The San Jose JACL is privileged to continue the tradition of hosting the Annual Bay Area Asian Pacific American Legislative Staffers (BAAPALS) Summer Intern Mixer in Japantown at the Issei Memorial Building (IMB) facilities. The mixer is the capstone event of their Intern Brown Bag series and approximately 100 interns, legislative staffers, community leaders and politicians gathered July 30th to share an evening of camaraderie with stories, anecdotes, exchanging contact info, etc, in the pleasant and informal setting of the IMB gardens.
BAAPALS Board Members Vedant Patel and Jennie Ayap greeted the crowd and helped organize and execute (along with a cadre of energetic BAAPALS volunteers) this year’s event including food and refreshments for all. Our Co-Presidents Tom Oshidari and Sharon Uyeda were also invited to address the assemblage with words of inspiration. And it is always a pleasure to see political leaders like Paul Fong, Margaret Abe Koga and Ash Kalra in attendance to support the leadership development of our young adults.
The initiative of the BAAPALS staffers (and the support of the legislators for whom they work), in providing summer internships is truly inspiring. The talented interns they select and mentor every year are the seeds that should grow and hopefully blossom into staff and future leaders that represent the APA community with distinction. I hope that this formula produces a stream of successful interns who continue in public service and will then pay forward the support received from BAAPALS. Truly a cause worthy of JACL and community support!
(by Leon Kimura)