Our CAPAL Intern Spotlight this week is HaoYang “Carl” Jiang, currently interning at U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA-RD), and working on a Master’s degree in Education, while also teaching full time through Teach for America in Las Vegas, NV.
What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are some of your big projects?
At the USDA-RD office, I am charged with assisting the Human Resources Training branch develop training modules for their employees. As a result of shifting hiring policies, and a strong demand for expertise in programming and management duties to empower impoverished rural communities, there are a variety of increased expectations for our office.
My specific role entails the creation and facilitation of five separate trainings which will take place from August 25th-27th at the USDA-RD Training Symposium in St. Louis, Missouri. This conference will include all Rural Development HR employees at the state and national offices, with over 150 employees in attendance. I have designed lesson plans, group activities, and assessments for all five of these trainings.
How does this internship/scholarship fit with your professional and career goals?
Since I am currently a Teach for America corps member, about to embark on my second year of teaching in the Las Vegas Valley, I am grateful to receive additional training and practice in instructional design. My supervisor, David Rudd, has given me a different perspective on my classroom pedagogy by introducing me to adult education. From trainings on teamwork and goal-setting, to negotiation and creative problem solving, there are several skills I will take back to my 7th grade classroom.
With respect to my future professional goals, I have always been concerned and interested in assisting developing communities. As an urban kid from the South Side of Chicago, I had very limited experiences with rural communities until I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through this internship, I have been educated on the diverse needs of rural towns, farms, and families. I have been emboldened to continue my path towards public service at the local level, and I hope to take this passion and expertise back to Nevada.
What do you hope to achieve this summer through your scholarship/internship experience?
I have two main goals for this summer. One, I want to be able to translate my experiences from my internship to my current career. Two, I want to develop connections with CAPAL Fellows, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) professionals, and public service mentors in order to understand how I may better serve my community and solve the issues I find most important.
I believe I am on a path to success on both parts. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to not only develop skills at the USDA, but also speak to leaders in so many federal departments, issue areas, and even political parties through CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program sessions and the AAPI Leadership Roundtable Lunch series.
What does public service mean to you?
In my opinion, public service means a devotion to others. It is not a focus on the individual, but rather the community. Not the privileged, but the downtrodden and underrepresented. At the heart of public service, to borrow a phrase from a famous teacher, is “seeking to understand before being understood”. It means listening to the mother of 4 who hopes to feed her children with limited English skills, and the foster child who goes to a school with decade-old textbooks and graffiti on every locker. Only by working in the community and listening to individual stories can change be responsive. Furthermore, I believe in order to engage in public service, one must believe in the inherent good of people, and that every single person has the capacity to do good. Public service cannot succeed if one is pessimistic about its chances.
What do you consider to be the most interesting thing about you?
I am a pretty good dancer. I like to move my body to all kinds of music! My students play reggaeton and underground rap and I just move.
What are you most excited to do in Washington D.C. this summer?
I want to tour the national monuments at night! I also need to compile a list of the best happy hours/restaurants and complete it. I am a huge fan of good food so hopefully I can bring a number of friends together and go on a food crawl.
Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Haoyang “Carl” Jiang recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy. Now pursuing a Master’s in Education at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Carl is currently a 7th grade English teacher in Las Vegas through Teach for America, and is interested in issues concerning juvenile justice and education, specifically the school-to-prison pipeline. Carl would like to continue his work with underprivileged, marginalized populations through law, public policy, and/or community organizing in the future. He is an avid reader, indie music listener, and aspirational chef. Sandwiches are his specialty.
Meet all of our 2015 CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.
Posted by Taylor Huang-Boutelle
Taylor is an incoming Senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is double majoring in World Literature and Feminist Studies, with a concentration in Law, Politics, and Social Change. Taylor is in the D.C. cohort for the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (www.causeusa.org) and is currently a summer interns at the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, where she is focusing on development and fundraising, and will be developing the blog content for this summer. Taylor is passionate about issues of representation, coalition between underserved communities, and creating spaces for strength and solidarity around injustices through community activism and public policy. taylor.boutelle [at] capal [dot] org