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Pursuing your Dream in Public and Government Service:
Emerging Leaders Summer Grant Program

Are you passionate about the Korean American and Asian American community? Are you eager to explore potential career opportunities in government service, foreign policy, domestic politics, or civil society? If so, we invite you to apply for the Council of Korean Americans (CKA) Emerging Leaders Scholarship (ELS) program. Every summer, CKA offers generous grants to a select group of upper-class college students, graduate students, and recent grads who are interested in Korean American community issues and seeking summer internships in government, non-profit sectors, or civic service in the Washington, D.C., or New York City region.

Our aim is to actively support students throughout their internship experience, connect them with exceptional Korean American mentors, offer guidance on navigating professional environments, and inspire them to consider public service as a fulfilling career path.

If you find this appealing, please continue reading and apply for this incredible opportunity.

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Pursuing your Dream in Public and Government Service: Emerging Leaders Summer Grant Program

Are you passionate about the Korean American and Asian American community? Are you eager to explore potential career opportunities in government service, foreign policy, domestic politics, or civil society? If so, we invite you to apply for the Council of Korean Americans (CKA) Emerging Leaders Scholarship (ELS) program. Every summer, CKA offers generous grants to a select group of upper-class college students, graduate students, and recent grads who are interested in Korean American community issues and seeking summer internships in government, non-profit sectors, or civic service in the Washington, D.C., or New York City region.

Our aim is to actively support students throughout their internship experience, connect them with exceptional Korean American mentors, offer guidance on navigating professional environments, and inspire them to consider public service as a fulfilling career path.

If you find this appealing, please continue reading and apply for this incredible opportunity.

ELS Scholarship

$4,500

Deadline: February 4th

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Program Overview

The Council of Korean Americans (CKA) believes in the importance of Korean Americans being actively involved in public and community service. CKA is proud to announce the Emerging Leaders Fellowship, a nationally competitive program to provide up to $4,500 in financial support for college students, recent grads, or graduate students who are interested in the Korean American community and serving in a public service internship program in the Washington, DC or New York City area. Preference will be given to internships that are fully in-person. Hybrid and remote internships will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

We ask all students to explore, find, and apply for their public service internships. If you need help or if this is your first time applying for an internship, we are here to assist you, especially if you qualify for the ELS program. We have created some valuable resources and access these information: 1) training videos to help you get started; 2) internship availability in DC and NYC; and 3) “Ask an Internship Expert” where you can ask any questions about applying for your DC or NYC internship.

In addition to the grant, all awardees will be invited to participate in professional development seminars throughout the summer; tour various public service and government organizations; meet with senior Asian American mentors; and network with other recipients to learn about the importance of public service.

Here are past topics covered in the seminars: 

  • How do I fully leverage my internship experience?  
  • What are the key skills needed to thrive in a government and non-profit organization?
  • What is it like to work in a political campaign?
  • How does your identity and mental health shape your work experience?

Past field trips for fellows included the United Nations, the New York City Mayor’s Office, the Central Intelligence Agency, the US Congress, Little Lights Urban Ministry, the Korea Economic Institute, and the Brookings Institution.

Our past mentors and speakers have included Meroë Park from the Smithsonian, David S. Kim at WSP USA, and Former Mayor of Edison, New Jersey, Jun Choi.

If you are interested in applying, please see the information below.

Application Due

February 4, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

Interviews conducted by CKA Members

Februrary 19 – 26, 2024 (over two week period)

Final Decisions to Applicants

No later than March 8th

Welcome / Orientation

June 7, 2024

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Program Overview

The Council of Korean Americans (CKA) believes in the importance of Korean Americans being actively involved in public and community service. CKA is proud to announce the Emerging Leaders Fellowship, a nationally competitive program to provide up to $4,500 in financial support for college students, recent grads, or graduate students who are interested in the Korean American community and serving in a public service internship program in the Washington, DC or New York City area. Preference will be given to internships that are fully in-person. Hybrid and remote internships will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

We ask all students to explore, find, and apply for their public service internships. If you need help or if this is your first time applying for an internship, we are here to assist you, especially if you qualify for the ELS program. We have created some valuable resources and access these information: 1) training videos to help you get started; 2) internship availability in DC and NYC; and 3) “Ask an Internship Expert” where you can ask any questions about applying for your DC or NYC internship.

In addition to the grant, all awardees will be invited to participate in professional development seminars throughout the summer; tour various public service and government organizations; meet with senior Asian American mentors; and network with other recipients to learn about the importance of public service.

Here are past topics covered in the seminars: 

  • How do I fully leverage my internship experience?  
  • What are the key skills needed to thrive in a government and non-profit organization?
  • What is it like to work in a political campaign?
  • How does your identity and mental health shape your work experience?

Past field trips for fellows included the United Nations, the New York City Mayor’s Office, the Central Intelligence Agency, the US Congress, Little Lights Urban Ministry, the Korea Economic Institute, and the Brookings Institution.

Our past mentors and speakers have included Meroë Park from the Smithsonian, David S. Kim at WSP USA, and Former Mayor of Edison, New Jersey, Jun Choi.

If you are interested in applying, please see the information below.

Application Due

February 4, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET

Interviews conducted by CKA Members

Februrary 19 – 26, 2024 (over two week period)

Final Decisions to Applicants

No later than March 8th

Welcome / Orientation

June 7, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be at least a rising junior in college (during the summer internship period), a recent graduate, or a graduate student.

Applicant’s internship must be full-time and public service-oriented.

Internship duration must be at least eight consecutive weeks.

Applicant demonstrated interest in the history, culture, and people of the Korean American community.

Scholarship is contingent upon awardees securing a summer public service internship in Washington, DC, or New York City.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be at least a rising junior in college (during the summer internship period), a recent graduate, or a graduate student.

Applicant’s internship must be full-time and public service-oriented.

Internship duration must be at least eight consecutive weeks.

Applicant demonstrated interest in the history, culture, and people of the Korean American community.

Scholarship is contingent upon awardees securing a summer public service internship in Washington, DC, or New York City.

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Application Requirements

Application due: February 4, 2024

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Application Requirements

Application due:
February 4, 2024

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2023/2022 ELS Alumni

2023/2022
ELS Alumni

Hear from our 2023 ELS Alumni:

Alexander_Lee

“The ELF program also helped me see a path for myself to government service: it was incredibly uplifting to learn from public servants who were committed to doing a good job and supporting the Korean American community alongside the public interest.”

– Alexander Lee, Summer Internship at the U.S. Department of Justice/Environmental Crimes Section

Alexander_Lee

“The ELF program also helped me see a path for myself to government service: it was incredibly uplifting to learn from public servants who were committed to doing a good job and supporting the Korean American community alongside the public interest.”

– Alexander Lee, Summer Internship at the U.S. Department of Justice/Environmental Crimes Section

Gina_Kim

“The Council of Korean Americans proved to be more than just a professional network—it became a meaningful support system where I could form genuine relationships with likeminded mentors and peers. Through each mentor, I gained new perspectives on various fields, whether that be campaign financing, journalism, diplomacy, or federal relations.”

– Gina Kim, Summer Internship at the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

Gina_Kim

“The Council of Korean Americans proved to be more than just a professional network—it became a meaningful support system where I could form genuine relationships with likeminded mentors and peers. Through each mentor, I gained new perspectives on various fields, whether that be campaign financing, journalism, diplomacy, or federal relations.”

– Gina Kim, Summer Internship at the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

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Resources

Learn more about ELS

ELS Information Session
Access the recording of
our info session below!

 

Internship Placement Opportunities
in Washington, D.C. and New York City

Internship 101
Learn more about how to look for internships, email etiquette,
and much more!

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Resources

Learn more about ELS

Internship Placement Opportunities
in Washington, D.C. and New York City

Internship 101
Learn more about how to look for internships, email etiquette, and much more!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have to be Korean American to be eligible for the CKA Emerging Leaders Scholarship program?

  • You do not have to be Korean American to be eligible for this program. We encourage all applicants applying to have an interest in the Korean American community and CKA’s mission.

How is the scholarship level determined?

  • The internship duration (number of weeks) will determine the scholarship level or amount with a preference for 8-week internships.

What are the start and end dates of the program?

  • The Emerging Leaders Scholarship program will start with a welcome dinner for the interns and CKA staff in early June and end with a closing ceremony in 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 eight consecutive weeks.

What is the time commitment for participating in the CKA Emerging Leaders Scholarship program?

  • We expect all Emerging Leaders to participate in the following activities:
    • Welcome dinner in DC or NY (In-person)
    • Emerging Leaders Speaker Series events and group discussions (Virtual)
    • Occasional field trips (In-person)
    • The closing ceremony in DC or NY (In-person)

*Due to the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person events are subject to change pending CDC guidelines and recommendations. 

Will CKA cover transportation costs for in-person meetings and field trips?

  • CKA will be covering the transportation costs for awarded students who are working in-person for their internship in the Washington, DC, and NYC area. If you choose to work remotely, we will not reimburse you for travel to attend the in-person meetings and field trips.

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

  • Awardees are solely responsible for securing their summer public service internship. This program is not an internship program. 
  • CKA is available to assist awarded students who have made a reasonable faith effort to secure a  summer public service internship when they have been selected for the scholarship program. However, please keep in mind that finding and securing an internship is the sole responsibility of the awardee.

What if I can’t find a public service internship that is eight weeks long?

  • We accept shorter-term internships on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, we encourage those with less than eight weeks to find a second internship to carry over into eight weeks.

What if I am awarded another scholarship from another organization? Can I win multiple awards to support my summer internship experience?

  • Although many internship scholarship programs prefer students to select only one award, CKA permits awardees to receive CKA’s award with other scholarships to support their summer public service internship as long as the other awarding organization allows the awardee to be identified publicly as a CKA Emerging Leader Scholarship recipient and permits the awardee to participate in CKA summer activities. 
  • CKA requests that CKA be informed about these additional funds if you have won multiple awards. 

When will applicants be notified of their admission?

  • The target notification date is Friday, April 5, 2024.

Are interviews in-person?

  •  All interviews are conducted via Zoom or equivalent online meeting programs.

Will CKA help me find housing?

  • All Emerging Leaders scholarship awardees are responsible for securing their own respective housing.

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

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

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have to be Korean American to be eligible for the CKA Emerging Leaders Scholarship program?

  • You do not have to be Korean American to be eligible for this program. We encourage all applicants applying to have an interest in the Korean American community and CKA’s mission.

How is the scholarship level determined?

  • The internship duration (number of weeks) will determine the scholarship level or amount with a preference for 8-week internships.

What are the start and end dates of the program?

  • The Emerging Leaders Scholarship program will start with a welcome dinner for the interns and CKA staff in early June and end with a closing ceremony in 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 eight consecutive weeks.

What is the time commitment for participating in the CKA Emerging Leaders Scholarship program?

  • We expect all Emerging Leaders to participate in the following activities:
    • Welcome dinner in DC or NY (In-person)
    • Emerging Leaders Speaker Series events and group discussions (Virtual)
    • Occasional field trips (In-person)
    • The closing ceremony in DC or NY (In-person)

*Due to the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person events are subject to change pending CDC guidelines and recommendations. 

Will CKA cover transportation costs for in-person meetings and field trips?

  • CKA will be covering the transportation costs for awarded students who are working in-person for their internship in the Washington, DC, and NYC area. If you choose to work remotely, we will not reimburse you for travel to attend the in-person meetings and field trips.

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

  • Awardees are solely responsible for securing their summer public service internship. This program is not an internship program. 
  • CKA is available to assist awarded students who have made a reasonable faith effort to secure a  summer public service internship when they have been selected for the scholarship program. However, please keep in mind that finding and securing an internship is the sole responsibility of the awardee.

What if I can’t find a public service internship that is eight weeks long?

  • We accept shorter-term internships on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, we encourage those with less than eight weeks to find a second internship to carry over into eight weeks.

What if I am awarded another scholarship from another organization? Can I win multiple awards to support my summer internship experience?

  • Although many internship scholarship programs prefer students to select only one award, CKA permits awardees to receive CKA’s award with other scholarships to support their summer public service internship as long as the other awarding organization allows the awardee to be identified publicly as a CKA Emerging Leader Scholarship recipient and permits the awardee to participate in CKA summer activities. 
  • CKA requests that CKA be informed about these additional funds if you have won multiple awards. 

When will applicants be notified of their admission?

  • The target notification date is Friday, April 5, 2024.

Are interviews in-person?

  •  All interviews are conducted via Zoom or equivalent online meeting programs.

Will CKA help me find housing?

  • All Emerging Leaders scholarship awardees are responsible for securing their own respective housing.

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

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

For more information, contact scholarship@councilka.org