The World as One   
The United,   
The Shared,   
and for the Better...
By Cindy S. Cho   
CommApp ID: 15975283
Bellevue Senior High School, Bellevue, WA
cindysuecho@gmail.com
Internships
American Immigration Forums (http://www.aiforums.org)
During my sophomore year in high school, I started working for an organization called American Immigration Forums, a non-profit aimed to engage the public in an immigration-based dialogue and provide a platform for immigrants and non-immigrants alike to express their views and concerns. Our objective is to be a platform on immigrant dialogue and help policy makers create policies which reflect the voices of the people. This organization is led by Bellevue's past mayor and now council member Conrad Lee, so I was able to gain much insight into how political figures respond to issues that the public face. For the past year, I have had a variety of duties in this internship. I first started out by reaching out to different ethnic organizations in order to partner with them and invite more representatives of the organizations to our community events. Now, I create our surveys with questions regarding immigration sentiment so that we can distribute them to the public and other organizations. We send these surveys to policy makers in our city and state so that they can see a raw statement of how the public thinks issues in our community should be changed and what those issues even are.
Through interning for the organization American Immigration Forums, I have been exposed to the ludicrous amount of difficulties that immigrants face when coming into the United States. From the lack of credential recognition to the overly inflated cost of getting legal representation to gain citizenship, I was taken back by how many obstacles immigrants have to overcome even years after immigrating. Most importantly, I've learned how the vital role of diversity is for both students and adults in order to have more accepting and fair communities.
Amara Parenting (https://www.amaraparenting.org)
Amara is a non-profit adoption and foster care agency that is devoted to creating a better path for kids in foster care. Amara guides, prepares, and supports foster families to ensure that every kid in foster care can be placed in a stable, long-term, loving home. I joined this organization during my freshman year of high school so that I could get a better look at the legal process involved in adoption. As a freshman, I didn't necessarily have a particular interest in adoption, but I thought being exposed to the processes of an adoption agency would give me an aspect of the government I've never seen. This was a very cool opportunity for me because the social workers allowed me to be hands-on and they wanted me to learn about the entire adoption process so that I could get the most out of my experience. Since I was interested in the legal aspect, they oriented this internship towards my own interests. I worked with the social workers, the administrative team, and the lawyers involved in the adoptions. From archiving adoption papers from the 1920s to talking with immigrant children about their adoption stories, I learned so much about child welfare. But with this, I also saw the many flaws that still must be improved in this welfare system. Amara inspired me to fill the gaps in the adoption and immigration system in the future.
To me, all the separate and seemingly disconnected internships and extracurricular activities I've been involved in have each given me a pointer to the different areas of government or international relations. All of these opportunities have linked together in my mind and have given me a wide-ranging, comprehensive view on various injustices and government processes. The exposure to many different matters from both my upbringing and undertaking I've involved myself in have given me a sense of duty to improve the society around me.