ILF Atlanta Board Inspires APA Youth with Olympians and Fellow Alumni

Written by 2015 Fellow Stella Huang

Photography by ILF Atlanta Advisory Board

The International Leadership Foundation Atlanta Chapter had the distinct honor of welcoming ILF CEO, Chiling Tong, to speak with prospective college students about the importance of civil service on August 28, 2016 at the annual Leadership Academy. Over a hundred people came to learn about the impact that ILF alumni are making on the federal sector. Gracefully, Chiling emphasized how it is important for Asian Americans to have a voice in policies and governance that affects citizens’ daily lives. It is up to the new generation of Asian-Americans to grow our voice and help shape our country. Featuring success stories of previous Fellows and their continuous involvement in the federal sector, Chiling expressed the benefits of an Asian American foundation dedicated to making an impact on public service.

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(From left) Keynote Speaekr Yijun Feng (2016 US Mixed Doubles Champion, 2016 North American Cup Singles Champion, 2016 US Olympic Team); Special Panels Jessica Ma (ILF Alum, University of Georgia), Stella Huang (ILF Alum, Brown University), and Haiwen Gui (Stanford);Akua Obeng-Akrofi ( Columbia rising junior , Ghanian 4x100m relay team member at the Rio 2016 Olympics)

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ILF Atlanta Advisory Board with Inspirational Speakers

The ILF Atlanta Chapter had also invited two Olympians to share their exciting stories about the 2016 Rio Olympics. Tom Feng, a Chinese American freshman at the University of Georgia, joined the USA team as a Table Tennis player and discussed the obstacles that he had to overcome to become a national champion. After taking a gap year in between high school and college, Tom had trained more than eight hours a day everyday to qualify for the Olympics. Similarly, Akua Oben-Akrofi was a part of the Ghana team as a Track & Field athlete. As a rising third year at Columbia University, she talked about the importance of perseverance and the value of hard work.
The annual ILF Atlanta Leadership Academy closed with a panel represented by current college students, dedicated to demystify the college experience and debunk college application myths. Joining Tom Feng and Akua Oben-Akrofi were Jessica Ma (a Foundation Fellowship & Stamps Scholarship student at the University of Georgia), Stella Huang (a rising fourth year at Brown University and a 2015 ILF Fellow), and Haiwen Gui (a freshman at Stanford University). The audience of high school students and parents were encouraged to ask a variety of questions ranging from the benefits of working in the public sector to the process of finding the ideal college for a student. Future college students listened to valuable advice, including celebrating failure and continuing to explore new opportunities.