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A great quote I read from ex-CEO of GE, Jack Welsh, that I believe to be true is, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” As you grow in your career, activities, and other roles in your life, you realize that becoming a “leader” is not about being #1 and having others follow you. It’s even more about supporting others to make sure everyone is uplifted, inspired, and motivated to do their best so that you can all accomplish something great together.

Public service wasn’t something I had ever thought about in depth; I just wanted to help people and the environment. I am not currently working in the public sector but believe that anyone can contribute to the public by doing good no matter where you work. The private sector can hugely influence government and policy, and it’s even better if we can push them in the right direction! It’s about making a difference and leaving the world a better place in any capacity, even if it’s just by a little bit (I know, super cliché, but I really believe it).

CAPAL has definitely introduced me to a lot of new concepts and issues that I was unfortunately not aware of before. I am most passionate about environmental, food, and poverty issues. I was always drawn to these issues purely based on my emotions and empathy. I took my career down the environmental path, and in my free time I volunteer at my local food bank and homeless shelter. I decided to focus my career mostly on environmental and social issues (for now) because I believe it encompasses a lot of different types of issues that all relate back to people! It’s not always just about the trees or butterflies  – humans need those trees, and natural resources, and ecosystems…This is something that I feel like many people in office (or running for office) don’t fully understand.

Screen Shot 2016 08 03 at 2.14.33 PM CAPAL Alum Spotlight Kelly Kim 13CAPAL has definitely introduced me to a lot of new concepts and issues that I was not even aware of before, sad to say. The WLPs were especially awesome, but the best part was interacting with all the different interns and board members who had different backgrounds, and learning their stories, opinions, and outlook on AAPI issues. I would say it has influenced my personal views, and I was encouraged to seek out more information for myself on some of these issues.

I feel really proud that CAPAL has grown the number of interns they support and CAPAL is not only able to provide more internships to students and graduates, but more learning opportunities and social opportunities. They’ve really expanded their networks and grown their reach. CAPAL was always great at collaborating with other organizations, so I’m glad to see that’s continued on. I hope to always stay connected with CAPAL in some capacity.

Kelly is a sustainability consultant at K·Coe Isom. She develops sustainability programs for corporate food and agricultural companies. She is the technical lead on K·Coe Isom’s proprietary assessment services for on-farm sustainability and a co-creator with a university on beef sustainability training. Prior to joining K·Coe Isom in 2013, Kelly interned through CAPAL with the U.S. Forest Service Lands and Realty Management, as well as with the Sustainable Operations team. Kelly also served in the Office of Energy and Sustainability at Virginia Tech where she created sustainable procurement policies and purchasing guides. Kelly graduated in from Virginia Tech in 2013 and holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Biology.

Posted by Felicia Wong

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Felicia Wong is currently a senior at the College of William and Mary, double majoring in Neuroscience and Asian American Studies, and minoring in Biochemistry. She is president of the Filipino American Student Association, and current non-academic projects include creating films calling for diversity curriculums/requirements and establishing an official APIA Studies program. Felicia was also elected president of Global Medical Brigades to lead a sustainable healthcare program in rural communities in Nicaragua. She hopes to connect her interests in healthcare with the community she has found in her cultural background. Having lived in Germany for most of her childhood, Felicia makes yearly trips back to visit her family, providing opportunities for her to indulge in her greatest joys: touring castles, eating at cafés, taking fashion cues from strangers, cooking with her family. Non country-specific pleasures include: biking, watching live music performances, screaming because Game of Thrones.