This year, the Asian Pacific Fund is proud to welcome Kelsey Foster and Sandi Khine as part of the AAPI Data-Narrative-Action (DNA) Fellowship Program. The DNA Fellowship Program, hosted by AAPI Data, is a 6-month, paid fellowship designed to identify emerging leaders passionate about data and research supporting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) communities.

Get to know one of APF’s newest team members, Kelsey, as she shares about herself and her excitement for the program.

Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background and interests?

I graduated in 2019 from UCLA with a BA in sociology. I am currently working towards a master’s degree in healthcare administration at LSU, Shreveport and am also applying to nursing school programs as well. My interest is and always has been about creating access to resources, healthcare, education, etc. to underserved and underrepresented communities. I want to amplify the voices and needs of those who have been traditionally not heard or silenced. 

Why were you interested in joining the Data-Narrative-Action Fellowship Program?

I was interested in joining the Data-Narrative-Action Fellowship Program because I wanted to play a role in collecting data relevant to highlighting the needs of AAPI communities as well as amplifying those different narratives as well. Professionally, I want to take these skills and continue to do this type of work in my own career and everyday life, so I am hoping to develop the skills and network to be able to do that. 

What do you hope to learn and contribute through your fellowship?

Have you learned anything interesting so far? – I hope to learn more about – I hope to learn more about networking and data retrieval and management as well as the process leading up to actually gathering data. I believe that  a strength of mine is that ability to connect with communities and people genuinely and I think that is something that I am bringing to the fellowship. I want to learn more about the process from having all of these feelings and thoughts and ideas though and actually turning that into action and the different ways that may look. 

How do you think this program and your learnings from it will prepare you for future opportunities?

I think that this program will help me develop skills necessary to execute and really fulfill the action portion of the Data-Narrative-Action fellowship as well as in my professional and personal life following this fellowship. 

Why do you think it’s important to amplify AAPI voices and data?

I think it is important to amplify AAPI voices and data because AAPI is such a huge, umbrella term that can cause certain groups’ individual needs to be overshadowed or hidden. By really learning about what each community needs and working to listen to those needs and gaps in access to resources, we are able to cater to those particular needs and see more AAPI patients getting the help they need, more AAPI students pursuing higher education, more AAPI cultures being represented in the media, etc. 

What do you enjoy doing during your spare time?