Reflections from Jennifer Sugijanto

1882 Foundation Summer Internship Reflection

By Jennifer Sugijanto

Jennifer is a rising second-year student at Georgetown University. She is planning on majoring in History with a minor in Biology and is on the pre-medical track. On campus, she is the newest co-chair of the Asian American Student Association (AASA), Political Awareness Committee (PAC). Through PAC, Jennifer became acquainted with the 1882 Foundation’s work and made critical contributions to the 1882 Foundation’s programming as our first intern, maintaining our new office, providing multimedia and event support, and formalizing internal processes. Thank you, Jennifer!

 

My summer with 1882 began right after I moved out of my Georgetown University freshman dorm room. My first official event as an intern, 1882’s Annual Symposium, unexpectedly shaped my whole summer and changed my perspective on Asian American activism and politics. Alan Spears from the National Parks Conservation Association spoke about historic preservation as a core civil right, as the absence of people from a landscape becomes a civil rights issue. While I had never heard of such a perspective, I quickly began to see how it applied to the 1882 Foundation’s work – not only as a historic preservation organization, but also as an important player in preserving DC Chinatown’s community and status as a cultural touchstone. Working with the 1882 Foundation was an eye-opening experience into nonprofit work, ranging from storytelling and literature-related programming to education outreach and collaboration development. I am incredibly humbled to have met many incredibly knowledgeable, passionate team members and community partners whom I not only learned from, but am excited to work with again in the future. I know my experience will help develop even better PAC and AASA programming as we continue to explore our goals, our role as an Asian American organization, and our identities.

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