Monday, April 26, 2010


Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, OCAPICA

OCAPICA was established in 1997, it is a nonprofit organization that provides programs for people to get involved in to help the community of Asian Pacific Islanders out through volunteer or internship.

I heard about this program through my school (CSUF) and it grabbed my attention because I know there are not a lot of programs that primarily focus on the Asian Pacific Islander community and I thought it was great that OCAPICA did that.

OCAPICA’s mission statement is:
The Orange County Asian & Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) was established in 1997 with the mission to build a healthier and stronger community by enhancing the well-being of Asians and Pacific Islanders through inclusive partnerships in the areas of service, education, advocacy, organizing, and research.

The programs that OCAPICA has presently are:


AANCART/Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training

WINCART/Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training

PATH for Women/Promoting Access to Health for Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian Women




PROJECT FOCUS/For Our Children’s Ultimate Success










I was surprised to see so many programs OCAPICA offers and how they hit important topics for the Asian Pacific Islander community. I love OCAPICA because their goal is to help out the Asian Pacific Islander community. If anyone is interested in expanding their knowledge and experience and want to help out, please get involved with OCAPICA. For more information their website is you can also call them at (714) 636-9095 or email them at their address is 12900 Garden Grove Blvd., Suite 214A Garden Grove, CA 92843

Since I love what OCAPICA does, I talked to one of the workers and asked her some questions about the program and I paraphrased her responses as best as I can.

1. How did OCAPICA get started?

In 1997 the current executive director used to work in the Los Angeles area working with nonprofit organizations and wanted to start one in Orange County focusing on public health and Asian Pacific Islander Americans. So it originally started off with health organizations and then stemmed off to other important issues as well.

2. What are OCAPICA’s goals?

The mission statement (above)

3. Why did you get involved with OCAPICA?

She wanted exposure to a nonprofit organization because her friends were involved in a lot of nonprofit organizations and liked it. She started off with a position in voting in a different field that she saw was open then landed her position with OCAPICA.

4. Why do other people get involved?

She felt that other people got involved because they really do want to help out the community. She feels that everyone is truly passionate about what they do. They see that there still are stereotypes about the Asian Pacific Islanders and how the Model Minority effects people differently. But ultimately, they are just passionate about what they do and want to help out the community.

5. Do you feel that OCAPICA’s goals are being met?

Yes definitely! OCAPICA works with other partnerships (as it states in the mission statement). There is a lot of research involved and data crunching as well that plays an important role.

6. What advice do you have for the young Asian Pacific Islander American generation?

It is important that the younger generation cease opportunities. There is always something they can do to help and to look at the big picture. They can contribute so don’t be closed off to opportunities that arise. By being involved in nonprofit organizations, a lot of different elements come into play and can get good exposure, good networking, and experience. Also by volunteering, they can learn a lot about themselves as well. Stay open-minded and take advantage of opportunities that come.

Those were just some of the questions that I was curious about. OCAPICA is a wonderful nonprofit organization! I hope you enjoyed learning more about them and please get involved and help out!

100 word poem

One of my Asian American Studies class! This is one of the classes that inspired me to start up this blog!

Last semester (Fall 2009, in one of my Asian American Studies class, my professor had everyone write a 100 word poem as a final reflection. The picture of my class is where I had to write this poem. This is my 100 word poem (I went a little over 100 words),I decided to post this in my blog because this is how I felt at the time and I can proudly say this is how I still feel.

Asian American woman is what I consider myself to be
There are many stereotypes about me

But I just laugh and know that all of it isn’t true
People just try to throw me in some category never thinking it’s cruel

This class had taught me to not just sit back
Instead if anything I will come and attack

Not violently of course
That would just make me remorse

My goal in the future is to be a leader
My type of personality is to be a fighter

This class pushes me to fight for my goal
Even if it’s like climbing an impossible pole

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mayor Sukhee Kang

I got to interview the mayor of Irvine, Mayor Sukhee Kang! He was first elected to the Irvine City Council in 2004 and then reelected in 2006. He is the first Korean-American to serve as a mayor of a major U.S. city. I chose to interview him because I live in Irvine and knew that our mayor was a Korean-American. I feel that he is a great role model and someone to look up to. Although he was born in Korea and came to America in his young adult years, he was still able to work his way up to where he is today. He is an inspiration not only to the Asians in America, but to everyone. The interview responses are paraphrased. I hope you enjoy and find some inspiration, because I sure got inspired.

1. How do you identify yourself?

As a Korean American, Asian American, but more so as a coalition builder. He felt as his job as a mayor was to bring everybody to the table. He is a mayor, a public figure and his job is to make Irvine a better community. He is a well rounded person and feels that his job is to look at the global point of view, the overall picture. Although he is technically in "ethnic terms", Korean American, Asian American, he felt that he can and needs to relate with everyone, no matter what race.

2. In America did you feel limited in any way because you are an Asian American? If so, how and how did you overcome those obstacles?

The limitation is up to the individual. He felt that although there are obstacles, ways to overcome them are by building self-confidence and by working harder than anyone else. This country gives ample opportunities. He did feel that he got treated differently, but respect came from how he presented himself. He feels that respect comes from outside, what you do.

3. Why did you decide to come to America?

His brother lived in San Francisco in 1962 and since the early days, as a youth, he thought about coming to America. He especially wanted to reunite with his brother. Due to coming to America without his other family members, it took a while because he had to finish some obligations. He finished his military duty and also finished college. He got married to his wife Joanne and at the age of 24 came to America.

4. What made you decide to enter public life?

He felt that everyone has an inspiration and his inspiration was the 1992 LA Riot. Watching tv about the LA Riot and learning more about what happened gave him an inspiration due to the lack of community power, that was what got him thinking. So when an opportunity came, he grabbed it and ran with it. He wanted to work behalf on the community. He feels political empowerment and exercising you rights, such as voting is important. In 2002 he had the opportunity to work with the mayor at the time, Ben and built relationships. He worked from the bottom up.

5. Do you feel more pressure to excel because you are a minority in a public position?

"Of course, as a first generation immigrant, I do have a handicap in some ways." He feels that his language isn't perfect so he had to read more and work harder. It's not what you do, but how you do it. He has an internal skill, engaging and connecting with people. He finds a vehicle with others to have a connection, and it's the delivery of the message that is important. Also the sincerity and genuineness is important. He thinks spiritual power is important, and being more sincere because people can respect that and see that. Connecting and adapting to different cultures is a way to communicate with others. Positive leadership and perceiving everything in a positive way is an important factor as well.

6. What future aspirations do you have after you finish your term as a mayor?

Running for reelection, but ultimately it is up to God. He thinks it is important to work hard and prepare himself. He tries not to put a goal, rather see himself grow to prepare himself for the next step. Opportunity will come naturally.

7. Do you have any advice for my generation of young Asian Americans?

A lot! Set goals high, maintain confidence, be proud of your heritage and always try your best. His advice were just simple things such as, maximize potential and identify your special skills. It is important to try to identify your special skills at an early age. Get involved in activities such as working with the community, that way you can find skill sets that you didn't know before. It is important to be a well rounded person and the early stages in life are critical.

That was what I got from the interview. I paraphrased it the best that I can. I hope you enjoyed and find inspirtation to achieve your goals!

I want to say thank you to Mayor Sukhee Kang and Michelle Grettenberg for meeting with me and helping me do this interview.