What was the moment in your life when you realized you wanted to explore public service?

I started thinking more critically about public service when I got involved in different organizations. I had the opportunity to work closely with refugees and juveniles in college and I learned the impact that public policy can have on these populations. As a result, I wanted to explore public service to discover and learn how to assist these communities on a more macro scale. Fortunately, the WLP series has been allowing me to challenge conventional definitions of public service and realize how everyday actions impact the public. Personally, I regard public service as the attitude that motivates our actions and pursuing a more selfless lifestyle is one I hope to achieve this summer.

What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are you looking forward to the most in your position?

As an intern in the Foreign Agricultural Service, I work in the Office of Foreign Service Operations assisting the office with our foreign partners and work abroad. I am helping organize the Fall 2016 Attaché Tour in Montana with representatives from the foreign embassies in Washington. I support other divisions in their work including a streamlining project for allowances and communications program with International Agricultural Internship Program interns. During my time here, I look forward to learning more about agriculture and becoming more educated in areas I have yet to understand.

How does this internship help you with your professional goals?/What do you want to get out of it?

The internship serves as a valuable way to learn more about public service. I was interested in learn more about the sector since a lot of my interests intersect with it. In particular, I want to become engaged with the policies that shape our nation and impact different communities. The lessons I learn from the USDA will apply to a general understanding of how the government functions and where I envision my role in public service. As a result, I look forward to gaining experience and gauging the type of careers I may be interested in.

What motivates you?

Learning motivates me. I think that the lessons out in the world and my attempts to learn them are what drive me to do what I do. Through my experiences, the people I meet, adventures I take, I believe that seeking to understand the world we live in has encouraged me to find answers. Back in school, I was a part of a social justice organization that always asked “why do you do what you do?” And at first I struggled to think of a genuine answer but I realized over the years that I do what I do to learn outside of a textbook, grow mentally and emotionally, and work towards a more just world.  

What is something that most people would not know about you?

I love donuts! I have this life-long goal of opening up a donut shop when I’m a cute, old, little grandma. I already have the name all set: Bo’s Doughs. I thought about combining it with a fried chicken shop but that already happened and so it would feel unoriginal. I tried once making donuts for a school project but it ended up over-fried and not too good but I’ll never give up on this dream. Give me 50 years or so and I’ll be running a small – and incredibly delicious – donut store.

A recent graduate from UNC- Chapel Hill, Bo Chon is a double major in Economic and Global Studies with a minor in Geography. Before graduating, Bo was heavily involved in Immigrant and Refugee Community Partnership as a program coordinator for Bridge Builders where she matched volunteers to refugee families in the community. In addition to her work with refugees, she was the co-chair for Criminal Justice Action and Awareness where she volunteered at the local juvenile youth home and organized awareness events including the construction of a solitary confinement cell replica. As a Northern VA native, she is excited to return home in a gap year before returning to her pursuit of social justice either as a social worker or through law. She is determined to spark discussions concerning Asian-Americans through her documentary work in exploring the model minority myth. In her free time, Bo will often be caught running, making traveling plans, or going to concerts.

Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.

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.