Over 20% of the population of Malden is Asian. Malden High School represents the most ethnically diverse high school in Massachusetts. Located just 5.5 miles north of Boston, along the Orange Line, Malden continues to be a hub for new immigrant families, especially for families that have been priced out of Boston’s expensive housing market.
We knew there was demand for a youth program for Asian American youth because we already had a number of Malden youth travel into Boston weekly to be a part of our Chinatown A-VOYCE program. Earlier this year, we launched our A-VOYCE high school youth leadership program, conveniently held at Malden High School, with an initial group of 8 youth. During the summer, the program expanded to 15 youth, all from Malden. ACDC recently opened a Malden office across the street from the high school, so still very accessible to students.
One of the summer program youth leaders, My Hua, shared her perspective on growing up in Malden:
“Hi! My name is My, and I’m a senior at Malden High School. I've lived in Malden ever since I moved here from Vietnam when I was only a year old. I have 2 siblings, a sister and brother, but my family feels so much larger than that because I was raised close to my cousins. Which I have 14 of! On my mom's side alone!
Living in Malden has always been pleasant, it's so familiar and secure to me yet always changing its shops, residents, programs, and activities. The city continues to grow and improve—just like me!
For one of our workshops, we asked youth to write about some of their favorite hangout spots in Malden. This is what My wrote.
“Coytemore Lea Park is an easily accessible park that is really pretty and large. I go there often with friends, especially since they live near the park, and it's fun to go to when the weather is warm.
The park has a lot of pleasant attractions for everyone to enjoy. There is one main path that stretches through from one side of the park to the other. There is a large playground in the middle of the park, a small seating area, a basketball court, and even a public garden. This is a place to me that holds special memories. Both my family and friends like to walk around the neighborhood, and we often come to this park. Going to the park always results in a good time for me, no matter what.
The park looked different a couple years ago. It was the same size, but the playground was tiny and the main path was a dirt path. Whenever it rained, the path would turn into mud puddles and would make it slippery for me to walk. I hated it! Malden eventually renovated the park into what it looks like today, but that isn't the end of the story.
It is the community’s job to maintain the park and keep it clean, especially the public garden. But some park goers allow their kids to run in the garden and trample the plants and flowers planted in there, making the garden very unpleasant to look at for the rest of the community who go to the park. However, members of the community soon worked together to try and regrow the garden. Today the garden is in the progress of becoming a really beautiful place to plant vegetables and flowers. Plus, parents are a lot more careful with their kids playing inside there now.
The park’s improvement truly makes me proud to be a part of the community, and I believe it will improve even more to years to come – for generations of families and friends to enjoy.”
We are excited to bring more Malden youth perspectives, like My’s, for you to enjoy. My, it’s great to have you as part of the ACDC family!
If you want to support more young leaders like My, please consider making a donation: