Over 30 local youth were honored for their volunteerism last week at the monthly City of Folsom Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at City Hall. The meeting opened with the presentation of awards to the latest round of students that are part of the APAPA-Folsom chapter Internship Program.

APAPA, which stands for the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, is a nonpartisan nonprofit with over 35 chapters across the country and is continuing to grow with new chapters forming across the country. The organization’s mission is “to advance Asian American and Pacific Islander communities through increased civic engagement and leadership. 


The Folsom chapter of the APAPA Internship Program works in coordination with Folsom Parks and Recreation. The local chapter was established in 2019, designed to inspire and empower culturally and ethnically diverse graduating high school students in Folsom and Rancho Cordova areas to become civically engaged, preparing them to become future leaders in our community. Longtime Folsom resident and City Council Member YK Chalamcherla was instrumental in founding the local chapter and continues to be involved with it today as an acting board member and participant. 

Each summer the local APAPA chapter organizes its local youth during their summer break to help with various projects across the city. During this time, dozens of Asian youth volunteers ranging from 12 to 19 years, along with several parent volunteers, go to work on a variety of projects, dedicating their time of from school to help their community. 


Working under the supervision and guidance of Folsom’s Park and Recreation, the students worked on landscape maintenance for Folsom public parks and trails; trimmed hazardous branches on the Creekside, Lexington, Johnny Cash trail, etc. They also changed out landscaping mulch for the Folsom Kids Park, Econome Park and repainted benches, gazebos and other amenities, including fire lanes, tennis courts and more.

Another project the students do each year is a zoo enrichment assignment. This is where they create hand-made crafts to help animals to hunt for food and stimulate their brains. Their product “delivery day” is always a big festival for the zoo animals and a live-show day for the zoo customers each year.


To recognize their contribution, Folsom Parks and Recreation hosted its annual awards ceremony last week. After enjoying dinner and refreshments at city hall, students and parents were honored for their commitment and hard work during the program in 2023.  


Those wishing to get involved with the Folsom chapter of APAPA can learn more through their website at https://www.apapa.org/folsom.

Student APAPA Volunteers for 2023 included:

Shreya Aggarwal

Diya Ahmad

Anish Bokka

Jethri Burle

Nathan Chen

Lance Hall

Eric Hall

Jasper Hu

Yimo Huang

Qihua Huang

Sameeksha Kankipati

Angelina Liu

Jessica Lu

Troy McKee

Amal Narasingu

Zhiming Qi

Sheena Raghuraman

Anishka Raghurman

Sally Shi

Anxin Shi

Pearl Shi

Akshita Sudhakar

Siikara Ritesh Tadigota

Xiwen Tang

Kylie Wilson

Summer Xie

Justin Zhang

Brianna Zhang

Bryan Zhang

Jason Zhang

Mx Zhang

Parent APAPA Volunteers for 2023 included:

Kai Chen

Xingqiu Deng

Xue Li Fan

Fan Hall

Patrick Hall

Xiong Huang

Saisudha Kadimisetty

Han Lai

Jade Li

Ying Liu

Chunyan Mao

Sri Narasinghu

Lakshmi Nigadavolu

Laura Rong

Deepika Singh

Nithya Sudhaka

Jufang Tan

Yanping Tang

Da Xu

Jing Zhang.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.