Our Fellows
State House Fellowship Program 2010 Fellows
Diane Nguyen  Hometown: Dorchester, Massachusetts and Vietnam

School/Major: University of Massachusetts Boston/B.A. in Psychology |  Ethnicity: Vietnamese-American| Other Language(s): Vietnamese

On the importance of mentors: When I first heard about AAWPI and its legislative fellowship program last fall, I said to myself, “no;” I didn't have a background in politics, and I was scared that I'd be in over my head.  However, I have great mentors who believe in me and who encouraged me to apply, and so I did.  I am so thankful that I have mentors who have always pushed me to try new things - Without them, I may not have taken that risk.  Little did I know how much this program would teach me.

What I gained from my fellowship experience: I now read the Boston Globe and local newspapers for the most recent updates on political matters and issues going on within our communities.  Also, by opening constituent mail and emails and through answering constituent calls, I became more aware of the issues important in and around the community.  Working in the office has also made all I've learned in school more real.  I've learned, in a real way, that if you want something, you have to speak up.  I witnessed constituents coming into the office and the State House to speak about their issues in order to get help or bring about greater awareness.  It also feels GREAT to change the environment of the State House, to see the Fellows and me walking around the building as interns, not as tourists or visitors.  Interning at the State House, as part of this group, made me realized that there is nothing we can't achieve as Asian-American women.  Because we were given this opportunity to learn, and because we'll take this learning experience with us wherever we go from here, we'll just have to see what amazing things are next for us.

What I'm doing now: Bilingual Geriatric Social Service Coordinator at Boston Senior Home Care

Placement: State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester),
Chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses

Leading the movement
to engage and empower
Asian-American women
in politics and government