MISSION STATEMENT: The American Association of Yemeni Students and Professionals is a national organization that promotes innovation in advancing the educational success of Yemeni-Americans by fostering research, networking, mentoring, advocacy, academic support, community-based initiatives, and elimination of barriers to education.
VISION STATEMENT: Our compelling vision is to build empowered, healthy, and resilient Yemeni-American
communities with the leadership skills, infrastructure, and resources to maximize academic performance, student success, and civic participation in a diverse society.
BACKGROUND: Initially migrating to the United States during the mid-to-late nineteenth century, Yemeni-
Americans often sought employment as factory laborers, shopkeepers, and farm workers. During the twentieth century, communities of Yemeni-Americans have emerged in northern cities, such as Brooklyn and Buffalo; mid-western cities, such as Chicago and Dearborn-Detroit; and western cities, such as Oakland and San Francisco.
CHALLENGES: Comparatively low population in relation to other Arab-American groups. In some assessments of power relations, Yemeni-Americans, comprising a small percentage of the total Arab-American population, rank below other significantly larger groups, such as Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians and Egyptians. Yemeni-Americans today are the least educated among the aforementioned groups. Many young men and women do not finish high school and those who manage to graduate do not pursue college education. Socio-economic factors are responsible for the low percentage of Yemeni-Americans in colleges and professional fields.
THE AAYSP : The American Association of Yemeni Students and Professionals was established to promote the value of education among Yemenis and to support the academic achievement of Yemeni American students. The organization has established itself as the premier the premier organization engaged in the collection and interpretation of data pertaining to Yemeni-Americans in K-12 and higher education. Despite its modest resources, the organization has sought to make an impact by creating chapters in Michigan, California, Washington DC, Chicago, and New York.
Over the past several years, the organization established a mentorship program, provided scholarships in California, and Michigan, held four national conferences focusing on the education of Yemeni-Americans and established partnerships with other governmental, educational, and community based organizations to fulfill its mission in closing the achievement gap for Yemeni-American students.