APAICS: Tell us about us a bit about your new role at APAICS.
JC: I work as the communications associate. Some of my responsibilities include curating the monthly newsletters, updating social media pages, and overall coordinating of external communications campaigns as well as the internal communications for the organization.
APAICS: Your personal hero/who inspires you?
JC: My personal hero is my father. He inspires me everyday and he continues to be an example for the person I want to be when I’m his age.
APAICS: What does the AAPI community mean to you?
JC: I was raised in the AAPI community. Some of my fondest memories were the potlucks that I attended with my mom and the other members of the Filipino communities in places like Hawaii and Puerto Rico where I grew up. I feel strongly connected to that side of myself and I’m grateful to my mother for making sure I was able to experience it.
APAICS: What made you want to work in communications?
JC: I have always had an interest in writing. As I grew up, I realized I had stories that I would like to tell and there might be others out there who feel the same thoughts and emotions as I do, but think that they are alone. I wanted to write to let people know that they were not alone in what they were feeling. Now, I hope to be a speechwriter to support people who may feel disenfranchised. This desire to tell stories translated to a lot of English and communications courses in college and I just stuck with it.
APAICS: When you have downtime, what do you like to do?
JC: When I have downtime I like to ride my bicycle around DC. It’s great exercise and a great way to see parts of the city that I would not otherwise have been exposed to.
APAICS: What are you most looking forward to doing at APAICS?
JC: I’m most looking forward to being able to learn about the behind-the-scenes of D.C. I have been living in this city around four years now and I still have never really seized many opportunities to rub shoulders with people who work on the Hill–not since my high school internship for Congressman Steny Hoyer. But I’m sure this position will finally give me that exposure.
APAICS: What is your morning routine to get your ready for the day?
JC: I wake up, lie awake for about 10 minutes, browse social media on my phone for another 10, watch YouTube videos for the last 10, and then I get out of bed to brush my teeth and hop in the shower. That’s my routine for at least five years strong now.
APAICS: Favorite book or podcast?
JC: The Alchemist. I read it during my formative years and it continues to be a great source of inspiration for me. I was given a graphic novel copy for my 22nd birthday; it’s my favorite gift to this day.
APAICS: What TV show are you binge watching now?
JC: I started watching Avatar The Last Airbender for the third time. It never gets old.
APAICS: Favorite boba flavor (or favorite drink!)
JC: Thai tea!
APAICS: You’ve worked in Congress as an intern. How has that experience shaped your views on public service?
JC: Through being a congressional intern, I learned that everyone’s voice is important. A constituent may call their representative’s office asking them to think long and hard about a law that affects their child’s education or they may call about a neighbor’s fence being too close to their property–both scenarios demand your full attention and respect.
APAICS: You’ve worked as an editor in Howard University’s publication, The Hilltop. What has been your favorite part of that experience?
JC: My favorite part of working for The Hilltop was definitely being a part of something so great. The motto of the paper was “For Zora,” which meant that everything we did we did to further the legacy of Zora Neale Hurston, the author of books such as Their Eyes Were Watching God and the first Editor-in-Chief of the paper. So it was definitely a great feeling being a part of something that was started by such a prolific person that has covered many important events throughout the decades.
APAICS: What is it like living in DC?
JC: Living in DC has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love walking to the metro at the end of everyday and seeing the lights of the office buildings illuminated and seeing the people going about their work on the inside. I love seeing everyone push passed each other and interact on the streets. The city feels alive. And I previously commuted into work from southern Maryland. I don’t wish that on my worst enemy.