CAPAL Intern Spotlight Binh Nam Nguyen ’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) 

In my internship with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, my work is focused on the agency’s diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility efforts. Some of my projects include assisting with listening sessions and focus group interviews, and using that information to improve and remodel the agency. For my Community Action Project, my team is working on designing a pilot youth ambassadors program for Act to Change, campaigning against and building awareness about bullying in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

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

To put it broadly, I am interested in the human services field and working with children and families of marginalized communities. That includes learning about how social, political, and economic institutions and systems are structured in order to navigate and deconstruct them as a way to equip people with the resources and services they need to enhance their wellbeing. My internship gives me the opportunity to work closely with a federal agency and learn about how it operates, where its strengths might be, where it fails to meet the needs of those already disadvantaged, and what actions need to be taken to address that.

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

With the various programming events hosted by CAPAL, my internship, and the Community Action Project with Act to Change, I hope that I am able to take the information I learn and the skills I have developed to other areas of my life. I want to be active in critically thinking about how my experience this summer is also shaped by my identity and the pieces of myself that I bring to those spaces.

What does public service mean to you? 

To me, public service means being able to provide and create opportunities for people to be self-empowered as individuals and as a community. Power and knowledge are shared in order to help everyone find the leadership in themselves while collectively working together and practicing how to move others as we are moved ourselves.

Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine, and if so, what are they?

Like a lot of people, I have picked up baking during quarantine. I also tried painting and some other crafty hobbies. It started out as a way for me to procrastinate, but also as a stress relief activity while I am quarantining.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would definitely be sushi! It is my all-time favorite food and has become a little bit of an inside joke with my family. Every year, they make an effort to buy me sushi themed items, so I have a lot of trinkets, clothes, socks, and items that have pictures of sushi on them.

Meet all of our 2021 CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.