Asian Wisconzine Section/Heidi M. Pascual
With summer well on its way, we are excited and proud to have a diverse set of interns from all across the country working with us to empower and mobilize Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to vote!
To introduce this cohort of amazing young leaders, we asked them what their top political issue is, what they hope to do after graduation or in their career, and what food reminds them of home:
Sal-Kit Jeremy Lee: Interning through: Thai American National Internship Program
Sal-Kit “Jeremy” Lee is a recent graduate of George Washington University and is passionate about data disaggregation. He believes it's important that people understand the different issues impacting different communities.
He currently works for a faith-based non-profit where he helps empower Southeast Asian American college students to be leaders and world-changers. In the future. He hopes to continue to empower AAPI college students by continuing to work with organizations that serve the AAPI community.
A food that reminds Sal-Kit of home is either khao man gai (Thai chicken rice), or khao kluk kapi (shrimp paste fried rice). The only issue is, it's tough to find at most Thai restaurants in the US.”
Vibha Govindarajan: Interning through: APIAVote
Vibha Govindarajan is a rising junior at the University of British Columbia. Her Canadian education, however, does not diminish her passion for immigration reform in the United States. She believes AAPIs going out to vote can create the reform we need for a safer, more effective system for immigration in our communities. After graduating from college, she hopes to pursue a master’s in Public Health.
Being away from her home in the Bay Area, Vibha is always in search for a great falooda! This Indian dessert has a special place in her heart and brings back fond memories of her trips to India.
Jashika Kaur: Interning through: SikhLead
Jashika Kaur currently attends Natick High School in Natick, MA and is passionate about gun control. Although she is currently still unsure about her post-graduation plans, she does know she wants to attend college and pursue a career path that will allow her to serve others; public service perhaps?
For Jashika, Maggi instant noodles are her go to comfort food. Jashika and her family have a tradition of eating it every Saturday, something she looks forward to every week.
Amelie Lee: Interning through: APIAVote
Amelie Lee is a rising junior at Scripps College and tackling the model minority and perpetual foreigner myth is one of the most important issues to her. “It's only by dismantling harmful stereotypes,” she said, “that the AAPI community can be seen for its diverse identities and needs.”
Post-graduation, Amelie hopes to use her dual degrees in Politics, and Writing & Rhetoric in a political, non-profit, or academic space. She believes powerful writing can help shape discourse about how to best help marginalized communities.
For Amelie, homemade pan-fried pork buns always remind her of how her grandmother would make them every Sunday.
Fine Tuitupou: Interning through: OCA-APA Advocates
Fine Tuitupou is a rising sophomore at El Camino College, and an issue important to her is dismantling the prison-industrial complex. She has witnessed how over-incarceration has marginalized and harmed her community. “Like many BIPOC communities,” she said, “the AAPI community is affected by this issue and getting AAPIs out to vote is important for mobilizing efforts towards policy change.”
Fine’s post-graduation plans include wanting to attend law school and becoming an attorney, and one day a Congresswoman.
For Fine, a glass of Otai, a sweet Tongan drink that has coconut, water, and some type of fruit (typically watermelon or mango), reminds her of the hot summer days from her childhood when she would sip on cold Otai after dance practice or just playing around.
Hannah Oh: Interning through: APIAVote
Hannah Oh is currently a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia. The issue that Hannah feels most passionate about is the increased polarization and political partisanship among communities. She believes this has prevented national progress towards protecting our democracy, such as securing the fundamental voting rights of citizens.
After graduating, Hannah hopes to attend law school or graduate school for public policy. One of her career goals is to work at a non-governmental organization that uplifts the voices of marginalized communities and their needs through legislative and legal advocacy.
A food that reminds Hannah of home is her grandmother’s doenjang-jjigae (Korean fermented soybean soup). Growing up, this was a staple dish her grandmother made often and it reminds Hannah of her grandmother's constant pouring of love through food.
Amrit Chadha: Interning through: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Amrit Chadha attends Arlington High School in Arlington, MA, and is passionate about ensuring Asian Americans are represented in the political sphere, especially in having a voice in legislation that directly impacts AAPI communities, such as affirmative action.
After graduating from high school, Amrit plans to go to college and work in either politics or the aerospace industry. And for Amrit, pepperoni pizza reminds him of the comforts of home.