Our CAPAL Intern Spotlight is Johnnie Nguyen, who interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service – White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) this summer.
What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are some of your big projects?
Although on administrative papers I’m under Forest Service, I’m actually placed under the WHIAAPI project. I’m currently conducting research to apply to the Annual Fiscal Report that will be published on the White House website.
How does this internship/scholarship fit with your professional and career goals?
My goal and dream in life is to be a State Representative for Colorado one day, and represent with an Asian American background. I feel this internship is granting me the knowledge of things that I would never learn in a text book – I’m learning things that well round me as a person while showing me on-hands of how our federal agencies work. I’m learning a lot about the asian community outside of Vietnam where I’m most familiar.
What do you hope to achieve this summer through your scholarship/internship experience?
Being the only Colorado Intern, I am representing my home. Since I’m away, I want to learn something that I can’t learn in Colorado, and bring that back with me in my return. I think spreading the wealth of knowledge is very key to creating a better society.
I hope to achieve unique knowledge that I can share with my community.
What does public service mean to you?
Public service to me means giving back to something that matters to you. Everyone is dealt a different hand of cards in life, some more unfortunate than the others. The great country we live in has granted us a lot of help and its a blessing to know that everyone has the ability once granted to pass that along and make the world a better place.
What do you consider to be the most interesting thing about you?
The most interesting thing about me is my source of happiness. I find it in being around others who care about this world and want to make it a better place.
What was your most exciting experience in Washington, D.C. this summer?
I really enjoyed the fireworks on the 4th of July, and the closing Ceremony!
A Colorado native, Johnnie Nguyen is a rising Sophomore at the University of Colorado Denver, studying Political Science and Economics on a Pre-law track. He currently serves as an elected Senator for the Student Government Association, he is on the board for the Council of Asian Student Leaders, and is interning for a Denver District Attorney Campaign led by Colorado University Regent Michael Carrigan. Johnnie is greatly inspired by the philosophy that the pen will always be mightier than the sword, because growing up Johnnie had often dealt with conflicts of violence in his educational atmosphere. However through speaking up using peaceful activism, had created resolutions in such a limiting learning environment. Johnnie’s hopes are to continue to advocate peace by becoming a Colorado State Representative, because he believes in sticking up to bullies, making positive change in the world, and creating a legacy for a better tomorrow. He also wants to contribute to tearing down racial stereotypes that corrupt our society, and inspire social activism amongst the grassroots level. For CAPAL, Johnnie’s internship will be involved with the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) in relations to the United States Department of Agriculture.
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