The Foreign Service Journal, May 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2018 71 AFSA NEWS NEWS BRIEF AAFAA LAUNCHES INTERNSHIP SCHOLARSHIP FUND The Asian American Foreign Affairs Association, in partnership with AFSA, recently launched the AAFAA Internship Scholarship Fund to increase diversity in the Foreign and Civil Service. This fund aims to pro- vide financial assistance to interns who are members of underrepresented groups within the Asian-Ameri- can and Pacific Islander (AAPI) diaspora. In addition to this new collaboration with AAFAA, AFSA has for years partnered with the Thursday Lun- cheon Group (TLG) to support a deserving minority college student for a summer internship at the State Department. AFSA has also partnered with the His- panic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies (HECFAA) since 2014 to sponsor a Hispanic-American college student for a summer internship at the depart- ment. “Internships with the department are one of our most effective recruitment tools, offering students the opportunity to gain experience in Washington or at posts abroad,” says AAFAA’s Finance Chair Joseph Lin, but “almost all of these internships are unpaid, leaving students to bear the associated financial burdens. The reality is that many qualified AAPI students cannot afford to take unpaid internships.” Though Asian-Americans generally have high median household incomes, says Lin, the figure is not representative of the AAPI population as a whole. Aggregate data distorts information on many Asian subgroups and masks large differences in economic situations, such as with some Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, who top the nation’s charts in poverty, lack of education and unemployment. AAFAA intends to address these needs with this scholarship, and help support the department in ensuring our work- force is qualified, inclusive and diverse. According to Lin, at the senior foreign service level, Asian-Americans represent less than 3.75 percent of the department’s workforce. AAFAA hopes to change this by launching the scholarship program, adding qualified, diverse candidates to the talent pool. To learn more about how you can contribute to the fund, please contact AAFAA at . To learn more about the TLG and HECFAA scholarships, visit n