2015 FALL INTERNS
OCA welcomes 3 interns to Washington D.C. this fall - read more about them below!
SARAH KASHIA THAO
Sarah Kashia Thao is a Hmong student at the University of California, Irvine. Kashia, in Hmong, means “happy” or “light-hearted.” Sarah is currently studying Psychology and Social Behavior and will be receiving her degree in Spring 2016. Sarah is an advocate for women and children. While working with Human Option’s Emergency Shelter in Orange County, she has discovered her passion for helping victims of domestic violence gain the strength to surpass the boundaries that bind them. After graduation, Sarah plans to pursue a Masters in Social Work and become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her love for people and hopeful nature encourages her to continue striving for a better tomorrow. She believes that every day a chance to become a better version of herself. One of her favorite quotes is from Winnie the Pooh: “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think…but the most important thing is, even if we are apart…I’ll always be with you.” –A.A. Milne
In her free time, Sarah enjoys going to the beach, reading, and trying new things. Her dream is to one day ride in a hot air balloon.
Sarah is an intern at the OCA National Center.
Mijin is a senior at the University of California, San Diego pursuing a B.A. in International Studies of Economics. On campus, she is highly involved as a student leader in the Korean American Student Association and a founding member of the Undergraduate Business Network.
Born in Korea and raised in Los Angeles, Mijin's passion for Asian American advocacy stems from growing up in Koreatown, where there are no affluent neighborhoods and the majority of people are low-income earners. All her life, she watched her parents and neighbors struggle with countless injustices, enduring years of unfair wages and practices without complaint. She had a clearer understanding of the stark socio-economic differences after she moved to La Jolla for her studies, and could not sit by as she saw her community fighting for their rights in a legal system that so many do not even fully understand. As an aspiring lawyer, Mijin loves logic, and intends to pursue a law degree to better equip herself to fight for the causes she believes in. She aims to hone herself into an emerging leader and stronger advocate to further the social, political, and economic empowerment of the Asian Pacific American community. Through the program at OCA, she looks forward to gaining valuable insight into the issues the APA community faces and translating her passion into results, both in D.C. and in California. She strongly believes in honesty, inspiration, and community, and holds that there is nothing quite like making a difference in someone's life.
In her spare time, Mijin is a hiker, dancer, dog lover, shower-singer and food enthusiast.
Mijin is an intern at the U.S. Office of Personal Management’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Hillary is a rising senior at the University of California, San Diego majoring in Political Science and minoring in Global Health and Business. She was the most recent student body Transfer Senator and co-Director for the UCSD Fund the UC campaign. She is interested in public law, government, and public policy. She is also considering law school after college and is a current member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.
As a first-generation student and daughter of two Chinese immigrants, Hillary developed a passion for social justice and voicing the needs of underrepresented communities. She began her career in grassroots advocacy at an early age. In 2010, as the Vice Chair of the San Francisco City Hall Youth Commission, she helped draft a resolution for San Francisco’s Youth Life-Line Pass, a fund enabling underprivileged youths to access public transportation at a lower cost. Her resolution led to free public transportation for 40,000 youth in San Francisco and an additional 13 million dollar transportation fund. Outside of school, she continued her activism by volunteering at various local non-profit organizations including: SF Department for Children Youth and Families, Bay Area Asian Pacific Islander Legal Office, the Miss Asian Global Foundation, and Americorps. Hillary hopes to be a part of the community that helps create an equal playing field, in education and the workforce, for individuals from all economic and social backgrounds.
In her free time, Hillary enjoys food, traveling, lounging in coffee shops, and playing with her friend’s dogs.
Hillary is an intern at the OCA National Center.
The 26th annual OCA Internship Program is generously sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Comcast Foundation, William & Sinforosa Tan Kaung Internship Endowment Fund, and Mary Ann & Paul C. Yu Internship Fund.