Gala held for Chi­nese in­terns in DC

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LIU CHANG in Wash­ing­ton changliu@chi­nadai­

The 2014 Lead­er­ship and Busi­ness Con­fer­ence was held on Thurs­day in Wash­ing­ton. Hosted by the In­ter­na­tional Lead­er­ship Foun­da­tion (ILF) and the Coali­tion of Asian Amer­i­can Busi­ness Or­ga­ni­za­tion (CAABO) and closed with the ILF Awards Gala in the evening, the con­fer­ence in­vited Asian Amer­i­can busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers, mem­bers of Congress, high­rank­ing officials and young lead­ers from across the Straits.

The ILF be­lieves a na­tion’s fu­ture is in the hands of its youth and only through em­pow­er­ing and ed­u­cat­ing com­ing gen­er­a­tions can a bet­ter fu­ture could be cre­ated, said the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s officials.

Ev­ery year, the ILF pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for young schol­ars to work as in­terns in var­i­ous US govern­ment agen­cies. The stu­dents learn about the im­por­tance of day-to-day op­er­a­tions, pub­lic ser­vice and civic aware­ness. This year 35 in­terns worked across the Na­tional Mall and the Greater DC area in 11 fed­eral agen­cies.

Henry Levine, se­nior direc­tor of Al­bright Stone­bridge, served as Con­sul Gen­eral from 1982 through 1992 at the Amer­i­can Em­bassy in Bei­jing. Dur­ing his ten­ure, he over­saw the pro­cess­ing over 100,000 visa ap­pli­ca­tions a year. He said for Chi­nese stu­dents com­ing to the US to study, he hoped the stu­dents would gain both ed­u­ca­tional and prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ences. “It will ben­e­fit bi­lat­eral re­la­tions,” he added.

The key­note speaker, Elaine Chao, 24th US Sec­re­tary of La­bor, told the young au­di­ence dur­ing the con­fer­ence that although Amer­ica is a wel­com­ing place, it is not a po­lite coun­try that will in­vite just any­one to suc­ceed. Peo­ple need to per­se­vere to try and make it.

For in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, Chao said she un­der­stands their wari­ness in a com­pletely new and un­fa­mil­iar en­vi­ron­ment. “You need to learn and en­joy,” she ad­vised. “This cul­ture is about fun.”

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