Leadership In Action

Leadership in Action (LIA) is an eight-week paid summer internship program designed to develop emerging young leaders by providing college students with practical leadership skills and the opportunity to work hands-on in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in Southern California. 

Leadership In Action is sponsored by








Southwest is the official airline of Leadership In Action.


 And the 2015 Bid for Empowerment Donors


Celebrating 20 years of developing student leaders!


Approaching its 20th year, the program takes learning beyond the classroom, and places the student interns in a range of API community based organizations in order to gain real-life experience working at nonprofits. The intern’s weekly schedule is comprised of 4 days at their assigned community based organization (CBO) and 1 day at LEAP.

At the CBO, the intern works with their assigned supervisor on a meaningful project. At LEAP, the intern’s day is devoted to leadership development training, issue discussions, CBO site visits and a community impact project. Nationally recognized trainers deliver workshops in critical skill areas. Issue discussions are on local or timely topics of interest and are facilitated by local community leaders/activists and LEAP trainers. The community impact project will give the students interns an opportunity to flex their leadership skills in a safe setting, as well as allow them to contribute a service that has lasting impact on to the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities.


• Participate in leadership development training that develops me into a self-assured, knowledgeable leader
• Work at a Southern California nonprofit organization that serves the API community
• Collaborate with other interns to create a community impact project
• Make an impact in my community


• Intern four days a week in a Southern California area community-based organization
• Convene one day a week at LEAP to build and strengthen leadership skills
Topics include:
o Making powerful and persuasive presentations
o Leading and participating in meetings
o Understanding the issues affecting the API community
o Learning how to work effectively in a team


The eight-week program runs from June 13 through August 5, 2016. Interns will receive compensation in the amount of $3,200 for successful completion of the program and are responsible for their own housing, transportation, and insurance.


Applications for 2016 are now closed.

Please visit www.leap.org/lia_updates to sign up for 2017 updates.


Summer 2016 LIA Interns


Left to Right (top): Angie Tran, Ryan Huynh, Tony Tang, Danny Yang
Left to Right (bottom): Aian Hurtado-Doppenberg, Sharayne "Ray-Ray" Tuala, Dee Pha


Here are the 2016 Leadership In Action interns and their assigned community based organizations (CBOs):


Group Community Impact Project

This year’s cohort decided to create a promotional video that shared the impact of the program on the participants and a self-published magazine with articles and artwork about being minorities within a minority.  The magazine is being shared with college age youth around California, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. 

Watch their video below:


Read their Zine here:

To be uploaded 

Click here to view past interns, their blogs, and their community impact project at: www.leap.org/empower_lia_alumni.

College students or recent graduates with:

  • A prior experience in API communities
  • A passion for learning and growing leadership skills
  • An interest in gaining work experience in an API community-based nonprofit organization


Applicants must have completed two years of college by June 13, 2016 and currently be enrolled in college or a recent graduate. All applicants must be able to complete the full eight-week program and attend the following mandatory events:

  • LIA Welcome Week: June 13-17, 2016
  • LIA Leadership Training: June 24, July 1, July 8, July 15, July 29
  • LEAP Gala: July 21, 2016
  • LIA Graduation: August 5, 2016


Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated leadership
  • Community Service
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Maturity and professional demeanor
  • Grade point average


1. Complete the Leadership In Action online application.
2. Submit the following documents:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Current Resume
  • Official Transcript
  • One Page Personal Statement - single-spaced and typed, answering:
    • What types of leadership experience do you have?
    • What experiences contribute to your interest in being involved with the API community?
    • How has your experience contributed to your role in the API community?
    • What do you hope to gain from the Leadership In Action experience? 

    *NOTE: Official transcript MUST be mailed or emailed directly from school. All other documents may be emailed to Mayta Lor at mlor@leap.org.


    Monday, March 7, 2016

    *Online application and all documents must be in by this date.

To sign up for updates, visit: www.leap.org/lia_updates.


Applications for Community Based Organizations to apply for an intern is closed. 


In 2016, the following organizations applied for an intern. Applying interns should be prepared to identify their top three preferences for placement at a participating community organization.


For additional information on the Leadership In Action program, please contact:
Mayta Lor, Development Associate
(213) 485-1422 x4105