Become an effective leader and advance your career through the AAPA Mentorship Program!

About the Mentorship Program


Through one-on-one mentorship with an AAPA volunteer mentor, learn the strategies to advance your career and elevate your potential.


Learn key management, communication, branding, and soft skills for advancement through the management ranks.


Practice and apply the skills that you learn in the classroom, and take on leadership roles to show you are an exemplary and effective leader.

AAPA Mentorship Program

The AAPA Mentorship Program develops mentees into more capable leaders. These mentees are better equipped to deliver more added-value, provide diverse perspectives, and bring greater talent to their companies and organizations.


The goal of the AAPA formal mentor matching program is to establish an effective and results-oriented mentoring relationship between mentors and mentees.

Mentees benefit from one-on-one mentoring with an experienced, knowledgeable and trusted AAPA Mentor. The mentor and mentee will establish specific and achievable goal(s) and an action plan related to goal setting, career development, career changes, professional development, etc. The official duration of the mentoring relationship is the current calendar year.

In addition, while the mentee is paired with one mentor for the duration of the year, the mentee is also free to speak to any of the AAPA mentors at any events throughout the year.

Three Learning Hubs per year
Have a burning workplace/career question? Not sure what step you should take next? Looking for a support group where you may get feedback/bounce your ideas off of? At AAPA Learning Hubs, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions among Mentors, Mentees, community leaders and guests and enhance your learning among peers. This is your opportunity to practice applying leadership and management concepts from AAPA Workshops, work within small teams and be more accountable to those on your team. Learning Hubs are smaller informal events that can be discussion/topic-focused, based on your needs. Learning Hubs are held three times per year as part of the AAPA Mentorship Program.

Three Workshops per year
Learn key leadership and management skills to excel and advance your career! AAPA Mentors will share their knowledge and experiences on various leadership and management topics in small group settings. Workshops are held three times per year as part of the AAPA Mentorship Program.


(Pick one Class from each Workshop)

Workshop #1 – April 11, 2020

  • Class #1 – Interviewing Techniques for Success
  • Class #2 – Assertiveness and Negotiations

Workshop #2 – May 30, 2020

  • Class #1 – Brand and Professional Presence
  • Class #2 – Decision Making and Risk Taking

Workshop #3 – September 12, 2020

  • Class #1 – Leadership Styles Matter
  • Class #2 – Corporate Rules of Success
  • Class #3 – Delegation and Empowerment

As a mentee, you have the opportunity to meet and connect with mentors, speakers, donors, corporate leaders, community leaders, alumni and peers. The AAPA network continues to expand each year.

Enjoy an end-of-year graduation gala and banquet. Mentees who have completed their track requirements are eligible to graduate and will receive a completion certificate.

Click an image below to view mentor bios.

AAPA Idea Talks

  • RISING TO THE CHALLENGE | 04/04/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • VIRTUAL JOB INTERVIEWS | 04/11/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • CRAFTING MODERN DAY RESUME | 04/18/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • COVID-19 RELIEF AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL BUSINESS | 04/25/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • READINESS FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES TO RETURN TO WORK | 05/02/2020 – Saturday | Webinar
  • COVID-19 ACCESS AND ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESS| 05/09/2020 – Saturday | Webinar

Mentorship Program Events:

  • INTRODUCTORY SESSION | 01/23/2020 | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Downtown Los Angeles
  • MENTOR/MENTEE ORIENTATION | Saturday, 04/04/2020 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Webinar
  • WORKSHOP#1 | 04/25/2020 | Saturday, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Webinar
  • LEARNING HUB#2 | TBD | Thursday, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Downtown Los Angeles
  • WORKSHOP#2 | Saturday, 05/30/2020 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM | Webinar
  • LEARNING HUB#3 | 08/27/2020 | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM | Rosemead
  • WORKSHOP#3 | 09/12/2020 | 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Pasadena

Hear stories

AAPA Mentors:

  • Michael Chee


Michael Chee


What makes you committed to AAPA?

Michael: I believe in life-long learning and constantly expanding one’s knowledge base.  It’s very rewarding for me to share insight, experience and knowledge knowing that someone else can use it and benefit from it.

What are the top 3 things you learned in AAPA and h​ow do you apply what you learned?


  1. That we all share many common experiences and that many of our frustrations in the workplace are similar.
  2. That by understanding the human dynamic more objectively, we all gain better insight into our own issues and challenges and how to resolve them.

What are the challenges you have as a minority employee / entrepreneur in these economic times and how do / did you overcome them?

Michael:  Being taken seriously for our leadership skills and experience is a daily battle.  Exerting the appropriate amount of assertiveness with knowledge and expertise requires daily effort and must constantly be supported with insight that is current and facts and information that is substantial.   You have to be on top of your own knowledge base constantly.

Why would you recommend AAPA to your friends, and colleagues?

Michael:  I recommend AAPA because if you’ve never thought about your career path or what you need or what it takes to get ahead, then this is one of the best, most affordable programs that can teach you how to make that happen.

What do you believe are the qualities of a good leader?

Michael:  Know you have the capacity to be a leader.

Take the initiative and secure the skills and understanding necessary to assert yourself in becoming a leader.

Never forget your team – there’s saying “it takes more than one soldier to make an army.”

  • Mary Lam

    Mary Lam

    ACT Camps

Mary Lam

Mary Lam

ACT Camps

What makes you committed to AAPA?

Mary:  I truly believe in AAPA’s mission! When I joined, I was looking to develop my leadership skills. And I will always be on a lifelong journey of learning. Now, I’m committed to paying it forward by inspiring others to tap into their leadership potential through AAPA.

What are the top 3 things you learned in AAPA and h​ow do you apply what you learned?


    • In any life endeavor, you reap what you sow. When I first joined AAPA, it took me a while to reach out to my mentor. After time, I became a much more active participant and the meetings with my mentor energized me. The more I learned about her, the more she inspired me. I gained a role model, advocate and friend.
    • Always acknowledge receipt of your emails. If you know it’s going to take you hours to work on a request you received in an email, respond that you’re on it versus waiting to respond when you’ve completed the request. This gives your supervisor peace of mind and reinforces the notion that you are someone people can count on. In a supervisory role, you must do the same thing. Responding to questions or requests for reviewal in a timely manner lets your employees know that you care about their work and want to help them accomplish their tasks.
    • Be open and willing to share your own experiences. Communication is key in the workplace. It probably goes without saying that people who understand each other on a deeper level can work together and communicate more efficiently.

What are the challenges you have as a minority employee / entrepreneur in these economic times and how did you overcome them?

Mary:  I have experienced discrimination based off of my race or gender throughout my career and life, especially as an immigrant when I first came to Texas as a college student. But I never saw myself as a minority employee because I refuse to label myself. Labels can create limitations and self-doubt. When I encounter any challenge that seems to be out of my control, I find a way to change my perception of the situation. You can always make the choice to move forward.

Why would you recommend AAPA to your friends, and colleagues?
Mary:  If you want to grow in a specific area, you must seek out mentors and role models. Networking and building relationships with others in your field and with people who have completely different experiences from you is the best way to advance in your career and grow in whatever area you are looking to better yourself.

What do you believe are the qualities of a good leader?”​

Mary: I believe that good leaders in all phases of their careers and lives have these traits in common:

    • Relationship building and effective communication skills
    • An open-mindedness to new ideas and criticism
    • A constant desire to learn and grow
    • A genuine investment in others and wanting to see people around you succeed

AAPA Alumni:

  • Cooper Chien

    Cooper Chien

    Huawei Tech

Cooper Chien

Cooper Chien

Huawei Tech

Cooper Chien is an AAPA Alumnus who participated in Tracks 1 through 3 of the Mentorship Program between 2010 and 2012. Today, he is Director of IT at Huawei Technologies in Silicon Valley. Previously, he was an IT Manager at Amazon, managing the IT infrastructure of three e-Commerce fulfillment centers and launching a 1 million square foot robotic fulfillment center . After graduating from AAPA, Cooper mentored and developed 5 technical support specialists to become engineers “by employing AAPA methodology.”

“AAPA transformed me from a modest engineer to an effective leader. Through AAPA, I learned how to market myself and broaden my career horizon. It also showed me several professional ways to promote myself without annoying others. After my second year in AAPA, I successfully obtained a promotion to become a manager of 5 engineers. My mentors shared the lessons they learned to help accelerate my growth. Most importantly, my mentors were able to objectively tell me that I had outgrown my job. When I became too good at my job, it was paradoxically a sign of stagnation in my career growth.”

“AAPA was an important guiding light towards my career growth. Our careers usually have a few critical crossroads, which might be a promotion, job change, or opening a new business. By actively participating in AAPA’s programs, you will find yourself much better prepared when you arrive at that crossroad.”

  • Lonnie Ko

    Lonnie Ko

    Full Measure Educ

Lonnie Ko

Lonnie Ko

Full Measure Educ

Lonnie Ko is an AAPA Alumnus who participated in Tracks 1 through 3 of the Mentorship Program between 2012 and 2014. Today, he is Director of Marketing at Full Measure Education Inc. in Washington, DC. Before this, he did Business Development at Providge Consulting, Public Content (Media Partnerships) at Facebook, was Head of Progressive Digital Strategy for Hillary for America, and was the Business Development Manager in his family’s embroidery and screen printing shop.

“AAPA has helped me in my career because it is a unique place where you will find quality seasoned professionals in one location dedicated to your success. When I first joined the 2014 Symposium planning committee, I thought I would be a fly on the wall. However, the Mentors asked for my input. This boosted my self-confidence and made me recognize the value I brought to the table.”

“What would I advise future and current AAPA mentees and graduates is to just start a dialogue with a mentor. When you engage in meaningful conversations, great things happen. A good mentor will always be there to listen. All you need to do is take the first step.”

Corporate Partners

Past Speakers

Kit San Lai

AAPA not only provided the knowledge to be successful in Corporate America, but also provided a wide platform of mentors for us to ask questions in a safe zone. The AAPA staff and mentors have put in their heart, time and effort in making the learning experience as comprehensive as possible.

Mentorship Program FAQs

  • WHO: Open to professionals at junior, mid, and advanced career levels who seek career mobility and inclusion in management and leadership pipelines. 
    • Everyone is encouraged to apply.
    • AAPA will not discriminate due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and veteran or disability status.
  • WHAT: A 12-month program that provides diverse professionals with one-on-one mentoring and leadership training, and networking opportunities for career advancement.     
  • WHEN: Program runs from January to December each year
  • WHERE: Events will be held at Rosemead and Pasadena, CA

  • The application period is open November to January each year.
  • Early Bird fee: $250 (applications received before February 14, 2020)
  • Regular fee: $500 (applications received after February 14, 2020)

Applications are now being accepted.

  • January (Thursday night): Introductory Session, Downtown Los Angeles
  • March (Saturday morning): Learning Hub #1, Pasadena
  • April (Saturday morning): Workshop #1, Pasadena
  • May (Monday night): Learning Hub #2, Rosemead
  • June (Saturday morning): Workshop #2, Pasadena
  • August (Monday night): Learning Hub #3, Rosemead
  • September (Saturday morning): Workshop #3, Pasadena

View 2020 program events here:

1. IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS: Understand what you want to get out of the program. Developing clear goals and objectives at the beginning will set you up for greater success. We also encourage each of you to share your professional development goals and initiatives with your manager. Take the opportunity to share how your professional development and growth will benefit the company. Your manager may even consider sponsoring your AAPA training.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH: Conduct your research on the program, attend a few events, talk to mentors, mentees, and alumni, and review the mentor bios.

3: APPLY: Be as detailed and specific as possible in your application. Mentors want to know that you are committed to developing yourself, committed to the mentoring relationship, and if accepted, that you will be committed to making the most out of the program.

4. PARTICIPATE IN A Q&A SESSION:  Speak to an AAPA Mentor and have the opportunity to share your purpose, potential, and provide examples.  You will be asked questions related to the following: 1) your capacity to learn from your own mistakes and apply lessons to the future, 2) your capacity to think strategically from an organizational perspective, especially when dealing with complex situations, and 3) your commitment and motivation to actively manage and plan your career, stretch yourself, and seek out opportunities.

[By the end of January, we will notify all candidates of admission decisions for the program. Payment will be due within two to three weeks after.]

  • Mentees review mentors’ bios on the AAPA website and/or meet the mentors at the January Introductory Session.
  • During a one-week period in February, you will be prompted to select your top three Mentor preferences through the AAPA membership portal.
  • Mentees submit their request for their top three mentor preferences. The mentees’ first mentor preference will be given a matching priority. If the mentee does not indicate any preferences, a mentor will be assigned.
  • The mentors will also review the mentees’ applications and resumes, and select their top three mentee preferences.
  • Mentees will be matched with a mentor based on goals, interests, industry preference, mentors’ background, experience, and availability.

  • Mentees initiate the one-on-one partnership by contacting their mentor to schedule their first meeting (as well as ongoing meetings).
  • Mentor and mentee pairs should meet at least once every month or every two months to share goal progress and other coaching activities.
  • The mentor and mentee pair will discuss and negotiate a schedule for meetings that are convenient to both parties, as well as jointly set goals for the year.
  • At the end of the program year, the mentor and mentee pair should complete an assessment of the goals, action plan, accomplishments, relationship, and the mentor matching program.

A successful relationship requires proactive efforts on the part of the mentee and mentor. Finding a mentor is only the beginning. This guide will be a starting block to develop an effective mentee and mentor relationship.

The goal of the AAPA formal mentor matching program is to establish an effective and results-oriented one-on-one mentoring relationship between mentors and mentees. This program is voluntary. The matched mentee and mentor will establish specific and achievable goal(s) and an action plan on goal setting, career development, etc. The mentee and mentor should meet regularly to work on achieving these goals.

At the end of the program year, the mentee and mentor pair should evaluate the accomplishments and the mentoring relationship. The official duration of the mentoring relationship is the current calendar year. It is up to the mentor and the mentee to extend the duration beyond the official time period. While the mentee is paired with one mentor for the duration of the year, the mentee is also free to speak to any of the AAPA mentors at any events throughout the year.

As a mentee:

  • You are the achiever willing to take the initiative for your own development and make the most of available learning opportunities.
  • You are the “gauge” to measure how interactive and successful your mentoring experience will be.
  • You decide upon the amount of help and guidance you need.
  • You identify the skills and competencies you wish to gain and assume the initiative to ask for the help or guidance to achieve your goals.
  • You are responsible for devoting your time to the mentoring relationship with on-going interaction with your mentor.
  • Mentoring is a journey mentors and mentees embark on together and both have a responsibility to create a committed, mutually beneficial relationship.
  • You and your mentor will help each other arrive at a common destination to achieve professional excellence.
  • A mentor and mentee form an interactive relationship that starts with building basic elements of understanding and trust. As the relationship continues, it involves establishing purposes and goals.

To graduate from the AAPA Mentorship Program (and receive your completion certificate), you will need to fulfill the following program requirements:

  • One-On-One Mentoring: Regularly participate in One-on-One Mentoring, meet and connect with your mentor at a minimum of once every quarter. We highly encourage all mentees to meet and connect with their mentors once every month or every two months to provide updates and feedback, and develop the mentoring relationship.
  • Event Attendance: Attend two out of three Learning Hubs AND two out of three Workshops. However, we highly encourage mentees to participate in all the Learning Hubs AND Workshops, as well as additional mentoring and networking activities, as they provide valuable career advancement strategies and skills.
  • Volunteer: Apply your leadership skills as an AAPA Volunteer. Help lead a minimum of two (2) AAPA events, which may include the Introductory Session, Learning Hubs #1-3, Workshops #1-3 or the Leadership Symposium.

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