Bellevue City Councilmember Conrad Lee opened the CIE meeting with a keynote speech on the program’s goals and structure. He stated: “Regardless of what background one has, this nation offers boundless opportunities and potentials to everyone. It’s us who limit our own dreams and aspirations. It is the goal of Pathway Foundation, which I represent, to provide the tools and guidance…for you to reach your dreams, aspirations, and potentials.”
The session was highly regarded by parents and brought to attention the importance of the younger generation participating in civic engagement. As the Chinese-American population within Seattle increases, civic engagement is critical for expressing our thoughts and exerting our influence. The Mayoral Internship Program was established to help the younger generation gain hands-on experience in working with peers and mentors in contributing to the community.
Current intern Christina stated that she learned more on “the people skills and then the time management skills because…deadlines are not solidly set by teachers.” She also mentioned that there wasn’t a way “to measure your own success [by grades],” so what effort you put in is really reflected in the result. Other interns-David & Anna-also affirmed that the internship is a great environment to collaborate with others, discover and develop your own passion, and gain valuable skills along the way.
Mr. Lee commented that Chinese families often prioritize their children’s studies for enrollment into prestigious universities. However, other important elements for children to gain-the exploration of self-worth, the cultivation of self-interests, and the contribution towards society-are also needed for any child to enter a “prestigious school” of society. Mr. Lee hopes that this program can help children find their interests and self-esteem.
You can view the footage from the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtXdcJNDWoo
Written by Liana Wu and edited by Melissa Lin