2015 Fellow Testimonials

In my time here in DC, I’ve learned much about the interconnections between governance between the different agencies. It’s been insightful to see how policy that affects millions of people get formed at the heart of the federal government” – Joyce Kim, U.S. Department of Education

My time in Washington DC has been an eye-opening experience into the Department of Defense and a wonderful opportunity to learn from senior military and foreign service officers, who have been able to provide critical insight into the many paths to foreign service and all that life as a public servant entails. The most significant lesson I take away from my time as an International Leadership Foundation Civic Fellow this summer is the importance of taking the initiative to step out of one’s comfort zone, to ask for guidance and ultimately learn from the experience of others. My experiences so far have been humbling but at the same time, empowering, and I look forward to returning to my school and community to share what I have learned during my short time here.” – Jung-Ju Lee, National Defense University

I’m grateful to ILF for connecting me to the FAA. By working on several long term projects, I’ve grown both in patience and in my understanding of how important following protocol can be in a government environment.” – Samuel Kim, Federal Aviation Administration

“My fellowship with ILF and internship at the Office of Minority Health was a really formative experience. I was able to gain a greater understanding of how federal government agencies are structured while forming lasting relationships with my supervisors and mentors. My supervisors had me working on meaningful projects related to my interest in health policy and went beyond the usual grunt-work internships tasks.” – Gracie Chang, Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

My ILF experience allowed me to explore and develop a passion for public policy. It helped me build my leadership skills, think introspectively, and meet other incredible, like-minded students from across the country. Though I am not studying political science, working in DC has inspired me to take policy classes and learn more about the public sector.” – Emily Zhen, U.S. Department of Treasury

Thank you ILF leadership for your kindness and expertise this summer. At USAID Office of Inspector General – Investigations, I learned so much about anti-fraud and anti-corruption work and truly realized the role of oversight in the international development arena. I was able to see different management styles and apply lessons from my time as a Civic Fellow. In addition to my summer internship, I appreciated ILF for planning wonderful programming, speakers, and events. The conference and gala for this summer’s fellowship really made a tremendously positive impact on my outlook towards public service and public office. More than ever before, I am inspired to follow the legacies that have been set by these leaders.” – Karim Farishta, U.S. Agency for International Development

While there have been many examples of leadership with my time at orientation, the example that has struck with me the most has been in the case of my coworker, Oneyamaechi Nweke. Although she was acting outside her realm of responsibilities, she organized a discussion among the interns and fellows in order to give everyone involved a better understanding about health disparities, the concept of health disparities, and an example of the sort of trouble people of color might face when dealing with hospitals. She has organized weekly seminars so that people can gain insight to why we do the work we do at the office of minority health, so that we may all leave this experience with a greater understanding of the afflictions minorities face in health disparity. By taking the time to organize this session out of her own interest and goodwill, I can clearly see examples of how leadership requires hard work and selflessness in order to bring people together and garner trust and respect among cohorts.” – Aaron O’Hoyt, Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

I was a part of the team that planned and executed the 2015 White House AAPI Youth Forum, which was hosted by WHIAAPI, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the East Coast Student Union… What I admire most about how my supervisor handled leading the planning of the Youth Forum was her incorporation of so many people in its preparation and execution. I have always struggled with delegating tasks to others in leadership roles because I would think that I can accomplish the task more quickly and efficiently myself. Seeing how my supervisor was able to delegate tasks to others and to foster a sense of teamwork so effectively—which all contributed to the successful preparation of the event–was an inspiration for me to become a better team leader.” – Vy Luu, White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders