Our Mission: Increase Asian American civic engagement so that we become more involved in our local communities while also gaining a diversity of experiences and perspectives as service-minded, active citizens.
AACS was founded in 2018 by a group of civically-minded Asian American students from a variety of schools in the St. Louis area. Before starting AACS, we were all involved in community service and interested in national, regional, and local politics. However, we noticed something very concerning. Asian Americans rarely engaged in civic leadership within their community and are rarely included in political discussions. Thus, we started AACS to increase Asian American participation in activism, leadership, and volunteering. By encouraging Asian youth to become more involved in their community, AACS hopes to develop the community’s social and political mindset.
AACS has partnered with many like-minded organizations to engage more members in our community. With their help, we have led many events that promoted our core values of activism, leadership, and volunteering.
Our 2018-2019 Leaders:
Director of Operations
Matthew is the Director of Operations at AACS. He previously worked as a social media intern at Chinese Culture and Education Services. Hanging out with friends, writing, and playing the piano are some of his favorite past times. After being a part of the St. Louis Asian community for so long, he hopes that more peers can realize the benefits of participating in leadership opportunities and community engagement.
Director of Community Outreach
Avi Dundoo is a senior at John Burroughs School. His hobbies include art and playing squash, and he is very involved in the St. Louis Indian community as a Youth Group member of Bal Vihar (Indian cultural school) and a volunteer at various organizations. His goal in working with AACS is to unite the St. Louis Asian community in a combined effort to be more involved members of society through civic engagement.
Director of Civic Engagement
Sunny Lu is a junior at Ladue High School. She is the founder of Students Demand Action St. Louis, the Events Co-Coordinator for Ladue Talking Rams Speech and Debate team, and part of Class 14 of Cultural Leadership. Sunny advocates for social justice through attending and organizing rallies and protests and staying involved in local politics. She was previously the campaign photographer for Cort VanOstran’s run for Congress in the 2018 Midterm election and is currently working as a photographer for Alderwoman Megan Green’s President of the Board of Aldermen campaign. Her artwork has been featured in local galleries, and her latest photography work of local gun-violence activists she works with is to be featured in St. Louis Magazine’s late February release. Sunny believes that community education, engagement, and organization is the only way change can happen.
Director of Community Service and Volunteer Outreach
Ethan is a high school senior at John Burroughs School. He joined AACS in the summer of 2018 as Director of Community Service and Volunteer Outreach. He attended the St. Louis Modern Chinese school from when he was in kindergarten until eighth grade, learning (or at least trying to learn) how to read and write in Chinese, but also spectacularly failing at kung fu class. Outside of AACS, Ethan volunteers for his school community service club, plays French Horn for the St. Louis Youth Orchestra, and golfs for his school golf team. Ethan hopes that his involvement with AACS will help other Asian American students in St. Louis become more knowledgeable and involved in their community.
Director of Social Media
Katie is a high school sophomore at John Burroughs School. She previously worked as a social media intern for Chinese Culture and Education Services. A graduate of St. Louis Modern Chinese School, Katie continues to participate in their cultural dance classes, performing annually in the Chinese Culture Days at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Outside of AACS, she enjoys filmmaking, music, and art. As Director of Social Media, Katie aims to promote AACS through various platforms. In doing so, she hopes to unite the Asian American youth and help them find their place in society as strong leaders and contributors.
Co-Director of Social Media
Shudi is a high-school sophomore attending MICDS. She attended St. Louis Modern Chinese School from kindergarten to fifth grade and now studies Chinese independently. Outside of school and AACS, she plays the piano, fences, and drinks (too much) bubble tea. Shudi hopes that by helping with AACS, she can promote community service and awareness throughout the St. Louis Asian community.
Dr. Min Liu
Dr. Min Liu is the proud adviser of AACS. A Professor of Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, she has lived in St Louis since 2007 and is actively involved in the Chinese community. She serves on the board of several non-for-profit organizations, including the Chinese Service Center in St Louis, and the Chinese Culture and Education Services. She hopes that AACS of St Louis will become a platform for more St Louis Asian youths to become engaged citizens of their community, to build leadership skills, and to have a stronger voice in issues that matter to them.