YES Prep Public Schools
Communications & Marketing

On Saturday, May 15, 2021, over 70 YES Prep staff and students gathered for our all virtual Asian American and Pacific Islander (APIA) Summit. Throughout the day, we learned, celebrated, and built unity amongst all the diverse identities within the APIA community, ultimately raising awareness around the beauty and issues the APIA community have experienced historically and face currently here in the United States.  

There are about 23 million APIA living in the US, over 6% of the total US population, and nearly a fifth of the APIA population in Texas (19%) lives in Harris County, which includes Houston!

About the summit

This year’s APIA Summit was unique in a myriad of ways. YES Prep has planned for the APIA Summit for the past three years but due to Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 and the global pandemic in 2020, we had to postpone every year until now. May 2021 marked our first ever, all-virtual APIA Summit and it did not disappoint.  

Day of the summit

2021 APIA Summit swag boxes

The Summit was led by YES Prep Brays Oaks co leads Stephanie Gounder (Principal), Jeevan Moses (Director of College Counseling) and Natalie Garcia (Director of Student Support) and consisted of two breakout sessions, team builder exercises and amazing YES Prep swag. 

Session Topics 
  • Beneath the Asian American Label 

  • A+ Asians - The Model Minority? 

  • Western Impact on Gender in the APIA Community 

  • We Are Not Silent: APIA Voices in Activism 

  • Being APIA at YES Prep 

  • APIA in Entertainment 

Student experiences

YES Prep Brays Oaks has one of the largest APIA student bodies among our 22 campuses. Here we shed light on some of their stories.  

What is your favorite thing about being in the APIA community?  

“The APIA community has some of the best cuisines in the world. So many dishes we’ve eaten throughout our lives originate from Asia and the Pacific Islands! Also, despite being a community that is often overlooked, we do not neglect the bonds we share as Asians and Pacific Islanders.” - Trinity Ho, 12th grader 

What do you wish people knew about the APIA community? 

“When the acronym ‘APIA’ is mentioned, many people think of Asians of East Asian descent (Chinese, Korean and Japanese). However, East Asia is only a single part of the entire body that the community is made of! The APIA community is made up of over 50 ethnicities!” - Tracy Nguyen, 11th grader 

How can we support the APIA community? 

“Help defend or support ‘Stop Asian Hate’ that’s been going on recently” - Alejandra Garraway, 9th grader 

“You can donate, raise awareness and learn about the history of Asian oppression to understand how Asian Americans are perceived and their experiences.” - Anthony Ha, 6th grader 

About the YES Prep Annual Affinity Summits 

In 2016, YES Prep revised its core values to better reflect the reason it was founded: to eliminate educational inequities and advance social justice. As part of this focus, YES Prep expanded its efforts to provide opportunities for students to develop pride in their identities and build relationships within the communities with which they identify. YES Prep believes that these efforts will strengthen students’ support systems and build their self-confidence, increasing the likelihood of their success in college and beyond. 

To learn more about our Affinity Summits, click here


Sign up to receive The News Update directly in your inbox

The News Update is YES Prep Public Schools monthly e-newsletter where we share the latest news, teacher and student stories, as well as upcoming events and important dates. 

Subscribe to newsletter