforms the lives of youth, providing them with possibilities that they wouldn’t have considered otherwise. This year’s gala honorees, actress Olivia Munn (co-founder & CEO of Credit Karma Kenneth Lin) and actress Gemma Chan, inspired us to dream bigger and to initiate the change that we want to see in our communities. Whether it’s increasing Asian representation in mainstream media or volunteering your time to mentor a student at risk of dropping out of school, Kenneth Lin urged us to “do something more than just show up, we have to step up.”

Photo credit: Apex For Youth

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