Washington, D.C. – On June 13, 2011, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies hosted a reception with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute welcoming to Washington DC the approximately 100 interns hosted by the three organizations this summer.
In attendance were Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (GU), vice chair of CAPAC, Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), chair emeritus of CAPAC, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Donald Payne (NJ-10), chair of CBCF, and Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-38).
“I warmly welcome this year’s APAICS summer interns to our nation’s capital,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chairwoman and board member of APAICS. “By providing motivated students with the opportunity to pursue a rewarding internship experience in Washington, D.C., APAICS is helping to build the leadership pipeline to strengthen the Asian American & Pacific Islander voice in our nation’s capital.”
The APAICS summer internship program began in 1995. Running in its 17th year, the program seeks to shape the future of Asian Pacific American leadership by providing students with professional experience in congressional offices and federal agencies.
Today there are 150 alumni that have experienced the program and moved on to become elected officials, candidates, and leaders in the local, state, and national levels of government. Esteemed members of our alumni network include Nathan Shinagawa, Tompkins County, NY Legislator, Mark E. Pulido, Cerritos City, CA Councilmember, as well as Kendee Yamaguchi, executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.
APAICS continues to increase the participation of APAs in leadership and government with the selection of 23 exceptional students, who constitute the largest intern class since the program’s inception. The interns come from unique backgrounds, reflecting the diversity within the Asian Pacific American community. They include interns of Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Korean, and Indian descent, and hail from states as diverse as California, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.
APAICS interns this summer are placed in the offices of Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (GU), and Congressman David Wu (OR-01); the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor, and Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC); and the White House.
“The APAICS summer internship program helps develop and empower the next generation of Asian Pacific American leaders,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “I welcome this year’s APIACS summer interns to Washington, D.C., and I encourage them to use their experiences on Capitol Hill to further their interest in public service to our nation.”
Christina Li-Hui Aguirre, an APAICS intern working in Congresswoman Judy Chu’s office and of Chinese, Hispanic, and Native American descent, said, “I want to impact people’s lives and our communities, whether the impact is small or large. The APAICS internship in which I am gaining encouragement from mentors and first-hand experience of American government and politics can make this happen.”
APAICS is thankful for the support of its corporate sponsors Comcast, AT&T, Toyota, and Southwest Airlines, the official airline for APAICS’s summer internship program.