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Community News: Mid-City

KOREATOWN : Korean American Internships Awarded


Korean American college students from throughout the country will come to Los Angeles this month to participate in corporate, political, legal and media internships sponsored by a local Korean community group.

The Korean American Coalition, formed in 1983 to advocate a greater political voice for the ethnic group, has announced its 11th annual class of interns, mostly sophomores and juniors. The 14 students will begin work on June 26.

Intern selection is based not only on applicants' grade-point averages, but also on their social consciousness as Asian Americans, said program coordinator Julie Chang.

"We really want to empower these students, and increase representation of Korean Americans in these areas," she said.

Chang says the program began as one way to increase political representation for Korean Americans, even if it meant just having them as interns in political leaders' offices.

The program became so popular that the coalition began seeking corporate sponsors to hire some interns. Chang said she believes Korean Americans have become better represented in politics and the corporate world, but added that they are still underrepresented in the legal field and the media.

Sponsors this year include the offices of Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Louis Caldera (D-Los Angeles), Bank of America, Manufacturers Bank, Samsung America, Southern California Edison Co., Korean Air, KCAL-TV, KCBS-TV, KTLA-TV, and two law firms: Levene & Eisenberg, and Breidenbach, Buckley, Hutching, Halm & Hamblet.

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