CAPAL Intern Spotlight Karina Ngo ’22

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) 

At USDA APHIS Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion, I will be ensuring the compliance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace through analyzing evaluations and assisting in resolving related disputes. My CAP project is with Sikh American Legal Defense Foundation (SALDEF) and our project consists of collecting data on Asian American history taught in schools throughout the country.


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

Creating a workplace environment that is inclusive and equitable is instrumental in ensuring a steady pipeline of talented, passionate young professionals from a range of experiences and backgrounds. Aside from pursuing a law career, helping to make the public sector more representative of our country’s demographics is something I’m very passionate about. I hope my career as a lawyer one day will also include DEI efforts.


What do you hope to achieve this summer as a part of CAPAL’s 2022 cohort?

I am looking forward to growing with my cohort, learning about their experiences as young AANHPIs, and developing the skills I need to work in public service in a way that is tailored to my identity. In a short amount of time, we have been able to explore many layers of Asian American identity and its intersection with working in the public service. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the summer takes us!


What does public service mean to you? What sparked your interest or desire to get involved with public service? 

To me, public service is a lifelong commitment to making sure that every individual has the ability to pursue their greatest aspirations and live a comfortable, dignified life. It requires a dedication to breaking down barriers, addressing inequities, and rectifying injustice. My inspiration for getting into public service comes first from my family who came to the United States as refugees of the Vietnam War. Their determination and resilience in the face of adversity inspired me to help support families like ours through public policy.

Meet all of our 2022 CAPAL Scholars & Interns here

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