As my experience with the CAUSE Leadership Academy comes to an end, I often find myself taking a step back to reflect on the 9 weeks of the internship. These last few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster. Starting with orientation week, to the Annual Capitol Summit, to our weekly Monday workshops, I have been privileged to essentially gain a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and perspective through CAUSE.
At UCLA, I participated in a political science professor’s study on the identity marker “people of color.” A handful of questions were simple for me to answer: yes, “person of color” is a real identity. Yes, I am a person of color. But some were more difficult: who is a person of color? What makes people of color similar? What disqualifies a person from being a person of color?
Despite being unable to attend the third CLA Workshop, CAUSE was constantly on my mind as I experienced my first and last freshman orientation! Through every workshop and person I encountered during my orientation at the University of California, Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to first-handedly witness how the CAUSE Leadership Academy has truly shaped my values and expanded my perspectives on a variety of issues.