CAUSE Internship - Testimonials
2011 CAUSE Interns at Kickoff with Chairman Charlie Woo and Director of Programs Carrie Gan
Andrew Angeles: “The CAUSE internship was truly a unique and fantastic experience. It gave me the opportunity to connect with community leaders and political figures. Different events allowed me to network and talk with numerous people from fellow interns to various professionals to political leaders. The first hand learning experience is what I see as the most valuable part of the internship. Interning in a State Senator’s office opens your eyes to see how interesting and exciting government really is. Not only did the internship reveal the excitement of politics, but it also unveiled the gravity government’s influence. I realized how much politics and legislation affects the citizens. If you want to change the city, county, state, or nation, government is where you start.”
Connie Chu: “This internship has been an AMAZING experience for me. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of this organization. When I first got accepted for the internship, I wasn’t too sure how my experience would turn out. I thought that it would be like one of my previous summer jobs, where I sat in an office doing basic secretarial work. However, I was wrong. My experience has definitely gone above and beyond what I expected it to be. I have learned so much about the importance of communication, professionalism, the legislative process, and networking. One of the most interesting things about this internship was going onto field events with my office representing the Assemblymember. I thought it was interesting to see how a law truly affects the communities that we live in, which further reinforced how important the government is and why it is important to stay politically active. I also really enjoyed all the networking opportunities that were provided for us. It is a skill that I will definitely need to use in the future for any type of career that I wish to pursue. I also enjoyed all the guest speakers that we had on Mondays. I thought that you had a great selection of people to come to speak with us. I found them all very interesting to listen to, especially John Kobara and Gene Kim. Thank you for everything Carrie!! My experience would not have been the same without your care and guidance. This has truly been an unforgettable summer interning with CAUSE. I don’t know anyone else who has had the same experience, or anything close to it for that matter. This was definitely better than getting a full-time job. On top of everything else, I got to ride an airplane for the first time!”
Rebecca Han: “The CAUSE Leadership Academy Internship has been phenomenal—especially after meeting with other local API intern groups, I believe our internship truly stands out as the best of its kind. Through the internship, I have been able to deepen my awareness of API issues, gain tremendous insight into politics and the legislative field, and truly grow into a better informed, motivated citizen. The experience has been incredibly rewarding because I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet with individuals from various communities who work to define our needs and directly shape our society. Though the internship has been demanding, I have learned and gained so much, improving in ways I could never have imagined. Most of all, the internship has allowed me to connect with amazing, inspiring people that make every bit of work completely worth it. All the while, the internship managed to stay fun, challenging, and exciting, proving every day was always different than the next. Now, more than ever, I know that I want to stay involved and prove that anyone and everyone can make a positive impact in helping others.”
Ellen Hou: “The CAUSE Leadership Academy is the best political internship program out there. CAUSE provides something more than your typical internship at an elected official’s office. As a CAUSE intern, you have the opportunity and access to meet and learn from the top political and community leaders. I would like thank everyone who made this program possible. Looking back over these past eight weeks, it has been an absolute dream. I also want to thank Congresswoman Judy Chu and her staff, especially my supervisor Enrique Robles for allowing me to work in their office and providing valuable experience in terms of learning more about the political process at the federal level and connecting and interacting with constituents. I have learned a lot. What I have taken away from the office that I did not necessarily expect was a growth of knowledge in terms of current events. As you can imagine the debt ceiling was one of those major current events that I had to stay on top of because it was the issue that constituents were calling about. I was also able at the Congresswoman’s office to attend an event in support of the grocery workers. Not only, was I able to learn about a national issue, but local issues as well. As a CAUSE intern, I was also able to attend events in the community thanks to Charlie Woo. My favorite event that I attended was actually the first time I met Congresswoman Chu as her intern. It was a birthday fundraiser for Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, and it was filled with what I like to call as a poli sci nerd, political rock stars. For example, one of these rock stars that I was so excited to take a photo with was Steny Hoyer, the minority whip, second in command of the Democrats in the House, after Nancy Pelosi. Another reason why the CAUSE Leadership Academy is so special and unique, is because of the interns themselves. All of us are interested in politics and have a passion for public service. Some of the most memorable moments of the internship program were the political discussions that I had with my fellow interns. I will always cherish my time as a CAUSE intern, it was such an unforgettable experience.”
Anh Thu Tran: “I am so grateful and honored to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the 2011 CAUSE Leadership Academy. I came into the program with the highest expectations, feeling that this was the perfect internship for me because I wanted experience in a legislative office while interacting with an Asian American network. To my pleasant surprise, I was not let down by the program, as I found myself working hard every day, discovering my talents and potential, and developing into a professional. Furthermore, I could not have asked for a better office to do that in than Senator Lou Correa’s. Upon my arrival, I immediately sensed that the atmosphere was very welcoming and encouraging, which made me feel comfortable enough to truly grow and make the occasional mistake along the way. From assisting with our office’s events, I witnessed and became a part of the massive teamwork effort that it takes to organize a senior breakfast or educational workshop. From spearheading my own project on human trafficking, I rose to the challenge of hatching an idea and making sure it is executed. I have always kept my lofty goals of working with various Asian American organizations tucked away in the back of my mind; while I wanted to serve my community, I never knew exactly what skills and capabilities I could offer. Through being a part of CAUSE and interning at Senator Correa’s office, I was able to tap into my Vietnamese roots and learn the most effective ways of reaching out to those communities. For the first time, I feel that I can apply for an internship with a number of API nonprofits and confidently say that I have experience, having had the opportunity to translate press releases and coordinate projects that have particular impact on Asian Americans. Not only was this one of the most valuable leadership development programs I have been a part of, it provided something more remarkable—it fully inspired and marked my path to become a dedicated advocate for Asian Americans in the community and in our government.”
Matthew Wong: “It baffles me that it has already been eight weeks since I started the CAUSE internship. This summer could have been extremely boring. I had just graduated from the University of California, Davis. I had nothing to look forward to in the Fall, because I decided to take a year off. Adulthood was sinking in. Fortunately, this past spring, while I was in Hong Kong I checked out Angry Asian Man. Angry Asian Man is an online website, or blog, where stories about Asian Americans are told. As I was surfing the website, there was a blog post that talked about the 2011 CAUSE Leadership Academy. Upon reading the post, I clicked on the link to the CAUSE website. Moments later, I decided to apply. The 2011 CAUSE Leadership Academy has been a phenomenal experience. When I applied, there were two goals I had in mind: to learn more about API issues and to connect with the leaders of the API community. After eight weeks, I have glad to say that I have definitely begun the process of connecting with the API community network. I am also very glad that I had the opportunity to meet so many talented students, who have grown to be my friends. If I had a second chance to decide, I would definitely say that I would apply again. This eight-week program was just the beginning for me. I feel that there is so much more I must do to truly be a representative of my community. I am thankful for the 2011 CAUSE Leadership Academy because it has helped shaped me into becoming the person I should be. It has opened many doors. I leave this program with many new friends and opportunities.”
Alexander Zou: “When I first decided to accept the CAUSE internship, I was not expecting too much. Essentially I expected that I would spend three days a week answering phone calls and writing letters at a local state official’s office, to be somewhat compensated by the CAUSE stipend. I have been surprised, and delighted, to find out that that was not the case. CAUSE is truly interested in teaching young Asian-Americans the paths traced (and many paths left yet untouched) by other Asian-American officials to success, in the hopes that its interns too can follow them someday. At CAUSE I have thus learned the hard work and commitment it takes for a politician to do his or her job – the sacrifices, the rewards from the events one must attend to the changes one can make in state law. The people at CAUSE are hoping that their interns someday will become future shakers in the world, and they do their best to light the path for those interns.”
2011 CAUSE interns sitting at Senators' desks on the California Senate Floor
2010 Interns at the Kickoff Luncheon
Testimonials from former CAUSE interns:
Justin Balagtas: "Anyone interested in becoming a leader not just in the Asian American community, but also in our broader American community should apply to be a (CAUSE) intern. The internship provides not only valuable experience, but also leads you to people that will help you rise in our growing community."
Kristina Lieu: "(CAUSE) Leadership Academy has been one of my most rewarding learning experiences. The program has challenged me to grow out of my student persona and to develop into an independent working woman."
Monica Lee: "I’m so thankful that I was offered this privilege of partaking in such an awesome internship, and that I was able to meet friends and mentors who permanently impacted my perspectives regarding this world."
Jonathan Lau: "(It) has been an eye-opening and rewarding experience. I cannot imagine having a more life-changing eight weeks. ... (We) are connected to such amazing people. ... I was finding myself surrounded by the elite of our society."
Lindy Pham: "The internship is a very good program that helps us get into a legislative system and learn a lot of new things that I could not learn in school."
Christian Adriatico: "I have learned things that cannot be taught in a classroom or a textbook and for that I am grateful."
Patricia Amoroto: "I did not have a single moment where I did not learn anything valuable. Everything that I encountered from my 9 to 5 foray was nothing short of exhilarating, educational and epic at some times."
Jamie Chan: "This was my first internship and I could not have asked for anything more."
Jean Guo: "I know without a doubt this internship has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences for me. ... I have come to understand a great deal about political issues and the growing need for Asian American leaders to play a defining role in shaping them."
Carl Chen: "(The) internship gave me greater insight into people and made me consider where I want to go in my future. I know now though, that wherever I end up, I will be helping people."