At CKA, we believe that more Korean Americans must take on leadership roles in our society to demonstrate the power and potential of our community. The CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program places college and graduate students in full-time summer internships throughout DC and NY and provides a generous scholarship to each student. We also provide high-impact leadership training and closed-door mentoring with senior Asian American leaders throughout the summer, including CKA members, influencers, policymakers, and opinion makers.


Applications for the 2020 CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program is now closed.

  • To be eligible for the CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship, applicants must be a junior or senior in college, graduate student, or a recent graduate who is interested in a career that strengthens their local and global communities. The internship must be full-time for at least 10 consecutive weeks and unpaid. Internships can be pre-arranged by the applicant or finalized upon award of the scholarship. We strongly encourage all applicants to apply for summer internships as well as apply for the PSI Program concurrently.
  • 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.

All CKA-KALCA Public Service Interns will receive and be responsible for the following:

  • Receive a scholarship of up to $3,500 (see FAQ for more details)
  • Attend regular closed-door events, such as lunch and dinner roundtables, featuring prominent Asian American Pacific Islander leaders, mentoring sessions, and group discussion on national issues affecting the Korean American community
  • Submit a 500-word reflection essay on the internship experience, within two weeks of the end of the internship

  • A completed and signed application (Online Form)
  • 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):
    1. What skills, lessons, and/or relationships do you plan to bring back to your campus or community after your Public Service Internship?
    2. Describe a need within the Korean American community you will be better equipped to help meet after your Public Service Internship.
    3. Who is your Korean American hero and why?
    4. 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?

• Do you have to be a US citizen to apply to the CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program?

– You must be a US citizen or a permanent resident to participate in this program. Individuals with valid work permits may also apply.

• Do you have to be a Korean American to be eligible for the CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program?

– You do not have to be Korean American to be eligible for this program. However, due to the program’s focus on Korean American leadership, Korean Americans are strongly encouraged to apply.

• How is the scholarship level determined?

– The number of weeks you will intern, with a preference for 10-week internships

• What are the start and end dates of the program?

– The PSI Program will start with a welcome dinner for the interns and CKA staff in early June and end with a closing ceremony at the end of August. Exact dates will be provided to participants by May.

– Due to students having various internship start dates, we will prioritize students who can participate in the program full-time for 10 consecutive weeks. We will consider making exceptions towards participants who miss the program for up to two weeks.

• What is the time commitment for participating in the PSI Program?

– We expect all PSIs to participate in the following activities:

– Welcome dinner in DC and NY
– PSI Speaker Series events and group discussions
– The closing ceremony in DC and NY

• Do you have to secure your own internship or will CKA help me find one?

– CKA will assist in placing those who have not secured a summer internship by the time they have been selected for the program. We encourage all applicants to begin applying for summer internships as soon as possible, particularly if they are pursuing an internship in the federal government, which may involve obtaining a security clearance.

• What if I can’t find an unpaid internship in the public sector that is ten weeks long?

– We accept shorter-term internships on a case-by-case basis. We encourage those with internships less than ten weeks long to find a second internship to carry over to a ten-week period.

• When will finalists be contacted for interviews?

– Finalists will be contacted by no later than February 18, 2020.

• Are interviews in-person?

– All interviews are conducted via Google Hangout to reduce the cost of travel.

• I applied last year but was not selected for the program. Can I reapply?

– Yes, you are welcome to reapply to the program.

• Will CKA help me find housing?

– All PSIs are responsible for finding their own housing.

• Are there any housing resources that you recommend?

– We encourage our students to join housing groups in online platforms such as Facebook and to keep an eye out for month-to-month or short-term leases. We also invite PSIs to connect with alumni of the program on housing options. Always request pictures of wherever you will be staying before signing any lease.

Here is a list of partner, affiliate, and internship organizations in the DC & NYC area:

*Congressional offices post internship opportunities and application procedures on their websites. Because details of individual internships vary, it is best to contact the office in which the internship is available for information.



Public Service Interns


Public Service Interns


Public Service Interns


Public Service Interns

Past Internship Placements

• 38 North

• Americans United for Separation of Church and State

• Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

• Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)

• Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)

• Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote)

• Center for Strategic and International Studies, Office of the Korea Chair

• Data Quality Campaign

• Department of Homeland Security, Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis

• Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

• Federal Reserve Board, Division on Consumer & Community Affairs

• George Washington University Law Immigration Clinic

• Mike and Maureen Mansfield Foundation

• Millennium Challenge Corporation

• National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

• National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Washington Bureau

• National Bureau of Asian Research

• National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)

• National Education Association

• Office of Congressman Adriano Espaillat

• Office of Congressman Brendan Boyle

• Office of Rep. Charles Rangel (NY-13)

• Office of Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20)

• Office of Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)

• Office of Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42)

• Office of Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8)

• Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein

• Office of Senator Jack Reed

• Office of Senator Mazie Hirono

• Office of Senator Tammy Duckworth

• Senate Foreign Relations Committee

• Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

• The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

• The National Committee on North Korea: NCNK

• The United States Department of Labor

• The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

• Truman Center

• United Nations Development Program, Washington Representation Office

• United States Department of State

• US National Library of Medicine

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

• Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

• Asian American Art Center (AAAC)

• Asian American Federation

• Asian American/Asian Research Institute

• Citizens Union

• Coalition for Asian American Children and Families

• Council on Foreign Relations

• Legal Aid Society

• Make the Road New York

• MinKwon Center for Community Action

• New American Leaders Project

• New Leaders

• New York City Campaign Finance Board

• New York City Commission on Human Rights

• New York Immigration Coalition

• New York League of Conservation Voters

• New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)

• NYC Councilmember Brad Lander

• Office of NY State Assemblyman Ron Kim

• 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. Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6)

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

• StoryCorps

• The “I Have a Dream” Foundation

• The Bronx Defenders

• The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office

• The Korea Society


KALCA Program

The Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA) 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.


In 2016, 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 in both Washington and New York. Leveraging CKA’s global network of Korean American leaders and KALCA’s long-standing track record of delivering high-quality internship programs, the CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship (PSI) 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.

Inaugural PSI Program

The inaugural PSI program, launched in 2016, 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.