Sharing Accomplishments from the Midwest to the West Coast

Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) Leadership In Action Intern, Anna Courchaine, was placed at the Koreatown Youth and Community Center.  She worked with their summer youth program, helping to create improv and public speaking curriculum for middle school students and aiding elementary school students with their theater production of classic fables.  She is a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, College of Design.  Below she tells LEAP who she would like to have present at her Leadership In Action graduation and why.


As the youngest in my family, I have had a fair share of both doting affection and relentless harassment from my elder siblings. Even so, with all three of us as Korean adoptees, I have always felt that there is an additional depth to our sibling dynamics creating a complexity in our relationship that makes the moments where we come together as a family even more treasurable. As we have grown into adulthood, for all of our petty arguments and sibling rivalries, I have grown to appreciate the true expanse of my brothers’ successes and the extent of their impact on me. The opportunity to show that appreciation to one of my brothers, Elliott Courchaine, at my graduation from the Leadership In Action internship comes with a joy and expansive pride in showing Elliott how his own journey has so greatly influenced my experiences in Los Angeles.

Anna, Edison from KYCC, and Elliott bonding at the 2014 LIA Graduation Ceremony

Elliott and I both work with children, recognizing their potential and their ability, and how both are so inherent to future success. My brother works in my hometown’s public school district with a degree in social work, guiding and teaching kids both in the school system and in the community at large. I want to express how much I look up to Elliott, for always reminding me of the true rewards of working with youth. To me, sharing my proud moment at the conclusion of working with Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) and the Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC) with Elliott this summer in Los Angeles is my own expression of pride in him and his accomplishments. I want him to be in Los Angeles to see how profoundly he has shaped my attitude towards working with youth, and how much I respect the depth of his compassion and dedication. I know that he has been an incredible big brother to not only to me, but also to countless other children and young adults.


Thanks to Southwest Airlines, Elliott was able to attend the graduation on August 8, 2014.  It was his first time to Los Angeles, his first time eating Thai food, and his first time seeing the Pacific Ocean.  At the graduation, he met LEAP staff and KYCC staff, all of whom had only glowing things to say to him about his little sister. 

About Leadership In Action

Leadership in Action (LIA) is LEAP’s 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. For more information, visit:

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