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)
This past summer, my Community Action Project team and I worked with the Climate Intiative to collect data on attitudes of AANHPI youth on climate change and key environmental/climate issues. We conducted a survey and presented our findings at the end of CAPAL’s 2022 summer programming. We chose to conduct this study to gauge what issues and concerns are important to our community – it would be interesting to expand this study to include more participants and open response questions about people’s experiences with environmental justice or climate advocacy.
As a Frontline Resource Institute Research Intern at the Environmental Defense Fund. I will be assisting with the development of FRI’s marketing and communications plan to create acessible and relevant materials for stakeholders, especially geared towards communities impacted disproroportionately by environmental justice issues. I will monitor social media, attend key team meetings, and learn how to expand and maintain the EJ resource provider network. Overall, I will conduct research on environmental and climate justice needs from communities.
How does this internship fit with your professional and career goals?
After earning my bachelors degree at Emory University, I hope to earn a JD/MPH dual degree. I would like to work in public service as a civil rights attorney focused on ethnoracial healthcare disparities and the wider public health issue of systemic racism in the United States. This internship with FRI fits with my professional and career goals because I am interested in working within non-profit spaces and environmental justice issues in the future – I am excited to learn how advocacy work can be completed by a passionate team of leaders in the EJ movement.
What do you hope to achieve this summer as a part of CAPAL’s 2022 cohort?
As a part of CAPAL’s 2022 cohort, I shared stories and ideas and learn with fellow future public service professionals. We grew so much together during our summer program and I made long-lasting friendships that share my passion for AANHPI advocacy. Public service professionals who led our discussions and panels, as well as CAPAL staff and board members, have supported our professional development and our understanding of issues that AANHPI face today. Because “AANHPI” encompasses a wide variety of identities and completely different experiences, I would love to continue to learn more about similarities and differences in how fellow AANHPI navigate the public service sector and serve their communities.
What does public service mean to you? What sparked your interest or desire to get involved with public service?
To me, public service means listening and working within and WITH the communities that one serves. In my public service journey, I hope to work closely with impacted and marginalized communities because the desires and needs of the communities themselves need to be prioritized; problem-solving that doesn’t include the impacted community itself may only harm or perpetuate issues such as systemic racism or economic inequality.
Having grown up in a predominantly white hometown in New Jersey, I learned how to advocate for myself and my community through my lived experience. My desire to help others facing issues of systemic injustice has only grown during my college experience – I take relevant classes about economic, reproductive, environmental justice, etc. and participate in extra-curriculars that allow me to work hands-on witih marginalized communities.