Program Components

Learn to LEAD and Fight Hate

For over 20 years, the LEAD Program has been a cornerstone in training high school students for conscientious leadership in advocacy, policy, and service. Our extensive spring-to-summer course provides a robust platform for professional development, fostering connections with peers and local professionals, including community leaders, elected officials, and government staff.

This year’s curriculum goes beyond the conventional, offering high school students practical skills to combat hate and navigate the fast-paced challenges of today’s world. As part of the program, students engage in workshops, benefit from mentorship, and participate in internships, cultivating not only leadership skills but also expanding their emotional resilience. We prioritize mental health awareness, recognizing its pivotal role in empowering students to emerge as proud leaders who positively influence their surroundings.

Throughout the program, our high school students receive continuous guidance and support from experienced staff and public service professionals. Together, we strive to make a meaningful impact on our community while nurturing the leadership potential within our high school students. Be part of this exciting journey by applying now and contributing to the future of high school leadership!

Deadline is February 18, 2024!

Registration is now CLOSED for the AACI LEAD program.

“They connected me with civic leaders and enabled me to ask them questions, build personal relationships, and gain mentors. I learned about different career pathways in public policy, advocacy and service, and built a base of people to support me as I build my pathway.”
-Disha Banik (Class of 2011)

Learn More About:

Leadership & Professional Development

Leadership & Professional Development

  • Students participate in a series of training in leadership, professionalism, social justice, government processes, and more.
  • Trainings build foundation for civic and social awareness, engagement and participation.
  • Students connect with guest speakers, community leaders, and their peers.

Community Impact Project

Community Impact Project

  • Students work collaboratively to design and execute a community impact project that addresses an issue or need in the community.
  • Students gain experience in project management, research, and community education.



  • Students connect one-on-one with program staff and other public service professionals who will provide mentorship and guidance in developing and achieving civic engagement goals.

Program Timeline

Important Dates for LEAD 2023

  • Application Deadline: February 18, 2024, 11:59 pm, Pacific Time
  • Application Review: February 19 – February 29, 2024
  • Student Interviews: March 10 – March 20, 2024
  • Student Notification of Results: March 20, 2024
  • Program Starts: March 30, 2024
  • Internship Interviews: May 1 – May 20, 2024
  • Internship Placement: June 1 – June 5, 2024
  • Program Celebration and End: August 3, 2024

Meeting Dates

3/30/2024 Program Orientation (Virtual)

4/13/2024 Foundations of Leadership Questioning: Courage and Curiosity

4/27/2024 Becoming Whole By Reclaiming Our Intersections

5/11/2024 Writing and Sharing Our Empowered Stories

5/25/2024 Creating an Empowering Mental Health Strategy

6/1/2024 Getting to Know the Community

6/15/2024 Navigating Gender and Sexuality

6/29/2024 Understanding Marginalized Community Challenges

7/13/2024 Choosing to LEAD in the Face of Hate

7/27/2024 Vision For Our Journey: Our Emerging Roles and Goals

8/3/2024 Reflection, Survey, and Celebration

Program dates may be subject to change.

Partnerships Within The Community

In the 20 years that the program has been operating, LEAD has partnered with 100+ different government and community based offices to place students in summer internships. These partnerships change students lives by offering them professional experience and empowering them to take part in the field of public service. Thank you to the following community partners who make LEAD possible:

Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker

Asian Americans for Community Involvement

Asian Law Alliance (ALA)

Asian Liver Center

Assemblymember Alberto Torrico

Assemblymember Ash Kalra

Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski

Assemblymember Carol Liu

Assemblymember Carole Migden

Assemblymember Fiona Ma

Assemblymember Evan Low

Assemblymember Ira Ruskin

Assemblymember Joe Coto

Assemblymember Kansen Chu

Assemblymember David Chiu

Assemblymember Kevin Shelley

Assemblymember Manny Diaz

Assemblymember Nora Campos

Assemblymember Paul Fong

Assemblymember Rebecca Cohn

Assemblymember Sally Lieber

Assemblymember Sandre Swanson

Assemblymember Simon Salinas

Assemblymember Ted Lempert

Assemblymember Warren Furutani

Assemblymember Wilma Chan

Community Health Partnership (CHP)

Congressmember Mike Honda

Congressmember Pete Stark

Congressmember Zoe Lofgren

City Year

East Palo Alto Community Service Department Mobile Recreation Program

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor Gray Davis

Justice At Work Law Group

Kollaboration SF

Oakland Chamber of Commerce

Project Sentinel

Redwood City Office of the City Clerk

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson

San Jose City Council Linda LeZotte

San Jose City Councilmember Ash Kalra

San Jose City Councilmember Bien Doan

San Jose City Councilmember Cindy Chavez

San Jose City Councilmember David Cohen

San Jose City Councilmember Forrest Williams

San Jose City Councilmember Kansen Chu

San Jose City Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco

San Jose City Councilmember Nancy Pyle

San Jose City Councilmember Pete Constant

San Jose City Councilmember Peter Ortiz

San Jose City Councilmember Raul Peralez

San Jose City Councilmember Rose Herrera

San Jose City Councilmember Sergio Jimenez

San Jose City Councilmember Sam Liccardo

San Jose City Councilmember Sylvia Arenas

San Jose City Councilmember Xavier Campos

San Jose Housing Department

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales

San Jose Strong Neighborhoods Initiative

San Jose Vice Mayor Judy Chirco

San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen

San Jose Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco

Santa Clara County Office of Education

Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy

Santa Clara County Supervisor Blanca Alvarado

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez

Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese

Santa Clara County Supervisor Don Gage

Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss

Santa Clara County Supervisor Pete McHugh

Santa Clara Hep B Free

Santa Clara Office of Affordable Housing

Second Harvest Food Bank

Senator Diane Feinstein

Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN)

Silicon Valley Education Foundation

Silicon Valley Talent Partnership

Somos Mayfair

State Senator Abel Maldonado

State Senator Bob Wieckowski

State Senator Byron Sher

State Senator Elaine Alquist

State Senator Ellen Corbett

State Senator Jim Beall

State Senator Joe Simitian

State Senator John Vasconcellos

State Senator Liz Figueroa

Sunnyvale Mayor Otto Lee

Somos Mayfair

United Way Silicon Valley

US Department of Education

US Department of Labor

US Department of Transportation

US Environmental Protection Agency

US Federal Aviation Administration

US Food and Drug Administration

Vietnamese American Worker Rights Project

Working Partnerships USA