So I have about 25 more days here in the sunny Los Angeles. The internship has turned out to be incredibly different than I’ve expected it to be. I’ve put my heart and soul into an END campaign. With two fundraisers, I was part of a group that raised $10,000. I’ve gotten to work with 14-15 amazing youth leaders* from Los Angeles. Because I’m leaving them at this halfway point, I think I got to learn more from them than I could give them. I’ve been reassigned to place more focus on civic participation into Orange County and help with housing issues (foreclosure). With my background and skills, the staff thought it would be more fitting for me to refocus on those two projects.
The Orange County material feels right at home for this Bergen County boy. But I’ll be honest here with foreclosure. Even though I’ve done housing justice work with Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), it was mostly with renters who were being abused by homeowners. Ever since my family has been in America, my family had always rented the places we live in. For me, it’s a challenge garnering sympathy and effort for those folks. In my limited scope of things, I still would like to work with developing the youth, but I’m sure Jani and rest of the interns are more than capable of taking on that task even without me.
Always a challenge. New frontiers out here in the West.
*I’m going to refrain from using the word ‘future’ to describe the youth today because the youth are our present. They are already leaders-in-training just as most of us are. So we need to give them the attention and the responsibility that our leaders get.
What inspires me to talk about youth this way is from a book called Do Hard Things. I’m not usually a fan of the evangelical press, but it challenges the youth to take more on in their lives. Generally a good read.