Announcing the LEAP Emerge Class of 2019

Formerly known as Leadership In Action, LEAP Emerge 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 community in Southern California. Interns work four days a week at a Southern California community-based organization that serves the Asian and Pacific Islander community. They then gather one day a week for leadership development trainings to build and strengthen leadership skills and work with their intern cohort over eight weeks on a Team Community Impact Project.

We are excited to officially announce the LEAP Emerge Class of 2019!:

Francis Ray Rettinger - Headshot.jpeg

Kelepi Ahoia - California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Placement: Empowering Pacific Islander Communities


Gia Dacayanan - Willamette University

Placement: API Equality - LA


Brendan Kim - Occidental College

Placement: East West Players


Kristie Lam - The Ohio State University

Placement: Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE)


H'Abigail Mlo - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Placement: Little Tokyo Service Center


Catherine Pereda - University of California, Los Angeles

Placement: Thai Community Development Center


Francis Ray Villasenor Rettinger - University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Placement: LEAP


Last year’s cohort shared the following testimonials with LEAP about the program:

“I’m so glad to have met these amazing people who have changed my life and I’m not exaggerating! I’ve learned so much from them that I will apply to myself as a leader.”

“I've grown so much and I know so many people who can benefit from the same support I've received.”

“I've learned to have confidence in my abilities and that people are always looking to engage in community building if you have the passion.” 

This year, the program will be held from June 17 to August 9, 2019.



Southwest Airlines is
The Official Airlines of LEAP Emerge