The meaning of public service varies per respondent. From past conversations, many CAPAL alum, board members, and interns have immigrated or family members who have immigrated to the states. A common thread lies in the stories of struggle and overcoming discrimination, how that transformed into a feeling of belonging and love for this nation, and then into an inspiration to give back through public service.
Four years ago, I moved from California to Washington D.C. Upon joining my department, I was approached by various Asian American organizations offering mentorship to federal employees. These organizations helped guide me through my career, and I feel that it is imperative to give back and build future generations of Asian Americans in service. I joined the CAPAL board to contribute and support minorities in the public and non-profit sector.
As part of the CAPAL Development Committee, we brought in the highest number of internship positions and funding this year. CAPAL’s financial pockets have deepened with much gratitude to our public and private partners, allowing more hired staff and a broader span of interns. I enjoy fostering relationships with our federal and private partners and hearing their stories — why they care about AAPIs, what motivates them to contribute to CAPAL, and the lengths they’ll go to do so. Carmen Reynolds of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), has been a selfless role model to her interns. On many occasions, Ms. Reynolds has come to the aide of her interns—whether it’s to drive someone to the grocery store, bank, Target or even to the emergency room.
Overtime, CAPAL has become a close-knit community. Alumni, past and current board, as well as interns should engage one another, similar to how college alumni stay engaged with their university or how retired athletes stay engaged through giving back to the sport (ie. Agassi and O’Connor).
Jasmine Fang is a management and program analyst at the Department of Homeland Security, where she works on international travel programs. She graduated from the University of CA Irvine with degrees in Economics and Management, and is currently pursuing a part-time MBA at Georgetown McDonough, where she is the evening liaison for the Asia Business Consortium. Through the D.C. Mayor’s Project BUILD initiative, Jasmine offered complimentary consulting services for minority small business. Jasmine enjoys tennis, poetry, and all things outdoors.
Posted by Nyana Quashie
Nyana recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Geographical Sciences. While there she also pursued minors in Global Poverty, and Spanish. She is committed to engaging communities and creating social change both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, she consulted with local businesses in Nicaragua as an intern with the Social Entrepreneur Corps. She also recently completed a fellowship at the grassroots advocacy organization RESULTS, working to end poverty around the world. Nyana has previously volunteered with CAPAL, blogging on rising leaders in the APA community, and assisting with the Washington Leadership Program. Currently, Nyana serves as CAPAL’s Programs and Operations Intern and will be focusing on event planning, volunteer engagement and fundraising. In her free time, you can often find Nyana reading a book, catching up on shows, or attempting to cook.