CAPAL Intern Spotlight John Hoang ’21

What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are some of your big projects? (this can include projects at your internship, your specific CAP, etc) 

As a CAPAL Public Service Intern, I got the excellent opportunity to work with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animals and Plants Inspection Service. At USDAAPHIS, I work with Dr. Thomas Walker. In addition, one of my other big projects is collaborating with Akansha, Eileen, and Yoo Ra in our community action project (CAP). Working with AALEAD, a nonprofit in DC that supports low-income and underserved AAPI youth, developing a toolkit that enhances AALEAD’s work that engages community members, alumni, and parents in a structured and formalized process. 

How does this internship fit with your professional and career goals? 

My ambitions and aspirations lie in DC, the epicenter of all US politics. Being accepted into CAPAL, this organization has given me opportunities to network, understand a lot of the thankless work that goes into cultivating change and get experience to enhance my professional capacity in such a developmental time 

in my life. Getting my foot in the door has meant a lot because I’m starting my journey towards a career that has given me a lot of inspiration and role models to look up to. 

What do you hope to achieve this summer as a part of CAPAL’s 2021 cohort? 

I hope that my contributions and efforts towards the projects and work that I have been assigned will bring in a long-lasting positive impact, no matter how big or small. Often, when we advocate on behalf of our own communities’ interests, it is intertwined and connected to the mutual struggles of the broader communities we stand alongside. My work will always assist socially marginalized people, as I believe they can contribute to society progressively as much as anyone could. I will always do this work with love, compassion, and benevolence always in mind. 

What does public service mean to you? 

Public Service to me means to help the American people and our communities recognize their own collective power and intelligence that they’ve always had to leverage and raise their own voices against the systems and institutions that have always kept them underserved, and to take priority in what the people at the local level have been wanting, advocating, wishing, and even dying for this nation to reflect its true values.

Meet all of our 2021 CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.