Overview of the Public Service Internship Program

CKA believes that more Korean Americans must take on leadership roles in our society and demonstrate the power and potential of our community.

CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program places students in full-time internships throughout DC and NY and provides a generous scholarship up to $5,000 per student. We also provide high-impact leadership training and exclusive mentoring opportunities throughout the summer featuring CKA members, influencers, policymakers, and opinion makers.


Meet 2016 Public Service Interns


In 2016, the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA) joined CKA after sixteen years of groundbreaking work in New York City to train and develop the next generation of civic leaders and to increase civic participation in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community through advocacy, education, and mobilization.

In doing so, KALCA merged its signature college internship program with CKA, combining forces to launch a new program with a wider reach that will start in the summer of 2017 in both Washington and New York.

Leveraging CKA’s global network of Korean American leaders and KALCA’s longstanding track record of delivering high-quality internship programs, the CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program is an exciting convergence of two premier Korean American leadership development programs. It is a unique opportunity for college and graduate students seeking hands-on experience in the public and nonprofit sectors.

KALCA’s College Internship Program was a highly selective internship opportunity that awarded scholarships and placed college students of Asian descent in key government offices and leading nonprofit organizations in and around New York City. Over the years, 87 KALCA interns received an insider’s view of civic and democratic processes and participated in a specialized curriculum to develop their leadership skills.

CKA launched its Public Service Internship (PSI) Program in 2016. It gave scholarships to ten college and graduate students who were placed in unpaid internships at government offices and nonprofit organizations in our nation’s capital. Students were recruited from around the country — from California, the Midwest and the East Coast — to spend their summer in Washington and participate in exclusive closed-door meetings with top Asian American public sector leaders as part of the PSI Speaker Series.

The leadership of both CKA and KALCA will continue their work so that our young leaders reflect the best of what our community has to offer and ensure that our voice will always be heard.


Please email if you would like to be added to our mailing list for future programs.

  • A completed application

  • Resume

  • Most recent transcript (official or unofficial is acceptable)
  • A letter of recommendation

  • A personal statement on two of the following questions (maximum of 300 words for each answer):
  • What skills, lessons, and/or relationships do you plan to bring back to your campus or community after your Public Service Internship?
  • Describe a need within the Korean American community you will be better equipped to help address after your Public Service Internship.
  • Who is your Korean American hero and why?
  • CKA values volunteerism and the spirit of giving back to the community. What has been the most significant volunteering experience for you and how has that changed your outlook on public service?

All materials, except the letter of recommendation, must be submitted as PDF attachments in a single email to The letter of recommendation should be emailed separately to the same email address with your name in the subject line within one week of submitting the application. CKA may interview candidates or request supplemental information as appropriate.

CKA does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, color, religion, ethnic/national origin, veteran status, or sexual preference in awarding the scholarships.

To be eligible for the CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship, an applicant must be an undergraduate student, graduate student, or a recent graduate who is interested in a career that strengthens his or her local and global communities. Each internship is full-time for at least 10 consecutive weeks and is unpaid. Placement for the internship can be prearranged by the applicant or finalized upon award of the scholarship. CKA staff will provide limited support in securing placements.

Eligible placements include congressional offices in Washington and New York, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups. Placements cannot be political campaigns or include campaign activity.



Past summer internship placements include:

Washington, DC

Office of Rep. Charles Rangel (NY-13)

Office of Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8)

Office of Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

Millennium Challenge Corporation

US National Library of Medicine

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Mike and Maureen Mansfield Foundation

US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Seoul, Korea

United States Embassy

New York City

Asian American Federation

Asian American/Asian Research Institute

Citizens Union

Coalition for Asian American Children and Families

Council on Foreign Relations

Legal Aid Society

MinKwon Center for Community Action

New American Leaders Project

New York City Campaign Finance Board

New York City Commission on Human Rights

New York League of Conservation Voters

New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)

Office of New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim (AD-40)

Office of the Manhattan Borough President

Office of the Mayor, City of New York

Office of the Public Advocate, City of New York

Office of U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)

Office of U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6)

The “I Have a Dream” Foundation

The Korea Society