by Eri Kameyama
I was in college not too long ago. Two years ago to be exact. And I wish I knew about opportunities like this one to get myself more involved with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. This regret and a desire to reach a wider audience is partly why I am so passionate about this program that I am now working on– Collegiate Japanese American Internship or CJAI.
As part of JACL’s mission to advocate for the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community, this CJAI program aims to collaborate with other local organizations to empower and inform avid college students in public policy issues affecting our community. Each intern will receive a $1000 educational scholarship at the completion of the internship.
CJAI is a three month program that places interns in API advocacy community based organizations throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Our interns will engage directly with the API community and learn about relevant advocacy and public policy issues such as immigration, civic engagement, and educational access in the area. This year, partnering organizations include Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), Asian Pacific Islander California Action Network (APIsCAN), and Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA).
In addition to gaining hands-on experience in a community based organization, interns will further develop leadership and communication skills through our four off-site retreats. The retreats are scheduled for Sept 1-2, Oct 6, Nov 3,and Dec 1. At these retreats, interns will cultivate essential skills such as professionalism, create relationships with peers and community leaders who share a similar passion for social justice, and gain a deeper understanding of collaborative community building.
The interns will also work together towards a final project to present at Culmination Day on December 1st. As participants become familiar with API public policy issues and the relevant community based organizations, they will apply their knowledge and experience to collaborate on a singular project that will increase exposure of the APIs to the larger community.
If you know of any college-aged students, I highly recommend that you tell them about this great hands-on internship opportunity that will enrich not only their college education, but their life by working with their own community with people that are really passionate about what they do.
For more info:
Applications are due August 3rd.