Congresswoman Radewagen Closes 2016 ILF Graduation Ceremony with Life, Love, and Purpose

           Congresswoman Radewagen Closes ILF Graduation Ceremony with Life, Love, and Purpose

2016 Fellows gathered behind Congresswoma Amata Radewagen

 The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) was honored to welcome U.S. Representative Amata Radewagen (R-AS) to its 2016 Civic Fellowship Graduation Ceremony on July 29.

The Congresswoman stood in a conference room on Friday evening to empower young professionals to lead without inhibition. She shared her personal story on how she persevered for 22 years to pursue a seat in the House of Representatives because she believed in her duty to contribute to her community. She spoke adoringly about her isolated home in the American Samoa and shared tips on how to be as happy as her fellow Samoans.

“Make sure to stay in touch with the three most important things in life: love your God, love your work, and love your people.”

These words rang true and echoed the wisdom shared by many ILF speakers, including Executive Director Soo Kyung Koo, “As you climb the ladder in life, remember to keep one hand at the ready behind you to help pull up those in need.” With this philosophy in mind, it is clear that making a positive change in the world can start with one person. For this farewell, Mr. David Hinson and Mr. Farook Sait also shared their advice for life and career .

This summer, ILF successfully continued its mission in cultivating interest in young Asian American Pacific (APA) leaders to better our country through public service. This year, ILF selected 26 APA students from 20 distinguished colleges and universities across the nation to participate in the 8-week Civic Fellowship program. The Fellows interned across 14 offices within 7 federal agencies and 3 offices at the U.S. Congress. Fellowship events such as career workshops, networking forums, and weekly seminars with the Washington Leadership Program took place throughout the past two months to develop a deeper understanding of public service and policy.

At the graduation ceremony, fellows make a presentation to share lessons they got during the summer with others.

Fellow George Park interned at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). He met Secretary of DOT Anthony Foxx.
Fellow George Park interned at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). He met Secretary of DOT Anthony Foxx.

The 2016 Fellows were thrilled to celebrate their completion of the program and were truly honored by Congresswoman Radewagen’s words of encouragement and wisdom.

2016 Fellow Chris Gao said, “The graduation ceremony gave me a strange and uneasy mixture of emotions. Us fellows have finally completed our internship and are now alumni of the ILF program. We have changed for the better in so many ways this summer and have all come out with various lessons learned in multiple aspects of our lives. The friendships we have created are so strong despite the fact that we were only here for such a short period. The ceremony was a proper way to end the internship, but the hardest part had yet to come. The hardest part was saying goodbye to the twenty-five other fellows without any certainty of seeing each other again in the future. There are talks of possible get togethers almost immediately after the first fellows leave for their respective hometowns. I have been so incredibly privileged to have spent my summer with the amazing ILF Class of 2016. Whether or not we meet again, they will always stay with me in my heart throughout the rest of my endeavors. Thank you so much, International Leadership Foundation, for the most enriching experience this summer of 2016.”

Press paid attention to the 2016 ILF graduation ceremony.  Please find two wonderful coverage on it.

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