David Kim is a rising second year at Case Western Reserve University. His academic interests include economics, marketing, theater, and computer science. David is excited to be a CAPAL intern for the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. He aims to acquire more skills and a greater network that will help him become a better servant leader in his community.
How has your focus on AANHPI issues changed or developed through interning at CAPAL?
CAPAL opened the door for me to explore AANHPI issues by removing the barriers that previously held me back from the topic. Being second generation biracial, Chinese and Korean, and growing up in an Americanized household, I only learned English and practiced cultural customs on special occasions. These factors made me feel less Chinese and Korean. I felt like I was Asian only by technicality, an imposter around others who were “more” Chinese or Korean. By college, when I began hearing about AANHPI issues, I was too embarrassed to even research the challenges because I was ashamed of not knowing enough about the subject. Interning at CAPAL has pivoted how I view and discuss AANHPI issues. CAPAL provided a safe and supportive environment that allowed me to ask questions I was too afraid to ask before. With my cohort, I was able to share and discuss my individual Asian American experience. I was able to freely compare my perspective with other AANHPIs. I had the opportunity to learn and discuss AANHPI issues like disaggregated data, ethnicity, and power dynamics. I now have confidence when engaging in AANHPI issues, and I am proud to have it as a new focus in my life.
What do you think you can bring back to your community from your internship and being a part of CAPAL?
I want to bring back the discussions. The conversations I am having with my cohort and mentors at CAPAL are some of the most valuable experiences of my life. Our discussions on leadership, authenticity, and what it means to serve have expanded my mind. I want to share the wisdom I have collected with the other CAPAL interns and facilitate similar conversations back in my own community. This upcoming fall semester I will be an orientation leader at Case Western Reserve University. In that position, I can directly start those discussions with the incoming first years.
What is something that people usually don’t expect or know about you?
I am a huge theater geek. I started doing theater when I was 11 years old and have been in over 14 productions. I’ve done acting, stagecraft, spotlights, and props. Even after so many years I still learn something new every time I get on stage.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Be authentic. This advice changed my life. There is so much more value added when my words and actions are authentic. The connections I make with other people when I am genuine are invaluable. This summer, I have already made authentic relationships with friends that I will cherish forever. Each morning, I wake up and I long to be 1% more authentic than the day before, because it means I’m a little bit closer to becoming my best self.
What are you most excited to do in Washington DC this summer?
I am excited to continue going on adventures with my new CAPAL and DC friends. Whether we decide to go to the National Mall, eat ice cream, bake brownies, have deep conversations, or just go to Costco, I am enthusiastic for the journey.
Meet all of our CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.
Sukhanjot (Sukhi) Kaur is a rising senior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Accounting. She is currently deciding between a master’s in higher education and political science, but hopes to go on to work for a nonprofit focusing on women and education after graduation. Sukhi served as the Service Officer for Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. the past year. She was greatly exposed to Sikh American representation through her involvement in with the Sikh community in Nevada and having grown up in Punjab until early childhood. Sukhi hopes to promote Sikh American leadership with her commitments and organize more involvement in the Sikh American youth in her community.