Camille Sanchez attends Pomona College in southern California, where she majors in Public Policy Analysis (concentration in Economics) and minors in Art. This past summer she interned in the CAPAL office with staff, coordinating programs and events.
What major projects are you working on in your internship? What responsibilities are you most excited about and why?
I manage CAPAL’s Roundtable Leadership Series, our annual Career Fair, and our Patuxent Research Refuge trip. I handle registrations and other logistics for our Washington Leadership Programs, and sometimes I help with planning/screening the content of the activities. I also compile our attendance metrics of our events and survey data from our WLPs. I think it’s really interesting to see who is being represented (and who is not!) at our programming, and I hope to think of ways to outreach to underrepresented populations. I enjoy looking through the feedback on our WLPs; even if it’s a lot of page flipping, it’s important stuff!
With all the events I manage, I do a lot of e-mailing. Lots and lots of e-mailing. But I’m corresponding with a lot of important people, which is useful if I ever want to connect with them for another internship or job in the future. Having access to all these contacts and personally collaborating with them for events is really exciting and rewarding.
When did you realize you wanted to explore public service?
Unintentionally, all my past summer experiences were with nonprofits, so I guess it’s destiny? Two summers ago I was introduced to the business/networking side of nonprofit life through a program with my town’s YMCA. We worked with a lot of other community organizations and members. It was the first time in my life that I had to wear business professional attire on a somewhat frequent basis. I can’t say that experience was exactly positive, but it really opened my eyes to the scope of what a nonprofit entails.
Last summer, I did more hands-on work through the 3W Summer Camp by Uncommon Good, a local charity in my college’s town. I crafted my own curriculum and taught art to local under-served students. My class focused on self-portraits, but ultimately I hoped to impart to my students that they don’t need to worry about being perfect all the time. This experience was vastly different from the previous summer. Here, I was in an extremely supportive environment and had a lot of autonomy. Additionally, instead of working with the top level of a nonprofit—where I felt a bit removed—I was on the ground teaching, interacting with, and learning from a great group of kids. My experience with 3W led me to continue working with under-served youth in my sophomore year of college.
I feel like my internship at CAPAL is a synthesis of my past two summers. I am doing a lot of professional things that require me to wear a blazer, a lot of behind-the-scenes work at the top level. But I am also interacting with the communities that CAPAL is serving and seeing the direct impact of our summer programming. To me, empowerment of oppressed communities is public service, and that is something I want to do regardless of my future career.
What are your plans/goals after this internship? Are there any goals you want to accomplish this summer?
After this internship, I’m looking forward to resting at home for a week and then heading back to Southern California for school. On campus, my primary goal is to survive my econ classes. Then in the spring I intend to do an internship back in DC, and in the summer I hope that I will be able to study abroad in Asia and improve my Mandarin.
This summer, my goal is to develop professionally, gain valuable experiences, and learn how to articulate those experiences for my resume. I want to learn how to navigate yuppie life. But I also hope to make a handful of really good friends!
What are you looking forward to in DC?
This is my first time living in the middle of a city all by myself. I’m excited to experience daily life in our nation’s capital while also figuring out how to “adult.” (It seems that a big part of “adult”-ing is cooking; luckily I am pretty comfortable in the kitchen!)
I’m also pumped to visiting all the free museums and finding as many ways to entertain myself while spending as little money as possible.
What do you do for fun?
I waste plenty of time reading webcomics and girly romance manga. I was obsessed with illustration books as a kid, so it’s upsetting to me that there are not really any illustrated books geared toward adults. I guess comics are the closest socially acceptable thing. I like occasionally reading action and thriller, but sappy high school romances are my bread and butter.
I like to paint and draw, as well. There was a point in my life where I would draw fan art for shows and books I was interested in.
I also love baking sweets whenever I get the chance. I refuse to use store-bought mixes for anything—baking from scratch is the only way to go! My favorite things to make are leche flan (a Filipino custard), banana bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Generally, I add a little more sugar than the original recipe asks for—I probably have the sweetest tooth out of anyone that I know.
What is something that most people would not know about you?
I like drawing comics about my life experiences. I’ve drawn small, silly comics for as long as I can remember, and I started posting some online around early high school. I like drawing about awkward experiences or insecurities in a funny way because if these comics can help people laugh at themselves and find light in a dark point of their lives, I feel fulfilled. While I have mostly posted strips, someday I want to draw my own actual comic with a plot and developed characters and everything, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
I also used to blog for my school. I wrote about unusual topics that are not really talked about on college blogs (like communal bathrooms and biking around campus), and I included illustrations. I attempted to be funny, but you can judge that for yourself.
Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.
Felicia Wong is a recent graduate from the College of William & Mary, where she double majored in Neuroscience and Asian American Studies and led the Filipino American Student Association and Global Medical Brigades chapters on campus. She was part of the CAPAL Scholars & Interns Class of 2016, and she hopes to continue the mission that inspired her to connect her interests in healthcare with the community she found in her cultural background and teachings. Felicia has been involved with a variety of media projects affording visibility to minority communities, her most recent project centering on a video for #AAPIs4BLM. Having lived in Germany for most of her childhood, Felicia makes regular trips back to visit her family, providing opportunities for her to indulge in her greatest joys: eating vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce, taking fashion cues from strangers, cooking with her family. Non-country specific pleasures include: biking, music-browsing, RuPaul-fangirling. felicia.wong [at] capal [dot] org