Inspire. engage. empower.

We are a non-profit and non-partisan organization with a diverse membership representing all communities throughout the nation.

API Leadership development

Internship and Scholarship Program—Developing Future API Leaders

Click HERE to download the application. Deadline Sunday, April 18, 2021.

The Internship Program was implemented in 2004 and designed to get API youth civically engaged and prepare them to assume leadership roles in the future. It provides college students throughout California summer internship opportunities working for elected officials at all levels of government. Participating students are culturally and ethnically diverse from low to moderate-income families living in the northern, central and southern California regions.

The Internship Program exposes college students to strong, influential role models and differing perspectives on issues relevant to the API community by engaging them in various community programs and activities. Students are placed in local, legislative and constitutional offices in their respective regions. Students attend weekly professional and leadership workshops in public speaking, financial literacy, digital literacy, voters registration and team projects.

This eight-week program has been instrumental in changing the lives of participants. The objectives are to empower the youth leaders to meet its community needs. The program educates, nurtures, and prepares the next wave of socially responsible young leaders and helps participants become civically engaged in public policy. Students state they entered the program with certain expectations, and their expectations were far exceeded. The program profoundly changed their personal lives and they felt confident they could make a difference at their college campuses and in their communities.

Since the program began, over 550 students have successfully completed the Internship Program nationwide made possible by funding from the following corporate partners:

  • AT&T
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Automatic Bar Controls
  • PG&E
  • Bank of the West
  • Sempra Energy
  • Chevron
  • Southern California Edison
  • Coca-Cola
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Culture to Culture Foundation
  • Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD)
  • Edgewood Partners Insurance Center (EPIC)
  • Sutter Health
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Verizon
  • Greater Sacramento McDonald’s
  • Vision New America
  • Golden Arch Enterprises
  • Wells Fargo
  • International Leadership Foundation (ILF)
  • Yin Foundation
  • Jelly Belly
  • Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation Community Fund
  • In addition to many small and individual donors…

APAPA Youth Leadership Academy (AYLA)

Students for students.

This program was recently founded in early 2019 by a group of high school students passionate about community and paths to success. With guidance from our large network of professionals in business and politics, our high school leadership team has worked tirelessly to create a program for them and their peers.

The APAPA Youth Leadership Academy (AYLA) is a program designed for high school students, grades 9 – 12, that provides workshops, panel discussions and training sessions that focus on:
– Career Guidance
– Communication and Social Skills
– Civic Engagement Awareness
– Leadership Development

AYLA is a unique opportunity for high school students to get a jumpstart on their career paths and leadership skills in business and politics.

APAPA’s mission is to build leaders in our APIA communities and this is the start.

To learn more about this program, click HERE.

API Annual International Leadership Alumni Conference

The 4th Annual International Leadership Conference, hosted by Civic Leadership USA (CLUSA) and APAPA, was held on August 3-5, 2018, at UC Berkeley Conference Center. Over 100 interns and alumni from organizations such as APAPA, CAPA, and China’s own Siyuan group attend. The California APAPA interns and alumni join interns from Texas, Florida, and New York, and students from prestigious universities in China for a cross-cultural exchange.

The program consists of networking, workshops, mentoring and guest speakers. Workshops included discussing topics such as “Ethical Leadership: Strong Core Values” and “Social Media-How to Create a Strong Network”, led by LEAP and other guest speakers. Over twenty business professionals and organization leaders participated as speed mentors, offering advice to enthusiastic and engaged attendees.

Financial Literacy Workshops

APAPA provides workshops to teach students the importance of budgets and financial goals to navigate in the current economy. Students also learn about debit cards, credit, student loans, and identity theft. APAPA partnered with Wells Fargo Bank, Walmart and State Farm Insurance on designing and implementing these informative workshops.

Digital Literacy Project

The Digital Literacy Program is designed to develop and expand student’s digital skills for today’s technology driven workforce. The goal is to educate and provide job training and workforce development to under served Asian Pacific Islander American young adults.

The program provides opportunities for participants to be engaged and become proficient in a business setting; use of digital resources on the web and in social media; and to understand the power behind the use of digital technology. The workshops provide the skills applicable in business today. A large number of students completing the summer project have gone on to work in non-profit community-based organizations, local businesses and pursued advanced degrees. Digital skills are essential and invaluable to businesses and/or non-profit organizations.

The Program, initiated in 2014, was funded by Comcast.


APAPA strives to achieve a more balanced API representation in state and federal government that more closely reflects the API in proportion of the American population. APAPA has established a process for its membership to seek judicial and political appointments at the local, state and federal level. It formed a Political and Judicial Appointment Committee that recruits, coaches and supports highly qualified API candidates in their political aspirations and journeys.

This program has dramatically increased the number of California API appointments, both political and judicial positions. APAPA has created fruitful relationships with the Governor’s office and the Appointments staff as well as key members of the Legislature since the founding of APAPA.

APAPA Making a Difference—California Elected and Appointed Successes

APAPA is honored to work with other community associations, organizations and individuals to help get more APIs elected into federal, state and local offices in California. In 2008, fifteen members of the API community were elected to legislative and constitutional offices and the numbers have continued to increase. In 2010, Tani Cantil-Sakauye was the first Filipino-American elected as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. By the November 2014 election, APIs held California state constitutional offices, occupied seats in the State Senate and Assembly, held positions across the Executive branch, and on the bench in the State Judiciary.

2014 brought many new firsts for the API community:

  • Carol Liu was the first API woman elected to the California State Senate.
  • Michelle Steel was the first Korean-American elected to the California Board of Equalization.
  • Van Tran was the first Vietnamese-American elected to the California State Assembly.
  • John Chiang was the first Asian-American elected as California State Controller.
  • Judy Chu was the first Chinese-American elected to the U.S. Congress.
  • Jean Quan was the first Asian-American elected City of Oakland Mayor.

However, there is much more work ahead to build a better government, a better society and a better country. APAPA is proud of its partners of all ethnicities across the political spectrum.

API Women's Leadership Conference

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