Kevin Bautista, a 2011 Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and class salutatorian, was one of only 18 college students recently awarded a summer internship with OCA, or the Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. The Internship Program provides APA students with experiences in professional development, networking opportunities, and coalition broadening in Washington, D.C. for duration of 10 weeks. The OCA has placed him at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in its Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
According to Stan Lau, OCA national vice president of Education and Culture, “this summer’s group of bright, young students has already shown leadership potential and a great deal of introspection into their own APA identities in the short time since their arrival. …I look forward to seeing where this summer program takes them.”
Sharon M. Wong, OCA national president, is also excited about Bautista and his fellow interns. Wong said, “OCA is excited to welcome our newest group of students into this wonderful and challenging opportunity. I am confident that through the internship program we will see this group grow into talented and thoughtful leaders.”
In recognizing this summer’s interns, the OCA described Bautista in glowing terms, noting on its website that he “is a rising senior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.”
Bautista attributes much of his success to his alma mater, saying, “I believe that my 12 years at Mount Carmel prepared me to be independent and open to new challenges. …My experience at Mount Carmel cultivated my critical thinking skills, allowed me to pursue my passions, and developed my goals of helping my community in the Northern Marianas.”
In addition to earning high academic marks while at Mount Carmel, Bautista was also very active in numerous extra-curricular activities, including Mock Trial, the National Forensics League, and Theatre Club.
Bautista also gives credit to his family and broader support network. “I’m just a kid born to hardworking Filipino contract working professionals from a tiny rock in the Western Pacific thousands of miles away. Attending the University of Michigan was a farfetched dream as a kid, let alone being an intern in our nation’s capital. Getting to this point is an accomplishment I attribute to my family, my friends, my mentors, Mount Carmel, and my close-knit community on Saipan.”
The OCA Internship Program was first launched in 1989 with only one intern. Now as one of the largest and longest running Internship Program for APA students, OCA continues to educate and empower the next generation of strong community advocates. The 25th annual OCA Internship Program is generously sponsored by the Walmart Foundation, the Comcast Foundation, the William & Sinforosa Tan Kaung Internship Endowment Fund, and Mary Ann & Paul C. Yu Internship Fund. (PR)