OCA National Center Welcomes 2024 Summer Interns

Washington, D.C. — OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its esteemed Summer Internship Program with a group of 13 exceptional college students who will be placed at various national policy and advocacy organizations across the Washington, D.C. area.

The cohort, selected through a highly competitive process that began in November 2023, will support the OCA National Center’s daily operations, explore issues affecting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and carry out assignments at leading nonprofits, federal agencies, and congressional offices over ten weeks. In addition, the interns will attend OCA’s National Convention in Philadelphia and engage in legislative visits to promote OCA’s policy priorities.

“Since its creation 35 years ago, the OCA Summer Internship Program has been instrumental in nurturing future leaders within the AAPI community,” said OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates National President Linda Ng. “The diversity and achievements of our alumni stand as a testament to our program’s impact. As we move forward, OCA’s dedication to fostering leadership and advocacy will remain as strong as ever.”

“We are thrilled to welcome a new cohort of interns this summer. Their journey of growth promises to be a highlight of our year,” said OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates National Executive Director Thu Nguyen. “We extend our deepest gratitude to our partners and supporters, whose unwavering commitment has been pivotal in sustaining an internship program that empowers students to hone their leadership abilities and immerse themselves in federal policy and national advocacy. We look forward to the opportunity to mentor them and to the valuable perspectives we will gain from them.”

The 2024 OCA summer interns’ educational institutions and placements include:

Erika Braun, The George Washington University, placed at the Japanese American Citizens League

Mark Chung, Yale University, placed at OCA National Center

Alethea Franklin, Washington University in St. Louis, placed at the office of U.S. House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Shreya Joshi, American University, placed at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ethan Kishan, University of Michigan, placed at OCA National Center

Ariel Le, Georgetown University, placed at the Hepatitis B Foundation

Iris Liu, Smith College, placed at OCA National Center

Meghna Nair, University of California, Los Angeles, placed at National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Fariha Nawar, University of Pennsylvania, placed at the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans

Phong Nguyen, Stanford University, placed at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

Rachel Nguyen, Pomona College, placed at the U.S. Department of Labor

Sophia Rebolledo, Stanford University, placed at the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project

Lin Yang, University of Michigan, placed at the Human Rights Campaign

In addition to the 13 students selected for OCA’s Summer Internship Program, we are pleased to recognize two outstanding students placed to intern with us this summer at OCA National Center through The Fund for American Studies’ Academic Internship Program and the US-Asia Institute’s IMPACT! Program for Filipino Americans:

Pareesay Afzal, Cornell University

Elisa Cruz, Yale University

Full intern biographies can be accessed at ocanational.org/intern-bios.

The 2024 OCA Summer Internship Program is possible thanks to the generous support from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Comcast Foundation, William H.P. & Sinforosa Tan Kaung Internship Endowment Fund, The Robert S. Chao Memorial Foundation, Stan Lou, and individual donors. Please direct questions to OCA’s Manager of Programs Kent Tong at kent.tong@ocanational.org. More information about the OCA Summer Internship Program is available here. View this press release on our website.

### About OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Founded in 1973, OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national, member-driven social justice organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Learn more about our work at ocanational.org/about.