Despite the common stereotypes of Asian Americans’ high educational achievements, one in five adult Asians do not graduate with a high school diploma – more than that of 16% for all New York adults, according to the Federation’s Profile of New York State’s Asian Americans: 2005-2007. Additionally, 12% of Asian adults had less than a ninth-grade education compared with 7% of adults in general.
Many Asian American parents lack the knowledge and tools to navigate the U.S. public school system and cannot access help for their children because of deep cultural and language barriers. The Profile of New York State’s Asian Americans also documented that over two in five Asians (42%) spoke English less than “very well” compared with the statewide limited English proficiency (LEP) rate of 13%.
Studies have shown that because of the cultural gap between first-generation Asian immigrant parents and second-generation American born or raised children, an increasing number of Asian American youth struggle to define their bicultural identity and thus experience academic underachievement, low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.
Connecting to Resources
In 2010, through its annual Community Fund, the Federation granted over $62,000 to member agencies for capacity building and program services providing critical services to the Asian American community's children and families. Some of the services supported by this year's Community Fund include:
- Year-round, weekly youth group activities for Asian American youth.
- Support groups for families of children with behavior and physical disabilities.
- Sports programs for Asian American youth.
- Advocacy work to reform the child welfare system and reduce child abuse and neglect among Asia American families.