Dec 8/ strong
By Joo Young Lee, APIASF Staff
This cup not only holds a strong cup of coffee while I work, but reminds me of how important it is to live life with strong convictions and pursue the endeavors that bring true satisfaction to one’s life. I have the great privilege to do this in my daily work and gain strength from our amazing Scholars who embody Thoreau’s quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

Dec 8/ strong

By Joo Young Lee, APIASF Staff

This cup not only holds a strong cup of coffee while I work, but reminds me of how important it is to live life with strong convictions and pursue the endeavors that bring true satisfaction to one’s life. I have the great privilege to do this in my daily work and gain strength from our amazing Scholars who embody Thoreau’s quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

July Closing

By Andrew Hong

Summer vacation is a truly unique time. It is a time after one thing ends, but before another begins. It is a time when lowered personal priorities can become actual priorities again, and when some perspectives are reinforced while other perspectives can be realigned.

This month, we all witnessed examples of how people used this time of summer in order to engage in meaningful experiences that shaped them, refined them. Some people were looking to rest, take time from work, and focus on their health; some had a personal ambition and strove to pursue it through a relevant internship; others were practicing an open, curious mind and exploring through different opportunities, trying to discover and define that ambition.

Throughout these entries, there was an underlying theme of investing in one’s self. It at first seems difficult to attribute this idea of investment and growth to everyone’s summer experiences when time was spent so differently. Is it still investing in yourself if you are resting while others are working?

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Stepping Up

By Gao Thao, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Internships. Yeah, I heard this word in high school but I didn’t really understand the full meaning behind it. “Interning is like volunteering at big companies” was all I got out of it. I didn’t receive my first internship until the end of my Junior year in high school. I still didn’t call it an internship even though that was its real title. It was a job for me because I got paid. I seriously thought that if you get paid to do something it was a job, but I didn’t realize that if it’s an internship and you get paid, it’s called a paid internship and those are the best kind you can find!

So this internship was the Phoenix Program at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for juniors and seniors in select high schools. By “select,” I mean schools who had Project Lead the Way Classes (PLTW). PLTW are essentially introductions to engineering classes that engage and hopefully interest students in engineering. My teacher recommended the internship to me and told me to apply.

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Breakthrough Saint Paul (BSP) Week 1

By Gao Thao, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Teaching has always been at the back of my head. I thought about it many times when I was trying to figure out my major. I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to teach and lead your own classroom? I thought that would be cool. I was talking with one of my high school teachers about deciding if I wanted to major in Social Work or Education. He mentioned to me that a previous student worked at Breakthrough Saint Paul and it was a great program. I let the name float in my head for a year until I decided that I needed to give it a try. By that time, I had already declared a double major in Social Work and Justice & Peace Studies, but I know that I will end up in education because that is really what I am aiming for. I believed that Breakthrough would provide me the answer.

This is off the website…but there is no way I can sum up what Breakthrough Saint Paul (BSP) is all about. BSP “helps motivated students overcome adversity to prepare for college with the support of older students passionate about education.” BSP is a lifestyle. :)  Literally, this is only training week and I will be at BSP from 8am-7pm this whole week.

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Professional Disappointment

By Anne Y. Kim, APIASF/GMS Scholar

From the mission to the results of my labor, I enjoyed my job. My co-worker made it easy to learn to perform my duties and feel comfortable at work. As he opened up, I saw he was a lyricist, social justice worker, and pan-ethnic food truck entrepreneur, founding another non-profit while raising a child and expecting another. It explained why he drew in less than our performance target as I surpassed the goal, but I started losing respect for the very man who trained me. No one seemed to notice and take actions to increase his productivity, which further felt disillusioning. It was so frustrating that when another co-worker implied his low output was a given, I chimed in.

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