What major projects are you working on in your position? What responsibilities are you most excited about and why?
As project assistant, my main focus will be on the Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign and event and the CAPAL Alumni Holiday Bash. Giving Tuesday has been an annual event for the past three years, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be working on it.
My goal in this position is to successfully pull off this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign and increase individual giving by 15%. Donations allow so many young people to pursue careers in government and public service. It’s a lot of pressure! But it excites me to know that CAPAL is growing every year, and with that the pipeline for Asian American interested in public service becomes better funded, more expansive, and provides even more benefits.
Social media outreach has been a driving force behind the success of Giving Tuesday in past years and I’m eager for the opportunity to revamp and launch this year’s campaign materials. Our theme this year is #CAPAL4generations, to celebrate how many generations of AANHPI have used CAPAL to launch their careers and to encourage the community to further invest in the community. Giving Tuesday always provides the chance to engage with our illustrious and diverse alumni and I look forward to working with people who are so invested in seeing CAPAL and the AANHPI community succeed.
When did you realize you wanted to explore public service?
During my senior year of college, I started volunteering for a local campaign. Throughout that experience, I noticed how few Asian Americans and other people of color were involved – in fact, my supervisor never tried to recruit from cultural organizations because of the lack of established relationships and perceived disinterest. I’m passionate about Asian Americans having equitable representation in all industries, but I feel that proper representation in public service and government will lead to the most tangible positive change for the AANHPI community.. I slowly came to the realization I wanted to work in public service when I was looking for a position that would allow me to give back to my community and address the challenges I noticed on the campaign trail.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to continue working in a communications capacity for other non-profit organizations in the future. I hope to apply the knowledge I gain about the AANHPI community from working at CAPAL to help other nonprofits gain a greater understanding of this community.
The part of my job I’m most excited about is the opportunity to revamp and launch this year’s campaign materials.
What is something that most people would not know about you?
Before graduating college, I worked as an assistant for a rather renowned photojournalist who was a National Geographic staff photographer in the 80s and 90s. It was the strangest, most unconventional work experience I’ve had to date. Every day was different from the last and my duties ranged from photo editing to hospital trips.
I also enjoy learning new languages in my spare time. I’ve studied French and Mandarin in school, and am also trying to learn Spanish and American Sign Language.
Lauren Su is graduate of the College of William & Mary, where she majored in Philosophy and Literary and Cultural Studies. During her time in undergrad, she edited a campus magazine and helped found the Asian American Student Initiative. Lauren has worked as a copyeditor, data entry clerk, and a photographer’s assistant since graduating. Despite her varied work experience so far, Lauren remains committed to Asian American representation in all fields and is excited to help create more equitable Asian American and Pacific Islander representation in public service and government. She’s a natural introvert, but if you want to get her talking, ask her about mid to late 20th century color photography, the genius of Carly Rae Jepsen, and the superiority of tea over coffee. You can reach her at lauren.su[at]capal[dot]orgBoard of Directors