Meet SEARAC’s Intern: Corrine Schmidt, Georgetown University

Jun 20 Meet SEARAC’s Intern: Corrine Schmidt, Georgetown University

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Corrine Schmidt

Hello all!  My name is Corrine and I am a rising senior at Georgetown University, where I major in Science, Technology and International Affairs.  I grew up in Spokane, WA, and am bi-racial.  My father is German-American, and my mother came to the United States from Vietnam when she was twelve years old, at the end of the Vietnam War. 

My mother told my younger sister and me many stories about Vietnam and Vietnamese culture as we grew up, but it was not until I came to Georgetown that I was able to really dive into what it means to be Vietnamese.  At Georgetown, I became involved as a member of the board for Georgetown’s Vietnamese Student Association.  Through this group, I developed a love for pho and learned more about many of the pressing issues that face Vietnamese-American communities, including access to English learning programs, higher education, quality health care, and fair and safe working conditions. 

With Georgetown’s Vietnamese Student Association after a political awareness event.

Like my fellow SEARAC intern this summer, Mai Yer, I have also found a passion for travel, although my passion is perhaps a bit more recently discovered.  This past spring, I had the opportunity to study for a semester in Shanghai, China.  Before this opportunity, the closest I had ever come to international travel was a weeklong school trip to Vancouver, Canada, right north of the border of my home state.  Although this was my first time overseas, I truly fell in love with traveling, visiting Beijing, Nanjing, Huang Shan, and Shangrao over the weekends, spending a week exploring and volunteering in Qinghai province (a western Chinese province, bordering on Tibet), and even going to my mother’s home country, Vietnam, for spring break.  While in Vietnam, I was able to immerse myself in the history of the Vietnam War, which helped me to better understand the conditions in which my mother had grown up.  I found myself obsessed with the differences between the United States, China, and Vietnam, and hope to be able to return in the near future to teach English and further study areas of need in these countries.

At the Great Wall outside of Beijing.

I have also recently found a passion for immigration reform.  In the spring of my sophomore year, I was able to attend a White House briefing for Asian American and Pacific Islander youth.  One of the things that made a lasting impression on me at this briefing was the demand from many of the participants for comprehensive immigration reform for their families.  Before this point, I had supported immigration reform, but had thought that this issue mattered mostly for Latin American immigrant families.  Since this conference, I have viewed this issue as one that matters not just in terms of human rights, but also because it impacts members of my community. I am therefore very excited to work as the immigrations intern for SEARAC this summer.  Every opportunity that I have to interact with people who are personally impacted by immigration policy gives me more drive to better understand the issues, and to help these individuals use their personal stories to foster change.

With other Georgetown students at a White House Initiative AAPI Youth Briefing.

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