CAUSE Leadership Academy
Since its inception in 1991, the CAUSE Leadership Academy (formerly called CASIC, California Asian American Student Internship Coalition) has prepared elite student leaders to be in the forefront of California’s legislative arena. This program is especially dedicated to developing the leadership skills of college students who are interested in exploring a career in public office, public service or community advocacy.
Previous students have been selected from Ivy League schools, the University of California system, community colleges and local high schools. Graduates of the program have gone on to run for elected office, work as legislative staff or work in the nonprofit sector. Students with an interest in Asian Pacific American (APA) affairs, leadership development, community service or politics are encouraged to apply.
This eight-week leadership academy will develop:
- Political awareness and civic engagement
- Understanding of the legislative process
- Insight on issues related to the APA community
- Professional and leadership qualities
- Public speaking and presentation skills
- Interview and social etiquette
- Organizational and cooperative working skills
As part of this intensive eight-week leadership academy, CAUSE interns will:
- Receive internship placement in the offices of elected officials.
- This opportunity affords interns a unique hands-on experience in the legislative process, policy knowledge and constituent outreach.
- Gain access to and insight from civic leaders through leadership workshops and seminars.
- Interns receive leadership training from elected officials and community leaders; meet and learn from assemblymembers and state senators in Sacramento, and get a firsthand, inside perspective of how the government functions.
- Participate in local APA community events.
- Interns act as liaisons between community and government, and gain a deeper understanding of the issues that affect their communities and the APA community.
The eight-week internship program consists of four components:
I. Internship Experience – CAUSE Leadership Academy Interns will have the opportunity to work for a legislator, public agency or city government. Through the internship, students will gain a unique knowledge and perspective of government and public service. Students will interact closely with staff as they represent the legislator at public events, conduct policy research and write policy briefings. The internship experience develops a stronger understanding of how government operates by experiencing it from an insider’s point of view.
II. 2013 Annual Legislative Leadership Conference – The Annual Legislative Leadership Conference is held at the state capitol in Sacramento. In its 21st year, CAUSE holds close relationships with legislators, staff members and lobbyists that provide the conference participants with lessons from their legislative experience.
III. Weekly Issues Forum – Once every week, the interns will gather to hear an invited guest speaker, develop leadership skills or learn about current policy issues. The speakers will consist of community leaders, elected officials, legislative staff, political consultants and others. CAUSE interns will discuss relevant topics with guests. Meetings will take place at the CAUSE office in Pasadena, CA.
IV. Group Research Project – Leadership Academy interns collaborate on a comprehensive group project that will be presented to the CAUSE Board of Directors, community members, media and other distinguished guests. The project topic will be selected by CAUSE. The program coordinator and advisor will serve as guides to help the CAUSE interns in achieving the project that CAUSE will have them work on. Presentations will occur at the CAUSE graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the program.
Generously sponsored by
Mr. Nelson Tan
Mr. Peter Woo
Thank you to Southwest Airlines, the exclusive and official airline of the CAUSE Leadership Academy, for their support of our program.
*This program is organized and supervised by the CASIC Coalition, organized and led by Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), and includes support from various organizations such as Chinese American Citizens Alliance and generous contributions from private and corporate sponsors.