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 project, etc)
I am a CAPAL Programs & Programs Evaluations Intern tasked with managing the S&I programs. I joined the CAPAL cohort as a SALDEF SikhLead intern to work on a project that addresses the lack of Asian American representation in history textbooks. I will also create a virtual event by the end of summer.
How does this internship fit with your professional and career goals?
I am a rising sophomore at Southern Methodist University with a major in Earth Sciences and a specialization in Environmental Science. After graduation, I plan to study law. This internship is fundamental to my understanding of advocacy work and the importance of non-profit organizations in the policy-making process to address key issues that affect our communities. CAPAL provides its interns opportunities to connect with students interested in public service and network with people through their mentorship program and S&I cohort sessions.
What do you hope to achieve this summer as a part of CAPAL’s 2022 cohort?
My main goal is to research and collect data highlighting the lack of Asian American representation in school textbooks. This project is the first step in recognizing Asian Americans as active contributors to developing our nation. From building railroads one hundred years ago to high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley, the Asian American contribution has largely been overlooked. My research aims to correct this oversight.
What does public service mean to you? What sparked your interest or desire to get involved with public service?
Public service is any act that strengthens a community or individual. This can come in many forms, such as volunteering at a shelter, working in the government, or even creating art and music to unite communities. Community engagement is an integral part of the Sikh culture, and I grew up learning the importance of charity and selflessness in life. With a desire to serve, I have actively sought volunteering opportunities. My interactions with people have taught me to look beyond perceived differences, accept everyone in the spirit of equality and coexistence, and provide help unconditionally. For me, public service is a way of life.
What are some hobbies or interests you like to do outside of work?
I am incredibly passionate about oil painting and enjoy creating art influenced by the Academic Classicism and Impressionism art movements. Besides painting, I love to play the piano and sing Broadway tunes. The arts allow me to connect to people and express myself in creative ways.