The OCA Internship Program is one of OCA's signature student programs. Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, the internship program seeks to cultivate future leadership for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community by providing opportunities to work in the public sector and learn about issues affecting AAPIs. Based in the nation's capital, interns will learn to build relationships, meet with legislative officials, and engage in leadership development workshops.
The program has successfully led past interns to become more active on their college campus and increased the presence of the APA community in local, state, and federal governments. OCA intern alumni have become executive directors, legislative staffers, OCA National Executive Council members, and are leaders in the private and public sector.
Selected applicants relocate to Washington, D.C. for the duration of their internship, where they are placed with nonprofits, federal agencies, and other organizations for a full-time internship. Each Friday, interns gather at the OCA National office to discuss issues and engage in workshops dedicated to AAPI issues. We call these convenings “Sama Sama” which is Tagalog for together. Interns also attend OCA’s National Convention, which will be hosted in Washington, D.C. in 2023 in honor of OCA’s 50th anniversary. In addition to these events, OCA interns are also provided opportunities to build their professional, personal, and advocacy skills to create compassionate leaders in the AAPI community.