Allyson Nicole Camino (Political Science-Public Service and Chinese ’17)

Allyson Nicole Camino, Political Science-Public Service and Chinese ’17

Allyson Nicole CaminoAllyson Nicole Camino attended the UC Davis Washington Program in Fall 2017.

Political Affairs Program Assistant, US-Asia Institute

“As someone who was often soft-spoken and inactive in the political space, this program instilled in me a deeper understanding of public service. By the end of the UCDC fall quarter, I came back to California as a completely different person with renewed strength: inspired, empowered, and actively willing to take on challenges to develop professionally and to be an outspoken voice for communities I care for.” 

Allyson Nicole Camino, who has lived and studied in the Sacramento area for most of her life, was eager to challenge her professional and personal skills in a completely different environment. With keen interests in both domestic public policy and foreign policy, Washington, D.C., seemed like the ideal place for Allyson to grow. 

“Walking by the Library of Congress, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court every day and night was humbling and made me feel like I was contributing to something much larger than myself.” 

In Washington, Allyson worked with the US-Asia Institute (USAI), a private United Nations-associated nonprofit dedicated to building and strengthening ties between the United States and Asia. As a political affairs program assistant, Allyson’s responsibilities included event planning and coordination for exchanges, briefings, and panel discussions. Allyson says she was treated like family at USAI and appreciated the flexibility she was given to attend congressional hearings on issues she was interested in. She still keeps in contact with the staff, who are quick to notify her of professional opportunities.

Overall, Allyson says it was the community she found within her UCDC cohort that made the most impact: “The incredibly driven, ambitious, and intelligent peers I was surrounded with reignited my passion and heart for advocacy, allowed me to find value in my own voice and actions, and inspired me to seek out greater challenges, goals, and opportunities that I previously discounted myself from.” She was also one of three recipients of the UC Presidential Public Service Fellowship from UC Davis, which allowed her to connect with like-minded peers from the UCDC and UC Center Sacramento (UCCS) programs that were committed to public service.

Back in Sacramento, Allyson is currently pursuing opportunities to gain legal and public policy experience in immigrant rights advocacy and to encourage her local Asian-American and Pacific Islander community to be civically engaged. She hopes to pursue a dual Juris Doctor/Master in Public Policy, and would like to one day move back to Washington to work with immigrant rights and AAPI advocacy groups. 

“The UCDC program and my internship allowed me the unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the holistic process of public policy development. It also brought to my attention the need for more ethnically diverse representation since there were not very many Asian-American representatives or staffers in the legislative offices.” 

The UC Davis Washington Program (UCDC) offers a unique opportunity for undergraduate students with majors of all kinds – from English to animal science – to live, work, and study for an academic quarter in the nation’s capital. No matter their major, students integrate compelling coursework with exceptional work experience from an array of organizations throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area. 

— By Maddy Shiber, writing intern in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. May 15, 2018