Summer 2023 Program Internship

Hey everyone! My name is Kelly Ji, and I’m working for AALEAD as a summer program intern. I worked with AALEAD in high school, and I’m so excited to return to the organization after a year in college. I just finished my freshman year at Pomona College in Claremont, CA with a double major in Asian American Studies and Politics and a minor in Art.

I grew up in Rockville, Maryland, as the child of two Chinese immigrants. Surrounded by Chinese Americans my whole life, I didn’t really conceptualize my identity until I was sucked into the world of Asian American student advocacy in my junior year of high school. I helped to found the Asian American Progressive Student Union (AAPSU) and found a community with fellow Asian American activist voices! Thus, my journey began as I navigated Asian American civic work throughout the DMV and came into contact with AALEAD in various meetings and initiatives.

My ultimate goal is to understand the Asian American community through its heterogeneity and diversity, and I feel that the mission of AALEAD aligns strongly with my own. I’m super excited to learn more about the nonprofit side of advocacy rather than grassroots organizing, the bulk of my experience. In the future, I hope to gain a more thorough understanding of Asian American issues and apply it to my research in the academic sphere, as well as help shaping policies to better Asian American representation and engagement.

In my free time, I love to listen to music and go to concerts! I also really like art, specifically oil painting, and find it to be very therapeutic. I also have a cat named Mushroom Soup (Soupy for short) who accompanies me everywhere.

Here’s a picture of Soupy. He likes sinks:

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