Andrew Yang is a junior at Arlington High School in Arlington, Massachusetts. Andrew is the president and founder of the Arlington High School Asian American Coalition (AHSAAC). After seeing the effect of increased national anti-Asian hate on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in his school, Andrew decided to found the AHSAAC to spread awareness about issues that impact the AAPI community and combat racial prejudice. Recognizing that prejudice is learned at a young age, he has strived to develop cultural empathy among students by helping to hold webinars about racism and how to become anti-racist for over a thousand students in grades 5, 6, 7 and 8. During these webinars, he discovered that there is little cultural representation in children’s books. To address this, he collaborated with a local non-profit organization, raised $1250 to provide 336 culturally diverse books for all of the kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms in the district, and organized groups of students to read the books to the students. Additionally, Andrew noticed that there was almost no AAPI representation in the curriculum, and minimal resources for AAPI students. He highlighted issues in the AAPI community through numerous in-school presentations, social media posts and fundraisers, reaching over 1400 students. With his school’s history department, Andrew created a more AAPI-inclusive history curriculum. Moreover, he has held in-person events to support the community — including a Stop AAPI Hate Rally and BIPOC Mental Health workshops — and conducted interviews with school administration as part of the hiring process for a new director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Andrew has also been involved in his community outside of Arlington High School and was a panelist at Arlington Human Rights Commission's town-wide webinar "Stand Against Racism: Elevating AAPI Voices."
2022 - MASSACHUSETTS